Skip to main content



DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty



Vincent C. Gray

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray won the Democratic nomination for mayor early Wednesday. With nearly all returns counted, voters rejected incumbent Adrian M. Fenty's hard-charging style in favor of promises of a new, conciliatory approach to governing a fast-changing city.

Gray won with 59,285 votes to Fenty's 50,850. A few precincts' results had not been counted at 1:40 a.m., but elections officials said they could not change the outcome.

"We know that we will be celebrating a very big victory very soon," Jonice Gray Tucker, Gray's daughter, told the crowd at her father's party shortly before midnight.

Fenty, the youngest mayor in the four decades of home rule, drew national accolades for his efforts to reform schools; oversaw a dramatic decline in the homicide rate; and led a successful drive to build neighborhood amenities such as recreational centers, dog parks and athletic fields.


Fenty appeared before supporters at 1:18 a.m., refusing to concede and rallying his troops with a battle cry of "On to victory."

Gray, 67, who spent most of his career leading local nonprofit organizations, has soared swiftly through the ranks of the city's political establishment. A former executive director of the Association of Retarded Citizens and Covenant House Washington, he was elected to the council by Ward 7 voters in 2004. After only two years in that job, he waged a successful campaign for chairman. Although he was expected to cruise to easy reelection this year, Gray decided in late March to enter the mayor's race, even though he faced an uphill fight against a well-funded, telegenic mayor who boasted of a long list of achievements.

First returns from the election were delayed for more than 21/2 hours as the elections board scrutinized early returns before releasing them on the city's Web site. Elections officials said they were afraid of a repeat of the mess that occurred in 2008, when hastily released numbers included incorrect figures because officials improperly downloaded computer memory cartridges from voting machines.

For most of the evening, the election board's Web site said, "Election Results: Will be available after results are available."

Around midnight, D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) called the late results "ridiculous. The board wasn't prepared. There is no excuse for this." Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) said she was informed that elections workers could not figure out how to transfer results to the Internet. Cheh demanded that the board make public all results: "I don't care if they have to hang it on a chalkboard and wait for technology later."

If he wins the Nov. 2 general election, Gray would be the oldest person ever elected mayor of the District. During the campaign, Gray and his advisers tried to use his age and experience to their advantage, arguing that he was the more mature candidate in a race against a mayor who, by his own admission, was brash, hurried and had made mistakes that sapped his popularity.

Fenty, who ran in 2006 as a dynamic reformer who would unite a city long divided by class and race, maintained broad support in majority-white neighborhoods.

Despite Fenty's frenetic, expensive efforts to promote his accomplishments in all eight wards of the city, polls suggest he was unable to reverse the widespread belief among blacks that he favored residents of predominantly white, wealthier neighborhoods.

Part of the divide between longtime residents east of Rock Creek Park, who supported Gray by wide margins, and newcomers and voters in more affluent areas centered on Rhee, whose aggressive, speedy approach to reform matched Fenty's pace.

Interviews with voters Tuesday revealed stark differences in how white and black residents viewed their choices. In several well-off neighborhoods in Northwest Washington, many whites who voted for Fenty said they were baffled by polls showing that many black voters wanted a change in leadership even though they agreed the city is heading in the right direction. In a Washington Post poll two weeks before the election, Gray led Fenty among black Democrats by 64 to 19 percent. Among white Democrats, Fenty led Gray by 64 percent to 28 percent.

"I know some people consider him arrogant and unfriendly, but I feel he had to make some tough decisions and he did it," said Amy Thompson, 42, a white American University Park homeowner who has five children in the public schools. "I feel like city services are running well. I call for bulk trash pickup and they are there in three days. That hasn't always happened."

But across town in the Lamond Riggs neighborhood of Northeast, Victor Cumber voted for Gray because he feels the mayor has lost touch with the people who put him in office four years ago. "Fenty is trying to do some things for the city, but I don't see him doing things for the people," said Cumber, 58, who is black. "People need jobs and the kids need to be taken care of. Why did he have to close some schools and get rid of their teachers?"

Many residents expected that a mayor who won office by knocking on tens of thousands of doors in every neighborhood would be accessible and would make certain that top appointments as well as city jobs would go to D.C. residents. But Fenty's failure to attend funerals of some victims of last year's Metro crash or to schedule a meeting with civil rights icon Dorothy Height became public relations debacles.

Though Fenty pumped millions of dollars into summer jobs for youths, many residents complained that he responded inadequately to soaring unemployment, particularly in wards 7 and 8, where the jobless rate far outpaces the national average.

Fenty's most high-profile initiative - the takeover and reform of the city's long-troubled public schools - drew equal praise and criticism for the appointment of hard-charging Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and the terminations of hundreds of teachers and central office staff. The teacher firings, as well as the closings of two dozen schools, affected African Americans most directly.

In a Washington Post poll two weeks ago, Gray led Fenty among black Democrats by a margin of 64 percent to 19 percent. Among white Democrats, Fenty led Gray by 64 to 28 percent.

Tuesday's apparent outcome suggests African-Americans, who have seen their share of the city's population drop from 70 percent in 1980 to just 54 percent today, are still a dominant force in city elections when they rally behind one candidate. Gray, like Fenty a native Washingtonian, campaigned on a theme of "One City," and appeared to be faring better among white voters than Fenty did among blacks.

With no Republican filing to run for mayor, some GOP leaders planned to write-in Fenty's name Tuesday in hopes he might run in the general election as their party's nominee. But Fenty, a lifelong Democrat, said before the primary that he would not accept the GOP nomination or run a write-in campaign in the general election.

A Gray victory would recast the balance of power in city government, likely giving more influence to teachers, public employee unions and other labor, business and neighborhood groups that endorsed him.

Gray campaigned on a platform that included more funding for early childhood education and support for the University of the District of Columbia, increased job training, deployment of more police officers in neighborhoods and a more inclusive approach to school reform. Much of the campaign, however, centered around a clash of personalities and nasty accusations between Fenty and Gray over who was more ethical.

Story continues:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/...AR2010091407069.html
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Reference:
No surprise here. Question: is Vincent Gray Black?

I think he's supposed to be.  But .. I gotta wonder if somebody were to go and shake his family tree .. what, exactly, would all fall out of it!!    From what little has been reported about his personal life upbringing ... I kinda get the feeling that he's a "one drop rule" kinda Black.  He's had to be whether he's really wanted to or not!

However ... I have to say I find this VERY interesting:

Reference:
In a Washington Post poll two weeks ago, Gray led Fenty among black Democrats by a margin of 64 percent to 19 percent. Among white Democrats, Fenty led Gray by 64 to 28 percent.

That says a lot!!  I'm just not sure what!  
EbonyRose:
I think he's supposed to be. But .. I gotta wonder if somebody were to go and shake his family tree .. what, exactly, would all fall out of it!! From what little has been reported about his personal life upbringing ... I kinda get the feeling that he's a "one drop rule" kinda Black. He's had to be whether he's really wanted to or not!


I kind of know....no I definitely know that you need to learn how to open a book. The above is all the evidence that one needs to see in order to realize that your mind is the result of way too much modern tv, music, movies, fashion, internet from the past 12 to 15 years.
Reference:
I kind of know....no I definitely know that you need to learn how to open a book. The above is all the evidence that one needs to see in order to realize that your mind is the result of way too much modern tv, music, movies, fashion, internet from the past 12 to 15 years.

LOL ... you know no such thing, you idiot!!    What my mind is the result of are things you couldn't even begin to fathom!!

In fact, from your postings, what you DO know could probably fit on the head of a needle!!  But, Xeon is right about one thing .... you are good for a hilarious laugh ... with your brain-damaged self!! 
Reference:
Yemaya wrote: No surprise here. Question: is Vincent Gray Black?


MaynardJ wrote: What kind of question is this? What makes you think Vincent Gray is not black?
The straightforward type.  


EbonyRose, when I was in D.C. last month I saw a lot of people campaigning on Gray's behalf. From what I've come to understand Fenty has been a pain for black people in the city. The 'love affair' with Fenty has been over for 2 years now.
Gray led Fenty among black Democrats by 64 to 19 percent. Among white Democrats, Fenty led Gray by 64 percent to 28 percent.---article

There's a lesson in here somewhere.

I am reminded of the adage 'dance with the one that brung ya''.

Someone was pissed.

I don't live therem but....I liked most of the things Mayor Fenty did.....administratively.

I particularly liked his decisions in education.

But...he pissed off SOMEBODY!!!

PEACE

Jim Chester
Reference:
I particularly liked his decisions in education. But...he pissed off SOMEBODY!!!
JWC - could you elaborate on why you liked his decisions in Education?  His hiring of Michelle Rhee and her gutting of the public school system appears to be the major thing that brought him down.  As you say, he seems to have done some good things for the people EXCEPT screw with the public education system by using someone molded in the image of Education Secty Arne Duncan...that is union busting and forcing a business model on schools.
You know ... I was able to see a couple of quick news clips/stories regarding what Rhee did to the school system in D.C. while this election was pending.  However ... I have not seen anything yet to say whether or not her plan as produced good or bad results!!  I think one might have said that it's "too early to tell"??  But I'm not sure about that.

Does anybody else know ... one way or the other?? 

What's not denied is that Michelle Rhee brought BIG changes ... unpopular changes ... but, as we've seen with the election of President Obama ... there are some people who simply do not LIKE change!!    And therefore ... just "change' itself (just doing something differently) is deemed to be bad!!

However ... if that "change" actually produces good results .... and makes things better ... and ESPECIALLY if we're talking about kids/education/improvement ... then I'm all in favor of it!!!  And people need to get over freakin' out about not being able to do what is "comfortable" or "normal" or "the usual" anymore .... and get the the NEW program!  IF indeed it is going to do something good!!

Of course, I'll let Mr. Chester speak for himself, but .... I happen to know he is not a big fan of teachers' unions.  And I have to say I couldn't agree with him more.  We have been doing it "their" way for decades now ... and our children are on the losing end of their idea of how things should be.  So, I personally have no problem with Ms. Rhee walking in and getting rid of them and any failing teachers .... revamping the way education is delivered (in a school system that is majority Black children) ... IF.... IF what she is doing is producing success!

But, again .. I don't know if it has been proven that that's the case. Are the kids in D.C. getting better grades?  Better test scores?  Learning and being educated??    Or has her "great experiment" been a big ol' flop?? 

That, to me, is really the question.
Reference:
And I have to say I couldn't agree with him more. We have been doing it "their" way for decades now ... and our children are on the losing end of their idea of how things should be.
I would only add that the teachers unions don't set the curriculums. the amount of money spent per child, nor the testing apparatus.
How Adrian Fenty lost in Washington D. C.


http://www.jackandjillpolitics...ington-d-c/#comments   

Fenty lost, because he lost his base. They believed he turned on them, so, they, in turn, returned the favor at the ballot box on Tuesday. Incident upon incident chipped away at his voter base, and once they turned against him, they were just looking for what they perceive to be a viable alternative.

You can’t brag about dog parks, when you’re shutting down Low-Income Child Care Centers.

In a majority-Black city with the legacy of having a strong professional class that not only predates the Civil Rights Movement, but does so by decades, having only ONE Black in place in the top 10 positions of power in the city – how do you think that looks?

The perceived ‘ insults’, just kept on piling on top of one another, until it hit a saturation point with the majority of the Black citizens in the city. Insults compounded by the Washington Post and their dismissive tone towards those who would criticize Fenty. Outside of King and Milloy, the attitude of the rest of the post about Black concerns was that they were just ‘ irrational’/'what do they know?’

Courtland Milloy: Fenty's snubs of Black Women make re-election unlikely


http://www.washingtonpost.com/...AR2010082406274.html  

How did D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty lose the love of so many black women -- the most faithful and forgiving constituents a black man in public office can have? The answer: He worked at it, went out of his way to snub and disrespect even the most revered sisters of distinction.

They include Dorothy I. Height, president emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women, who died this year; Maya Angelou, the poet; Susan L. Taylor, editor of Essence magazine; Oracene Price, mother of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams; and former D.C. first lady Cora Masters Barry, founder of the Southeast Washington Tennis and Learning Center.

The list goes on and on.

A year ago, two meetings were scheduled between Fenty, Height and the others. The women were concerned that he was using a legal ruse to take the tennis center from Barry and turn the operation over to one of his fraternity brothers.

Both meetings were canceled at the last minute, with Fenty claiming that the women called it off and the women saying they were snubbed by him.

Whom are you going to believe?

_______________________________________________________________________________



What black women wanted from Fenty in exchange for their support could not have been clearer to anyone who heard them speak at candidate forums, coffee klatches, neighborhood association meetings, church socials and the like.

Fix decrepit school buildings, update equipment and supplies, get disruptive students out of the classrooms and hallways and find some way to educate them, in spite of their self-destructive ways, someplace else.

And if there was any way to help those stressed-out, two-job-holding mothers to get more involved in their children's education, they would appreciate it more than he could ever know.

They didn't ask him to start closing schools or to embark on a campaign of firing seasoned black teachers. And when he started taking credit for academic improvements that were already underway when he took office, they were too through with him.

"I guess his head got too big, but I really don't know what happened to him," said Ethel Delaney Lee, 84, another disaffected Fenty supporter.

Reference:
I would only add that the teachers unions don't set the curriculums. the amount of money spent per child, nor the testing apparatus.
 That is true.  But they do work to keep incompetent, non-productive, unqualified teachers in the classrooms influencing our children.  And, from the way it looks, they don't do a whole lot to protect nor reward the good, capable, qualified ones either.

If any group of individuals deserves better representation of their interests for better pay and more respect and appreciation ... it's teachers.
ER Reference:
But they do work to keep incompetent, non-productive, unqualified teachers in the classrooms influencing our children.
What is this opinion based on?   


What is an unqualified teacher, given that all teachers must hold degrees in education and attend additional training throughout the year? 


Aside from test scores, what puts a teacher in the "non-productive" category?
I think the hundreds of teachers that have been fired from various school districts around the country by administrators like Ms. Rhee, the suggestions of Sec. Arne Duncan and others who agree that the education system is critically broken, not serving our students and are looking for a better/different way ... would probably be the answer to ALL of those questions.  Especially for those districts that have done so and have then been able to turn around the graduation success rate

There's been no dispute among teachers, supervisors, administrators, teachers' unions, academics, experts, parents, nor students that some teachers are not qualified for the positions they hold.

And I think the overwhelmingly HIGH dropout rate among America's students (of all races, creeds and colors) - and not test scores - is probably the best indicator that ALL facets of the education system (which includes teachers) are "non-productive" ... if the goal is indeed to educate and graduate our children.
Reference:
I think the hundreds of teachers that have been fired from various school districts around the country by administrators like Ms. Rhee, the suggestions of Sec. Arne Duncan and others who agree that the education system is critically broken, not serving our students and are looking for a better/different way ...

If hundreds of teachers have been fired, then the oft maligned teachers union is not  actually keeping "incompetent, unqualified, nonproductive" teachers in the classrooms.
Last edited by NSpirit
Michelle Rhee's campaign to diversify DC public Schools means wooing white parents


http://www.washingtoncitypaper...ls-means-wooing/full  

...Still, a glance at the places where Rhee believes her luring of parents could make a difference in school enrollment suggests a certain type of community is front and center: Gentrified locales where demographics have shifted because of the influx of people like the Derlegas and Sehgal—but where neighborhood schools remain overwhelmingly African American, inconsistent with the new diversity.

Rhee’s campaign has included bus advertisements, radio spots, e-mails, conference calls, private meetings in the homes of current or potential DCPS parents, and pep-rally-style sessions at schools including Francis-Stevens. There, she didn’t appeal to parents’ liberal guilt but urged them to choose the school that would best educate their child.

“Not all of you are going to make that decision this year; some of you will and every year the number is going to grow and grow,” she told them. She’s certain a few years ago, the folks attending that meeting “would never think of sending their kids to DCPS.”

And just who was in that group?

“It was mixed,” says Rhee. “But I would say the group was predominantly white.”

It appears DCPS’ leadership is engaged in a real-time experiment to see whether it’s possible to integrate a school system by reaching out to a group that has traditionally rejected it as an option. They are achieving some success: Between 2007 and 2010, white enrollment in DCPS increased from 6 percent to 9 percent and Hispanic enrollment increased from 11 percent to 13 percent. During that same period, African-American enrollment dropped from 80 percent to 76 percent, according to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

Reference:
If hundreds of teachers have been fired, then the oft maligned teachers union is not actually keeping "incompetent, unqualified, nonproductive" teachers in the classrooms.

Or ... it could be argued that the reason why incompetent teachers were still in the position to be eventually fired is because the teachers unions had been protecting them from losing their jobs previous to that time ... and somebody else had to come in and do what needed to be done.

Interestingly, (and unfortunately), many good, qualified teachers were given the boot along with those whose performance was subpar.  In at least two cases, the reason for this was primarily due to the fact that the teachers unions were unwilling to be flexible in any consideration of changing the current, student-failing, status quo.  Instead, they opted to block measures that would have allowed teachers (good and bad) to keep their jobs, "bad" teachers to receive additional training to make them better, and the prospect of giving more/better education to the children who were failing in school. (Their actions truly remind me of the current Republican opposition taking place in Congress these days .... saying no for the sake of their own (perceived) benefit, while thinking nothing of the suffering being caused by their obstinate point of view towards the teachers and children they are supposed to be protecting.)

As I said before ... I think there's plenty of blame to go around .. and an equal number of places to put it!!  EVERYONE involved in education (parents, educators, administrations, students and unions included) has a part in the failure that is America's education system.  But, just because you can blame parents, IMO, doesn't mean you can't/shouldn't blame unions.  Or properly pointing an accusatory finger at ineffective school boards doesn't exonerate students from the responsibility they have to do the best they can.

Many of the teachers that Michelle Rhee fired in D.C. didn't have proper certification to be teaching in public school.  Nobody (including those teachers) ever disputed that was true.  They were just mad 'cause they got fired for it.
NS, for the record, teacher's unions do exist for one purpose, and that's to protect the labor interests of its membership.  So it never matters to them, and it never can, how terrible a teacher is.  That's the whole point of unions.  Any decision, no matter how good it is for the greater good, will be vehemently resisted by a union if it in any way endangers the labor interests of its members.  Teachers unions are necessary, but it's important for the rest of us not to forget that they do NOT operate in the service of education.  If they had to choose between better benefits for teachers and crappy outcomes for our kids, vs. excellent outcomes for our kids while teachers have worse benefits, they would go with the former scenario every time.
Reference:
Teachers unions are necessary, but it's important for the rest of us not to forget that they do NOT operate in the service of education.

True, so it doesn't seem to me to make sense for people to point to teachers unions as "what's wrong with the system" in discussions on education.  Teachers unions, as any other union, are concerned with wages, conditions, etc.  They do not set the school curricula, select textbooks, hire the staff, run the schools, run PTA's etc.  It seems logical that if students/schools are failing, teachers unions are not the first place to point the finger of blame.
There's a lot of blame to go around.  However, the TUs are very powerful politically and have exerted that power quite a bit, to get certain outcomes.  Most of the resistance in society to reforms that teachers' unions happen to oppose is due to political influence on the part of the teachers' unions.
JWC - could you elaborate on why you liked his decisions in Education?  His hiring of Michelle Rhee and her gutting of the public school system appears to be the major thing that brought him down.  As you say, he seems to have done some good things for the people EXCEPT screw with the public education system by using someone molded in the image of Education Secty Arne Duncan...that is union busting and forcing a business model on schools.---NSpirit

Dr. Rhee is reported to have evaluated her management system down to the point of reviewing, and discussing her selections for termination with her senior down to, at least, the Principal level...maybe further.

If 'gutting' is what it took, that is what should have been done.

Dr. Rhee not only had the guts to do it, but had the intelligence and know on how to identify and extraction the 'diseased flesh' of her organization.

Excellent choice...by Mayor Fenty.

And he has stood by her as the NEA 'turned up the heat'...which was known to be a sure result.

Change cannot happen if top leadership has 'feet of clay'.

I like that.

This kind of action is critical to solving the public education problem in our public schools.

PEACE

Jim Chester
I would only add that the teachers unions don't set the curriculums.---NSpirit

School boards are highly subject to the 'power of the NEA'.

This is true for every facet of public school management...right down to the suppliers of paper supplies, including toilet paper.

All school boards of public schools are subjected to the pressure of the NEA.

Any decision made at any level of the administration of public schools, that is out of agreement with 'the NEA Agenda' is challenged immediately.

Those decision-makers are quickly and typically quietly brought into conformance.

PEACE

Jim Chester
JWC Reference:
This kind of action is critical to solving the public education problem in our public schools.

It seems we've decided that "the teachers" are THE problem in the schools and not the outdated concepts that our schools are based on.  There are no longer "good jobs" to be had for people who graduate high school.  The concept of education in the US in general is not preparing students for the changing society, changing global community, and changing concept of work.  Students are aware of this and don't see the point in many cases. 


Look at our black boys.  We are sending them to school, encouraging them to endure a school culture that does not embrace them for 12 years, and frequently labels them as problems or slow learners only to have them "graduate" into massive unemployment, discrimination if they can get on a job, left out of contract bidding, and labeled as "angry" or "lazy" in other instances. 
The teachers for the most part are performing the role prescribed for them by the educational system.  Why are the teachers at fault and not the system?


Also, many many many kids are coming from crazy home situations (drug use, drug dealing, unemployment, domestic violence, poverty, hunger, single parent, medical issues, etc), and no academic support at home.  Teachers have to be mother, social worker, nurse, cop, etc, oh yeah, and teach!  If we are firing teachers and not addressing home life, we've missed the entire boat. 


By no means am i saying that bad teachers shouldn't be fired, but i believe that mass firings as  the sole means of "improving the schools" is misguided at best.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×