City Paper is not for tourists
Next week, acting Office of Planning director Andrew Trueblood will field questions during an “open forum” organized by the nonprofit urban advocacy group Greater Greater Washington.
GGW invites D.C. residents to come loaded with questions for Trueblood about Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s goal to add 36,000 more housing units by 2025, about the Comprehensive Plan, and whatever else your hearts’ desire.
The best part: Tickets to the event to ask questions of a District government official, who is drawing a $180,000 taxpayer-funded salary, are only $10! And the event is free for GGW members.
To be clear, the ticket revenue isn’t going into Trueblood’s pocket. According to GGW founder and president David Alpert, it will cover the cost of pizza for the event.
In an email, Alpert adds that District residents have plenty of other opportunities to pester Trueblood with questions. He’s testifying at a performance oversight hearing Feb. 28, for example, and Office of Planning spokesperson Mekdy Alemayehu says Trueblood has been agreeing to speak anywhere he’s invited.
“So if the City Paper wanted to invite him to speak at a free forum, he’d be happy to do that too,” she says.
“The event doesn’t compromise those existing channels of access,” Alpert writes. “Acting Director Trueblood has already attended many community events in the limited time he has been in the position. We look forward to welcoming him to ours.”
Now, LL doesn’t want to get into the business of discouraging civic engagement, but he can’t help but wonder if there are better ways to spend $10 than eating pizza with a government planning director.
To wit: see almost any show at DC9, buy a sandwich, go to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, see a movie at Suns Cinema, pay for a month ofSpotify Premium, put $10 toward any fees incurred when you FOIA emails between Bowser and Trueblood, buy a bunch of copies of Street Sense, purchase materials for your Peeps diorama, or see the Wizards play the Pacers.