the sierra club couldn’t see the forest for the trees when it endorsed Vincent Gray over Kathy Patterson for D.C. Council Chairman (City Desk, “Pander Pays Off,” 8/11). Gray is green in more ways than one! Gray may have the green endorsement, but getting there shows how green he really is in D.C. city politics. Like many greenhorns before him, Gray has made promises to Sierra Club that he cannot keep. By pandering to special interests, Gray has pledged to work for them, and not for you. Gray made the promise to reopen the debate on Klingle Road—on which millions of our tax dollars have already been spent—and now Gray wants to close Beach Drive.
I agree to a large extent with many of the issues on the Sierra Club’s national Web site. This is where Sierra Club is at its best: doing outreach and education on overriding issues to help protect our environment; bringing an environmental vision to the table to improve the future for all. The local chapter of the Sierra Club seems to lack a similar vision.
D.C. Council chairman candidate Kathy Patterson would not make false promises to the fickle Sierra Club, which just last year made her its champion when they worked together to keep “toxic trains” from traveling through downtown.
Gray has no new ideas about the true environmental issues facing us—the cleanup of the Anacostia, pollution of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the ongoing and worsening impact of congested and clogged traffic. Kathy Patterson has shown her concern for the safety and well-being of D.C.’s environment and its citizens. Gray on the other hand has only made vain promises to undo decisions that are already in place and pledges to reverse longstanding efforts that will actually aid the environment, while improving public safety and provide economic benefits to lower-income communities. There are lots of real, serious environmental issues for us to tackle going forward. The Sierra Club has led Gray down the primrose path, if you ask me. There are lots of real, substantive environmental issues that need to be tackled—Kathy Patterson knows and understands these issues, and won’t be heading us down a dead-end street.
Yes, Gray is green. Gray’s commitments to support Sierra Club’s special interest agenda would waste more of our precious green resources. We need a council chair who understands the complexities and real needs of D.C. environment and citizens, not one who makes promises he cannot keep about issues he does not understand.