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Mike DeBonis’ argument that Mayor Williams’ subservience to Congress has been good for the District (“See the Amazing Mayor Williams Jump Through Hoops!” 5/13) not only demeans the value of democracy, it doesn’t even make sense on quality-of-life grounds. The little bones Congress has thrown to Williams for his lap-dog behavior are hardly compensation for our being denied full citizenship as Americans. In addition, of all the grants and other fiscal favors DeBonis lists, many of them the District would have gotten anyway (Metro subsidies didn’t start with Williams), and others are of dubious valuesuch as vouchers, an attempt to dismantle what’s left of our public school system in favor of a privatized, Republican-style system.
Even if you add up all the federal “contributions” DeBonis cites as being won by Williams’ charm, the sum pales in comparison with the more than $1 billion we could earn each year through a commuter taxwhich isn’t an inch closer than when Williams took office. Indeed, the readiness with which Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) issued threats over the mere mention of the District’s sanctioning gay marriage shows that Congress is as willing as ever to meddle in our affairs. Add to this the needless deaths from AIDS caused by the ban on District funding of needle-exchange programs and it becomes clear that Williams is truly selling our American birthright for a mess of pottage.