Congratulations to the Washington City Paper and Paul Spillenger for the unbiased article (“Unbending Reed,” 12/15/00) regarding advertisements I’ve been involved with to get Mayor Anthony A. Williams to see the error of his ways in suspending construction on the telecommunications tower in Tenleytown. Spillenger dealt with the business issue of this matter without labeling me as a racist and “racial divider,” as did a duo of Washington Post writers, who used that cover to support Williams and the financial and political influence of Ward 3 residents.
As a result of the City Paper article, I have received numerous calls from white and black readers who believe that Williams made a mistake in stopping construction of the tower and has created an anti-business situation for our city. The issue is not about race but about whether the mayor is being more political than he is practical. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot satisfy residents of Ward 3 and stop construction of a rudimentary part of the technology industry on the one hand, and, at the same time, attract technology companiesand investments by them in the Districtwith such actions. Actions such as he carried out in this instance are normally attributed to Third World government leaders.
There is a preponderance of white assistants and decision-makers in Mayor Williams’ administration, and with their influence, Williams’ outreach to predominantly black wards has been less than most African-Americans desire. Before he continues his kowtowing to Ward 3 residents on this vital technology-advancement issue, Williams should take a citywide poll to see if the rest of the city wants the technology services that Ward 3 residents’ political clout is preventing.
President, Business Exchange Network