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I was astonished by the unusually vicious attack by Loose Lips on one of our best councilmembers, Phil Mendelson (11/19). In particular, LL ridicules the allegedly nitpicking legislative work of Mendelson, such as legislation to protect hospital workers from potentially deadly needlestick injuries.

Our coalition, which represents 15 organizations and thousands of hospital workers in the District, has backed this legislation as a matter of life or death for hospital workers. In the overworked, understaffed hospital work environment in the District, one injury to a health-care worker from a contaminated needle can mean months of agonized testing and a possible death sentence from HIV or hepatitis C. Mendelson, along with Councilmembers David Catania, Kathy Patterson, and Jim Graham, immediately saw the need for this legislation, which has been introduced in 25 other states and in Congress.

Mendelson also played a huge role in making sure that Greater Southeast Hospital survived and that the workers in that hospital had a voice in the decisions being made about their jobs. These are only a few of the issues that are vitally important to neighborhoods that he has come through on. From our point of view, Phil Mendelson has his priorities straight.

DC Safer Needle Coalition