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Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Jonetta Rose Barras attributed some pretty damning words to me in her article on mayoral candidate Kevin Chavous (“Kevin Can Wait,” 8/28). I didn’t say the quote she used. The fact is, I’m not that dumb. I’m a full-time volunteer for the Chavous campaign and am working long hours to get him the best candidate elected. Furthermore, I had been told that Barras had been assigned to write an attack piece on Chavous, so I was on my guard.

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In my 45-minute phone conversation with Barras, the point I insisted upon was that the last 18 months of the school takeover have been an extraordinarily difficult period for public school advocates, with everyone off balance. The control board took over from the school board, Gen. Becton refused to provide information to the D.C. Council, and the appointed school trustees have systematically closed the channels of communication with activists, parents, and community leaders.

Kevin Chavous has been one of the few elected leaders to take action and do what he could do. He held over 40 hearings. He aggressively led efforts to get response to community concerns including threatening the subpoena of Gen. Becton. It is true that I am frustrated that even a subpoena was not sufficient to get honest answers, but the criticism needs to be addressed to the control board and the trustees, and those responsible for providing honest budgets.

I chose Kevin Chavous because he believes in the public schools. He will return the public to the public schools through local school participation and elected representation. This is what I said to Ms. Barras. Disturbingly, she chose to reduce a 45-minute conversation to a one-line distortion.

Mount Pleasant

via the Internet

Washington City Paper stands by the accuracy of its story.