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I beg to differ with Michael Schaffer’s “Demonstration of Impotence” (9/12) article. He and the home rule activists he quoted lament that D.C. “has no democracy” due to the transfer of authority to the control board. The author blames Mayor Barry, the conservative times, small-government atmosphere, outdated civil rights activists, and lack of emphasis on local practical problems.

Maybe Schaffer did not read Stephanie Mencimer’s article the previous week about cronyism and minority preference abuses (“Crony Baloney”) as one example among many as to why there are problems. No matter how local you make the protests—and no matter how practical the issues are—they are nothing but a Band-Aid approach to a problem that needs major surgery. The culprit in D.C. is not the control board but the entire city establishment—which involves a corrupt two-party system, parasitic and nepotistic individuals, groups and organizations that feed off the government without being held accountable, and a populace and citywide leadership that are morally bankrupt.

Because of the city’s misguided emphasis on so-called “democratic rights” and “home rule sovereignty,” the District is almost dead on arrival. We are now in a state of emergency, and the only way for home rule and democracy in this city to survive is to continue to remove all political power from the mayor and city council and turn over more financial and managerial authority to the control board. A more independent body is the only entity capable of purging the system. They are the only individuals better able to impose and assert their managerial competence, political will, and moral determination on this city.

Once that is accomplished, then and only then will home rule and true democracy thrive and, more importantly, enable the District of Columbia to survive.


via the Internet