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“Backyard Barbecue” (7/11), which purports to tell of trouble for Jack Evans, seemed totally pointless. What’s the story here? It appears the author couldn’t make up his mind whether there is a story or not, as each paragraph seemed to contradict the previous one.

A politician pleases some folks today, displeases some tomorrow, and always makes enemies. So what? That’s life, it’s not a story.

Yeah, there are problems with Evans. I’ve disagreed strongly with some positions he has taken, but I’ve also been very pleased with several others.

(The fact that some of his most solid support comes from NIMBY gentrifiers, who believe status as “taxpayer” makes them more deserving of government attention than the poor (nontaxpayers?), has always made me uneasy. And unless you’re a known entity in his office, it’s impossible to get through to him, or to get a call back; even petitions have gone ignored. Or if you are so fortunate as to be known but happen to disagree on an issue, or want him to consider a different angle, certain members of his staff may ensure your access is cut, your position minimized, or your participation undermined. Or though Jack readily speaks of the diversity of the ward, his staff hardly reflects sensitivity to it.)

I could understand if the article had covered issues of substance, detailing, perhaps, his voting record, his performance on the council, or positions he has taken—and what constituents feel about them. But it did none of these things.

For my part, I believe Evans is a well-intentioned councilmember. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good thing somebody in D.C. government understands the city must be more business-positive. I’ve seen him try to find balance between the needs of our neighborhoods and the needs of our businesses. And when I was an ANC commissioner, his Constituent Services staffperson often went out of the way to help solve problems.

It appears to me the author spoke with a few individuals well known for intemperate posturing, then, perhaps to suggest “balance,” spoke with some others, and ended by stringing together dark innuendo and a handful of acrid quotations in the hope it would make for a story. But it doesn’t, and I think Washington City Paper can do better.

Logan Circle

via the Internet