In a presentation at last Saturday’s 25th Annual Statehood Party Convention, UDC advocate Daria Winter served up some harsh words for Statehood emerita Hilda Mason, at-large councilmember and chair of the D.C. Council’s education committee. Winter panned Mason for a piece of legislation that cuts severance benefits for UDC professors. “Folks, this is a slap in the face of anything that this party is certainly about,” thundered Winter to the small crowd gathered in a District Building room.
After Winter finished her tirade, Mason ambled into the room and took a seat in the front row. When asked to explain why she had authored the bill, Mason responded, “Who’s legislation is it?” Thereupon, Winter fetched a copy of the legislation, which listed Mason as the sponsor, and handed it to Mason.
As she picked her way through the bill, Mason grimaced, as if the bill was written in Chinese. Once she had determined what her bill said, she told the convention that it was written by her “staff”—code for education committee czar Jim Ford—and that she planned to “circulate it to council staff and hold a public hearing on it.”
Good idea, Hilda, except the council already approved the legislation two weeks ago, and it will go into effect next year.