Is there a perk more pointless than the low-number license plates handed out by the mayor and the D.C. Council? One year, the plates that look only slightly different from the ones handed out at the DMV were decorated with red roses; now, they have Muriel Bowser‘s “We Are Washington D.C.” logo.
Besides showing how tight you are with a District pol, the plates serve no practical purpose. They don’t stop cops from pulling you over, and, unlike councilmembers’ own plates, they don’t provide immunity from parking tickets.
And yet, people want them. Marijuana legalization activist Adam Eidinger mellowed considerably on the mayor after she gave him the “420” plate. While new at-large councilmember Elissa Silverman refused to hand out plates, her fellow ethics-minded freshmen couldn’t follow suit—-their constituents love them too much! LL has embedded the full list of plate recipients at the bottom of this post.
City documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal who has the rate for a plate. The lists include at least one convicted felon (Tony Cheng, a restaurateur who was busted two years ago by the feds), and a whole lots of developers and churches. Meanwhile, a new adminsitration means turnover at the top of the plate hierarchy. Bowser’s brother gets No. 7, while Bowser’s mom rolls with plate No. 1.
Other plate stats:
1: The number of plates given to Pepco.
2: The number of plates given to Wilson Building lobbyist David Wilmot‘s law firm.
9: The number of plates given to churches.
6: The number of plates given to the United House of Prayer.
2: The number of Bowsers with plates.
1: The number of plates given to the Smithsonian
3: The number of plates given to Kastles owner Mark Ein.
5: The number of current Council candidates with low-number plates (Eugene D. Kinlow, Anthony Muhammad, Brandon Todd, Keith Vanterpool, and Trayon White).
2: The number of plates given to Phinis Jones, the Bowser ally at the center of the Park Southern scandal.