We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Sarah Palin Supports D.C. Voting Rights, Not Really DC Vote Responds: Voting Rights Not Dead, Really
Good morning sweet readers! Wham!’s “Last Christmas“: great Christmas song? Or best Christmas song of all time? News time:
Are You Reading for Some Hearings?!: Tomorrow, Almost Mayor Vince Gray will likely chow down on gold-dusted lobster tails and cut into a steak that’s from a cow who lived an entirely stress-free life when he lunches with President Barack Obama at the White House. Today, however, Gray must suffer through a marathon bitch session from more than 160 residents, advocates and special interest groups who are probably unhappy about one or more parts of Still Mayor Adrian Fenty’s proposal to bridge a $188 budget gap. The public hearing was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 2013. As LL has already noted, it’s likely that much of Fenty’s budget will be reworked by the the council. Gray, in fact, hadn’t bothered to really look Fenty’s budget until yesterday afternoon, reports Freeman Klopott, who thinks Gray is trying to keep the “tension alive” between the council and Fenty. Last night, CM Yvette Alexander went to the Twitter to ask those testifying today not to come with complaints or criticism, but with ideas on how to raise money. Alexander also took a jab at her possible future opponent, Ron Moten.
AFTER THE JUMP: Bullytime; Henderson reflects; Too many taxis? …
Bully Bill: The D.C. Council’s nanny state instincts were on full display yesterday during a 4-hour long hearing on bills that seek to eradicate the age old problem of teenagers making fun of other teenagers. “At a council hearing Monday that featured testimony from teenagers who said they have been mocked over their religion, looks or sexual orientation, Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray (D) said that the city should make it a top priority to take on schoolyard bullies,” reports the Post. “The proposals by [CMs Michael Brown and Harry Thomas Jr.], which are being championed by gay rights and youths advocates, do not make bullying a crime. However, they would increase pressure on school administrators and other adults in taxpayer-funded oversight roles to punish anyone suspected of using ‘written, verbal or electronic communication’ to mock someone based on his or her ‘race, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status or physical or mental ability or disability.’ ‘There are situations that are quite egregious going on right now, and we cannot turn a blind eye,’ said Thomas, holding up a copy of the Oct. 18 People magazine that featured an article about three recent teenage suicides that may have been related to bullying. ‘When we let these little things [get out of control], they become big things.’
Great, People magazine is now guiding D.C.’s public policy. WAMU’s Patrick Madden follows up with Gray, who says that the next step in trying to stop bullying through legislation is to come up with punishments. ” But right now the legislation doesn’t lay out what happens if someone is caught bullying—and Mayor-elect Vincent Gray says that’s what the council will address next. ‘That’s the issue,’ says Gray. ‘There have to be consequences or else the policy is absolutely worthless.'” Does anyone really think that the D.C. Council can prevent teenage bullying by one taunt?
28 Days Later: Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson reflects on first month of new gig. Says she her former boss Michelle Rhee is part of small circle of advisers, but Henderson is calling the shots. “At the end of the day, Michelle Rhee’s head is not on the chopping block, it’s mine now.” Also says she has a hunch that good chunk of minimally effective-ranked teachers will improve and not get canned. Asked if she wants to be permanent chancellor, she says “that remains to be seen.”
There Are Too Many Cabs: LDP has a look at what big changes might be in store for D.C.’s taxicab industry. D.C. has the highest per capita rate of taxis in the nation. Cabbies are upset and want to limit the supply via a medallion system. The D.C. Taxicab Commission announced last week that it’s not taking any more applications for new drivers. Meanwhile, good luck trying to find a cab across the river.
Charter Schools Wins, Sort of: LDP also looks at some tweaks that of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which allow charter schools first dibs on decommissioned government buildings. Not good enough, says charter schools, who want to move into schools once they’re closed, not when the government decides it doesn’t want the buildings anymore, reports the Times.
Good news for trouble makers, if you get suspended from school you might get free legal representation. Seriously.
Wanna buy some liens? Doug Jemal‘s got plenty.
Same-sex Skype wedding a no-go.
Metro plans to resume letting the computers do the driving again. It means less jerky rides, but what happens when Skynet becomes self-aware? (Welcome back, Kytja!)
Council schedule: All day hearing on budget.
Fenty schedule: Not listening to all day hearing on budget.