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Can Jack Evans convince D.C. voters that they need him as mayor? With the mayoral race picking up its pace and more and more candidates joining the fray, last week’s cover story by Loose Lips writer Will Sommer pondered whether the long-serving councilmember, who represents some of D.C.’s toniest neighborhoods, can become the city’s first white mayor of the home rule era. Reader Norma Desmond registered her support for Evans, with a side-serving of criticism for Sommer’s story, which she called a “grudge piece”: “In the 20-plus years Evans has been on the Council (and the 15 years this Wharton grad has chaired the finance committee overarching the complete renaissance of the city’s financial condition) he has done nothing right or worthwhile. He has no viable experience or perspective from which to make practical assessments as to what is the best route forward. He is, I guess, just too blonde.”
Well, not just too blonde. “Evans said nothing remarkable” at a recent debate, wrote Seeking Utopia. “He supports a (pitiful) minimum wage of $10.25 an hour over three years; [mayoral candidate Vincent] Orange and [Andy] Shallal favor $12.50. At times, he came across as the crazy uncle who bores you to death at Thanksgiving.”
Chris Hauser’s sensible conclusion: “What the article tells me is that it’ll be a tight race, given the crowded field, and the candidate with the most votes from the five-/six-/seven-/eight-way split wins. Might be time for a runoff addition to election law to more accurately reflect the majority….Given reality, though, I don’t think this idea is ready for a close-up.”
Lost in the Supermarket
Last week’s Housing Complex column by Aaron Wiener concerned a D.C. tax incentive that has allowed supermarkets to proliferate in quickly upscaling neighborhoods. What the program hasn’t done, at least yet, is bring an influx of new grocery options to the food deserts in D.C.’s poorer corners. “I’m against these subsidies for chain stories in rapidly gentrifying area where we all know 1) they want to come anyway and 2) they will rake in the money,” wrote commenter communitydevelopment. “If there are to be subsidies, let’s use them for community-owned and -operated stores. We don’t need all these big chains.”
In the comments, The Advoc8te, who blogs about Ward 8, disagreed. “At the risk of pointing out the obvious, almost all of our businesses in Ward 8 are small businesses—chain stores avoid us like the plague, so I would have to argue the opposite. We need a mix and that means some chain stores that can potentially hire more people at a time. The reality about the mom and pop shops in my neighborhood is that they tend to hire from within their family—not a lot of those jobs going to Ward 8 residents.” On Twitter, she added, “Ward 8 has only 1 major grocery store for 73k rez + that just opened in 2008. #EotR is such a non factor for #DC.”
Also on Twitter, user @ThomasCafcas appreciated our headline work: “@aaronwiener Your puns are kaling me.”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, “Swagger Jack” misstated how much Jack Evans’ constituent service fund spent on sports tickets between 2002 and 2011. The fund spent $135,897 on tickets, not $437,720, which is the total amount it spent in that period.