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First, a mini roundup: Washington Post readers don’t like pictures of gay men kissing (“please don’t shove this ‘Gay’ business in our face”; “I will be glad when your rag goes out of business. Real men marry women”; “disturbing”). Former representative Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has some splainin’ to do (it’s not every day you can Google “tickling” and come up with a breaking news story). And Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and his betrothed, DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee, are not Romeo and Juliet.
Now to the question of the week: Should Georgetown secede?
Discussion after the jump.
Carol Joynt, a writer and former TV producer who’s behind the weekly talk show “The Q&A Cafe” and is the former owner of the now closed Nathans, threw that doozy out there this week on her blog, saying:
This isn’t as much a question against the city as it is a question for Georgetown. Its worth forming a panel to explore the idea and also inviting public debate. Reason one is that DC’s not going to get home rule. I just don’t see it happening. Why should we wait around, caving into powerlessness, when we could come together to create a governing body that helps to improve the quality of living right here where we live?
We could be the City of Georgetown or the Town of Georgetown. Regardless, have our own mayor, our own council, our own police force (on some streets we already do), our own public school system, contract out – like DC does – for a lot of the utility work (think: plowing snow), our own parking enforcement, our own ABC Board, and use our local tax dollars for Georgetown’s own needs. We already provide a local bus system.
If you think about it, it makes sense. If you live in Georgetown, how much of the management of the city government relates to you in a positive way? How many city government decisions are made with Georgetown even remotely in the equation?
Anyone from any other D.C. neighborhoods want to answer that?
The Georgetown Metropolitan weighed in with some interesting history. Turns out there’s precedent for this, and I’m not talking about the Southern states or Quebec. In 1838, Georgetown residents wrote a motion to request “retrocession” of all D.C. land west of Rock Creek. And the motion passed! And then some folks went to Annapolis, where it also seemed like a good idea! And then Congress pissed on it!
GM’s Topher Matthews says, perhaps needlessly, that Joynt’s suggestion is “totally ridiculous and never going to see the light of day. There is no way the government of the District or Congress would approve. And if there’s one thing that can get the rest of the District to hate Georgetown more, it would be to agitate for secession.”
And Joynt more or less agrees:
I’m a realist. I know this won’t happen. But I like the debate. It reminds everyone on the inside and outside of our “borders” that Georgetown is a village and the residents can be engaged in civic activism. We’re not passive, but we get distracted. Too much of our focus is directed at the not always attractive commercial development of M Street, when its important to look at and nurture every nook and cranny of the commercial and residential areas.
But that’s not the good part.
As for whether “secession” would further dispossess the dispossessed, I always look to Marion Barry. He treats his ward like it is a city and that he’s its mayor and their needs come before all others. Say what you will about him, he looks out for his flock. He fights for what they need, what they deserve. Its the same with Ward 1’s Jim Graham.
Wait, did she just say Georgetown needs someone like Marion Barry?
Photo by sylvester75117, Creative Commons Attribution License