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The trappings of office for an advisory neighborhood commissioner are few, but one nice thing is that you can get a little placard for your car announcing that you’re “ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS,” allowing you to park in certain places off limits to the hoi polloi.
This afternoon, official parking was scarce outside the Wilson Building, so one commissioner decided to put her placard to use. A blue Mercury Capri, belonging to former 5B10 Commissioner Kathy Henderson (mother of current 5B10 Commissioner India Henderson, who was along for the trip), was parked in the median of Pennsylvania Avenue NW in front of the building. Seeing as today was the judiciary committee’s oversight hearing on the Metropolitan Police Department, there were also a few police vehicles parked in the middle of the street, too.
The authorities apparently have no respect for the Hendersons’ “OFFICIAL BUSINESS”—-which was to attend the police hearing:
“It’s ridiculous,” says Kathy Henderson, who says the ticket was issued by the D.C. Protective Services Department. She called the department up and explained that ANC members with a placard are allowed to park in official spaces. “They said, ‘We don’t know anything about that.'”