CITIZEN JOURNALISM: 2010 elections

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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The run for D.C. mayor isn’t the only 2010 race voters are watching. The city’s congressional seat is up, and several D.C. Council seats will be on the ballot, too. The main attractions will be the mayoral and council chairmanship races, and the at-large elections are always contentious.

Voters in four wards - 1, 3, 5 and 6 - will decide whether their incumbents will keep their posts, while voters citywide will determine the fate of two at-large incumbents. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is expected to run for re-election, and the November ballot will include choices for shadow representative and senator and for advisory neighborhood commissioners, whose districts are based on the U.S. Census.

“I thought it might be interesting to take a look at statistics to envision what is possible in a changing political landscape,” said Kathy Pearson-West, a businesswoman and political consultant. “The more resourceful or curious person will want to take this information to the next level to see who is vulnerable in 2010 and to see if there is potential for change.”

She also will be viewing the data in the context of possible ballot measure in the November general election.

“What are the issues that matter, and what are the ones that determine who should stay or go?” she asked.

Some voters will likely consider economic development an issue that matters. The chairman of the council’s Committee on Economic Development, Kwame Brown, is up for re-election. Voters in Ward 5 could ask, “Whatever happened to Costco coming to Northeast?” The national warehouse chain is considered to be a huge revenue draw for the city. Voters in Ward 7 might be concerned about the Abe Pollin housing project and the Benning Metro station project, which have the potential to expand the city’s tax base.

Meanwhile, Republicans have threatened to field strong candidates in 2010, and a recent poll shows that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who already is mounting a substantial war chest, is vulnerable, as is David Catania, a Republican-turned-independent who champions gay marriage and the controversial HPV vaccine for girls.

Hip, hip hooray

A D.C. sports team is trying to reach the Super Bowl. No, it’s not the Washington Redskins. It’s the Watkins Recreation Center Hornets, and Wednesday is do-or-die day.

On Thanksgiving weekend, the Hornets won the Pop Warner Eastern Region Championship, and on Sunday, they beat the Southfield-Lathrup Falcons of Michigan to advance in the Pee Wee Division I bracket. On Wednesday, the Hornets take on the Arlington (Texas) Thunder.

The matchup is as close as Washington will get this season to a championship football throwdown.

It is the first year a D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation pee wee team is competing in the Pop Warner Super Bowl, which is in its 53rd year being played in Orlando, Fla. To play in Pop Warner, children have to maintain a minimum 2.0 grade-point average. The Hornets’ coaches say some of their youths are academic winners, too - with 3.0s and 3.8s.

Wish them luck.

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