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Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of Maryland at College Park.

An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL.

Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

 

Articles by Deborah Simmons

SIMMONS: Kwame Brown on the hot seat

Chairman Kwame R. Brown has said that the D.C. Council is no "rubber stamp" for Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Well, now begins Mr. Brown's chance to prove he isn't playing Stan Laurel to the mayor's Oliver Hardy. Published April 17, 2011

City officials outline agenda in push for budget autonomy

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other city officials vowed Tuesday to banish congressional meddling in city affairs, capitalizing on the momentum for D.C. statehood that landed them in jail the night before. Published April 12, 2011

Gray, council members arrested during protest

Fired up by a few hundred supporters of D.C. voting rights and opponents of congressional meddling, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, council Chairman Kwame R. Brown and more than a dozen others were arrested outside the Hart Senate Office Building in a carefully orchestrated protest during Monday's evening rush hour. Published April 11, 2011

SIMMONS: Some questions for Henderson

Kaya Henderson should face tough questions during her upcoming confirmation hearing because she isn't going to face stiff opposition from D.C. lawmakers as the mayor's pick to replace Michelle A. Rhee as schools chancellor. Published April 10, 2011

Kwame Brown

Audit finds funding questions in Brown campaign

The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance recommended Tuesday that the agency's general counsel take "whatever action deemed appropriate" against D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown's 2008 re-election committee after an audit uncovered substantial financial-reporting inconsistencies. Published April 5, 2011

Source: No missing funds in Kwame Brown campaign

Funds from the 2008 Kwame Brown campaign have been accounted for, but the D.C. Council chairman could face fines because of filing irregularities in his finance report, according to a source involved in an audit expected to be released Tuesday by the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance (OCF). Published April 5, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)

Gray tries to turn tide of negative publicity

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray should have been more prepared for the waves of bad publicity that overtook his young administration and been able to turn the public's attention to his achievements and goals over the next four years, political analysts say. Published April 4, 2011

School funding puts Gray under fire

As funding for D.C. students and schools hang in the balance on Capitol Hill and City Hall, school choice proponents are criticizing Mayor Vincent C. Gray for planning to renege on a promise to put charter school funding on par with traditional schools. Published March 29, 2011

** FILE ** Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is shown in this May 1995 file photo. The special prosecutor investigating Brown is reviewing activities with an Oklahoma gas company that include a $160,000 payment to Brown's son and trips for a top Commerce aide, according to interviews and documents. (AP Photo/File, J. Scott Applewhite)

D.C. renames street for former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown

It has been nearly 15 years since Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 other persons died in a plane crash in Croatia during a trade mission. On Friday, D.C. and federal officials dedicated a stretch of the street that runs alongside the Commerce Building in his honor. Published March 25, 2011

D.C. to sue online firms for unpaid taxes

D.C. officials on Tuesday announced plans to sue popular online hotel-booking firms such as Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline in order to recoup millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Published March 22, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)

SIMMONS: Should Gray be looking for a new welcome mat?

Mayor Vincent C. Gray fired his gatekeeper, Gerri Mason Hall, last week and could announce her replacement by week's end. Before then, he needs to replace his front-door mat, too, which has been soiled by questionable footprints. Published March 20, 2011

SIMMONS: Paying the cost of dropping out

When it comes to throwing resources at the dropout problem, the D.C. government, like most bureaucracies, is as splintered and resourceful as they come. Published March 17, 2011

Gerri Mason Hall

Gray fires staff chief in debate on hiring

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray fired his chief of staff on Wednesday — the first major ouster of his young administration, increasingly under fire for missteps in hiring political appointees. Published March 16, 2011