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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


Articles by Deborah Simmons

Fenty vows to listen; Gray mum on if Rhee will stay

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Wednesday apologized for his aloof management style, vowing to do better by the city's residents as he tried to use the latest one-on-one debate to cut into the considerable polling lead that D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray is riding into the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. Published September 1, 2010

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty

Fenty ally dismisses fund probe as politics

A staunch ally of D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty defended the activities of his anti-violence group Peaceoholics and its receipt of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, dismissing a probe by the Office of the D.C. Auditor as an electoral ploy. Published August 31, 2010

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (The Washington Times)

Early voting in D.C. stirs fear over ballot security

As D.C. voters withstood 90-plus-degree temperatures on Monday to be the first in line to cast ballots in the contentious contest for D.C. mayor, some voters are concerned about the scope of election-law changes made this year and the possibility of tampering. Published August 30, 2010

Charter schools finding niches

While many of the first-generation charter schools mimicked their public counterparts in structure and scope, many of the second-generation schools are tailor-made, according to subject matter or populations or moral goals. Published August 29, 2010

SIMMONS: Enjoy D.C.'s perks in all quadrants

"Tea party" folks beware: Don't venture outside of Northwest Washington while you're here this weekend for a momentous rally. But that warning doesn't come from police - it's from a certain blogger who professes to be looking out for your safety. Published August 26, 2010

D.C., Maryland win cash for schools

The D.C. school system and nine state applicants, including Maryland and New York, learned Tuesday they have won huge pots of money in the $3.4 billion second round of the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative. Published August 24, 2010

D.C. charter schools face unfunded mandates

D.C. schools open their doors Monday morning for the start of a new year, and charter parents and advocates say a new problem is compounding an old one. Published August 22, 2010

Cultivating ideas on urban 'grocery gap'

It has been decades since the '60s hippie movement spawned a wave of farmers markets and food cooperatives. Times are indeed a-changin' as that counterculture movement goes mainstream, including government efforts to help close the "grocery gap" in low-income, urban neighborhoods. Published August 19, 2010


D.C. to reconsider picking up event tab

The nation's capital is a natural magnet for political rallies and sporting events, such as the annual National Marathon and two huge rallies that will be held Aug. 28, the anniversary of the March on Washington. Published August 17, 2010

DCGOP speaks out this year

Because Washington is a one-party town, D.C. Republicans sometimes can't get a word in edgewise. But don't expect them to be mum. Published August 16, 2010

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, is an advocate for the "ban the box" movement. (The Washington Times)

Former felons feel boxed in by crime question

Former felons and their advocates are becoming increasingly assertive in the national debate about crime, claiming that they are being discriminated against not just in matters of voting but also employment and housing. Published August 15, 2010

SIMMONS: Black Caucus weak on families

Dear Congressional Black Caucus members: Something is missing, and it's called family values. Do you prefer Republicans claim them as a conservative issue? Published August 12, 2010

Riders crowd the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station in the early morning on Inauguration Day 2010. **FILE**

Metro brawl spurs curfew debate in D.C.

D.C. scribes are questioning whether an earlier curfew would have thwarted the melee that broke out Friday night inside a Metrorail station in downtown Washington and scared the daylights out of everyone on the scene, but the politicians aren't so forthcoming. Published August 11, 2010

Clark Ray, a Democratic candidate for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, says that if elected, "We're going to focus on transparency of the budget and policy." (Photograph by Joel Lawson/Special to The Washington Times)

'Ray' of hope for D.C. Council?

Clark Ray has worked for Bill Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, and D.C. Mayors Anthony A. Williams and Adrian M. Fenty. As he goes door to door and runs from forum to forum in the race for an at-large D.C. Council seat, he informs voters of his Democratic pedigree. Published August 1, 2010

SIMMONS: Nation of plenty but also of laws

What do we want? What do they want? What do the countless people who have entered this country illegally or overstayed their welcome really want? They and their supporters say all they want is a better life for themselves and their families. Well, what the dickens do they think Americans want? Published July 29, 2010