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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


President of UDC feels heat for travel spending

UDC President Allen Sessoms is in the proverbial hot seat. Students are calling for his ouster, news reports say he spends exorbitant sums on his travels, and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown is demanding straight answers on spending questions. Published March 6, 2011

D.C. bill to allow weddings by notary seen aiding gays

The Marriage Officiant Amendment Act, introduced Tuesday by council members David Catania, Mary Cheh and Jack Evans, would, if passed, permit notaries in D.C. to officiate at civil marriage ceremonies. Published March 1, 2011

**FILE** Kwame R. Brown. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. Council bill to curb SUV abuses

Neither D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray nor City Administrator Allen Y. Lew appears to have lost confidence in the District's public works chief despite a new report that calls "illegal" the leasing or purchase of several dozen SUVs, including one for Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown. Published February 28, 2011

SIMMONS: Bad bargaining and good sports

Imagine a wide world of professional sports with only soccer and hockey. It's unlikely, but possible. But don't dip into your season-ticket stash just yet. Published February 24, 2011

D.C. mayor cautioned on scrapping vouchers

Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman and Susan Collins warned D.C. leaders Wednesday that funding for public schools could be jeopardized if legislation to restore and expand a voucher program for low-income families is rejected. Published February 16, 2011

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

D.C. Council race to test Gray clout

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray will get an early test of his political capital in the April 26 special election to fill a City Council vacancy, and members of both parties already say the new mayor is misreading the tea leaves. Published February 10, 2011

SIMMONS: Playing games on D.C. statehood

Well, Dear Readers, the D.C. statehood crowd is at it again. Instead of launching a serious, concerted national effort with arguments that appeal to Americans everywhere, they are back to their old incestuous ways. Published February 10, 2011

D.C. Council head Brown seeks outside help with finances

As D.C. leaders prepare to defend the city's strong credit ratings on Wall Street on Thursday, council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said he wants to bring on a financial adviser to aid lawmakers as they begin work with new Mayor Vincent C. Gray on the city's budget. Published February 8, 2011

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier (Associated Press)

Cameras in more places for more uses in D.C.

The District of Columbia's top security chiefs are planning to expand their use of electronic surveillance by issuing tickets for more traffic offenses, integrating thousands of private and public cameras into a single feed and adding portable cameras that can be positioned to peek into any neighborhood. Published February 3, 2011

SIMMONS: Path to success has fork in road

Is the college-for-all pathway the only road to success? President Obama doesn't seem to think so, and the proof is smacking us in the face. Published February 3, 2011

FOCUSED: New D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown says the governing body won't be just a rubber stamp. (Rod Lamkey Jr./Special to The Washington Times)

D.C. Council chairman declares independence

Kwame R. Brown doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a liberal or conservative, although at times he sounds more like House Republicans John A. Boehner and Darrell Issa than House Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Eleanor Holmes Norton. Published February 2, 2011

Snowstorm leaves D.C. area feeling powerless

Whatever could go wrong in the region's first major snow dump of the year did go wrong, from traffic gridlock and extensive power outages to slick, snow-covered city streets that even seasoned mass-transit drivers couldn't negotiate. Published January 27, 2011

Boehner backs revived school voucher plan

New House Speaker John A. Boehner formally endorsed a bill Wednesday to revive and expand the school voucher program for the District of Columbia, calling it "a model for similar programs throughout our country." Published January 26, 2011

Boehner-backed bill to boost D.C. school vouchers introduced

New GOP House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday formally endorsed a new bill to revive and enlarge the District of Columbia's school voucher program, increase the amount of individual scholarships, mandate a rigorous evaluation of the program and incorporate several changes requested by Democrats. Published January 26, 2011