- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Fundraiser for Woodlawn Cemetary
Rep. Ernest Istook is helping to raise $300,000 in federal funds for restoring the historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Southeast, where about 35,000 blacks are interred.
Mr. Istook, Oklahoma Republican, requested funds to restore the 23-acre private cemetery in a letter to Rep. Joe Knollenberg, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on the District.
Many black leaders from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are interred at Woodlawn, including John Langston, the first black elected to public office in Virginia and the commonwealth's first black congressman, and Blanche K. Bruce, the first black to complete a full term in the U.S. Senate.
Located in the 4600 block of Benning Road SE, Woodlawn was constructed in 1885 for black citizens in the far eastern section of the District who had no access to cemeteries in the northwest quadrant.
The cemetery is overgrown with weeds, wild trees and bushes, obscuring many gravestones.

Growing support
A group of veterans has announced its support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark L. Earley, who in turn committed himself to supporting a second veterans' care center in Virginia. The state is now served by one in Roanoke.
Mr. Earley also promised to support improved maintenance and staffing at veterans' cemeteries. He said he supports funding for recording and saving the war recollections of Virginia veterans and for an effort to create mobile veterans' facilities offering dental care, food and substance abuse treatment and other services.
Surrounded by about two dozen former servicemen, Mr. Earley spoke yesterday at the Virginia War Memorial, just down the street from the proposed site of the new veterans' care center. The federal government already has pledged $19 million for the project, and Mr. Earley said he would guarantee $10 million from Virginia to complete the project over the next four years.
Adrian Cronauer, whose service in Vietnam was chronicled in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam," said another reason vets are backing Mr. Earley is his support for legislation outlawing desecration of the U.S. flag.
Mr. Earley, who plans to celebrate Independence Day at Lee District Park in Franconia, also has received the endorsement of the 65,000 member Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA). "I am honored to receive the endorsement of the men and women who work tirelessly to keep our families and communities safe," he said.
James Fotis, executive director of LEAA, said, "While other political candidates only talk tough when it come to crime and supporting law enforcement, Mark Earley's actions speak far louder than empty words."

Missing the count
The District had the fifth worst undercount rate in the country in the 2000 census, with 2.15 percent or 12,570 persons missed in the head count, according to estimates released Monday by the U.S. Census Monitoring Board.
"My concern is that more that 6.4 million people **mostly black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific islander, urban and rural poor and children** were missed. If the Census Bureau doesn't see the importance of this, it's our duty to provide Congress and the American people with our expert analysis," said Gilbert F. Casellas, president and co-chairman of the Monitoring Board.
Mr. Casellas said people at the state and county levels have been demanding release of the census figures, but their requests "have fallen on deaf ears."
The Census Bureau has refused to abide by congressional statutes and Freedom of Information laws for requests for access to census data, he said."Taxpayers paid more than $6.5 billion for the census, and they deserve to see all the census results," he said.

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