- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Now hear this

Statehood and voting rights remain critical issues for the nation’s capital. Since residents have renewed their push for full enfranchisement, editors and reporters of The Washington Times queried D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, a native Washingtonian, on the topic during a Sept. 8 interview. President Obama should do more, Mr. Gray said, especially because the city overwhelmingly supported the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008.

“He is an incredibly eloquent and brilliant man who has tremendous influence both of because of who he is personally as well as being the president of the United States,” said Mr. Gray, “and I think his vocal support of the issue could really have helped to move this along more quickly than it has.”

D.C. lawmakers have held several hearings on statehood this year, and Mr. Gray’s charge of hypocrisy seemingly summed up their sentiment.

“It seems incredibly hypocritical to me that we live in a nation that was founded on taxation without representation, that people died to be able to establish the independence of this nation, and yet we won’t afford the same rights to the people of the District of Columbia,” Mr. Gray said.

Parents mad at Fenty

Parents and child care workers at City Hall on Tuesday were mad as heck but didn’t know what would be done about the Fenty administration’s closure of 13 city-run day care centers.

The last of about 160 child care workers could lose their jobs Friday.

The federally funded programs, run by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, will be privatized as a cost-saving measure.

On Tuesday, parents, community activists and day care workers protested in front of the John A. Wilson Building near the White House.

Their demand: Restore jobs and child care services.

Their chant: “One-term mayor.”

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