- The Washington Times - Monday, March 5, 2018

Madame Mayor, as a Christian woman, you’re probably quite aware that John 8:32 offers powerful advice for people, including those running so fast they’re likely to meet themselves turning the corner.

Well, the race for your re-election began four years ago, and now you must pause.

Antwan Wilson, the man you chose for schools chancellor, told The Washington Post on Monday that he told you in September that he had received permission to transfer his daughter from one elite public school, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, to another, Woodrow Wilson High. Without batting an eye, you apparently thought neither long nor hard about the details.

You should have, however. For a runner, Mr. Wilson’s claim pains the Achilles’.

Mr. Wilson’s predecessor, Kaya Henderson, is credited with many of the improvements in the bureaucracy of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS).

Ms. Henderson’s legacy was substantially credited to get-it-done Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who brought Ms. Henderson on as her deputy.

While neither of their tenures was squeaky clean, the current scandals mock your legacy, Madame Mayor. Recall, you anointed yourself the “education mayor.”

So, here’s where you are at this junction. The city isn’t holding its breath for you to cross the re-election victory line in June because nobody’s challenging your run.

The Republican Party is not challenging you.

The Libertarian Party is not challenging you.

The Statehood Green Party is not challenging you, either, but the D.C. Board of Elections gives testament to your Democratic Party by misspelling the street address of widely known Statehood Green candidate David Schwartzman. (Donations could be stamped “return to sender.”)

That the District’s Republican and Libertarian parties are essentially hibernating is not unusual. As the titular head of the Dems, you know the parties merely have to run nominal candidates in nominal races to stay active, and, yawn, that’s what they’ve been doing.

The banner, then, for democracy is in your hands, Madame Mayor. It is your responsibility to urge and encourage candidate competition and public participation, whether you ideologically agree with the opposition or not.

And because all politics is local, you should also push for platforms that are relevant, not merely convenient.

It’s unfortunate, Madame Mayor, that you have not drained the swamp, perhaps unconcerned with the thought because President Trump said it first or because the swamp keepers are union workers who don’t like innovation, game-changers or trying to find a box so they can think outside the box.

Indeed, a wise political scientist who could quote the Bible as readily as a street preacher, once told me that if you’ve got a crew of people who ask “how high” when you say “let’s do this,” you’re doomed. (Ask one-termers Vince Gray and Adrian Fenty.)

The swamp is littered with politicians and policymakers of all stripes and ages, and they’ll drag you to their depths if you don’t get out of line.

Collect the facts, the truth and your thoughts, Madame Mayor, because as you know the minds being lost in the DCPS s … hole are your fault.

The D.C. Council is calling for an investigation based on what Mr. Wilson told The Post, and that means you have two choices. One is to testify before the council so that you speak for yourself and not via another government mouthpiece. Or you can hold a press conference and call Mr. Wilson a liar in your words at your own microphone.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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