Sunday, July 25, 2004

CITY HALL: Coalition Pushes Effort to Recall Mayor

The group Save Our City was out in full force this weekend collecting signatures to get a measure put on the November D.C. ballot that would recall Mayor Anthony Williams (D). A group of progressives, Democrats and Republicans, a recall signature gatherer told me, was determined to meet a July 28 deadline.

Why are the activists angered by Mayor Williams? Save Our City cites five reasons:
1) On health care, Williams closed D.C. General Hospital over the objections of the city council, saying in The Washington Post that "D.C.'s poor don't need a hospital."
2) On education, the mayor "refuses to fully fund public schools and libraries," while he doesn't "work with his own appointees" on the school board.
3) On housing, Williams isn't doing much to help low- and middle-income Washingtonian homeowners while pushing for numerous luxury residential development."
4) On crime, there is too much crime.
5) On D.C. democracy, Williams "a 'Non Homeowner,' suspended constitutional democracy by renouncing 'Hard-fought Home Rule' won by citizens decades ago when he wasn't even in the city."

It is unclear whether enough signature have been gathered. Considering that there have been two past voter referendums that have been embroiled in signature-gathering scandals (Mayor Williams' last re-election and the slots facility in Northeast), "we're doing everything by the book," a Save Our City signature gatherer told me on Saturday on a Northwest D.C. sidewalk.


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