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Posts in "Ward 6"
June 10, 2014
Betsy Poos tries to keep politics out of the classroom at Capitol Hill Yoga.
The co-owner of the Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast studio spent a decade working for members of Congress and the Democratic Party before opening, in March 2009, the small business six blocks from the Capitol. When teaching, her classroom philosophy is: “This is the time to let your day job go.”
But a tax change working its way through the D.C. Council has recently caused Poos to “measure the line” on her credos. The city is looking at implementing a 5.75 percent sales tax on gyms, yoga studios and other health club services as part of its fiscal 2015 budget, part of an effort to revise its tax structure and reduce the overall burden on D.C. residents. Poos and other wellness practitioners are worried the proposal will hurt their industry.
June 2, 2014
In response to a series of violent robberies around the Capitol Hill neighborhood, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells wants to increase lighting in the area.
Brightening the dark areas around the Hill is tricky, however, because a large part of the neighborhood falls within a historic district. Wells says that designation makes “acquisition and installation of new equipment a complicated and lengthy process.”
To help increase lighting, he wants to trim back the trees and foliage that tend to create dark areas on the leafy, green streets around Capitol Hill. Wells will be working with the Urban Forestry unit of the D.C. Department of Transportation, the agency responsible for street lighting under the Home Rule Act, to ensure trees are not blocking lamp posts and to identify areas that could benefit from additional lighting. Full story
April 2, 2014
Late Tuesday, on the top floor of a Pennsylvania Avenue bar near the Capitol, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells capped a speech to supporters of his failed mayoral bid with a call to action: “Onward!”
Wells’ third-place finish in the April 1 Democratic primary means the 57-year-old Southerner will be out of elected office at year’s end.
He credits his 2006 election with ushering in “the beginning of progressive Democrats in D.C.” and believes councilmembers he’s endorsed, including David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and likely Ward 6 successor Charles Allen, formerly his chief of staff, will continue to work toward the shared goals of good government, smart growth and a city “where corporations are not the prime movers.”
“I think I have kicked off a progressive movement that may have, would have happened anyway,” Wells said in an election eve interview with CQ Roll Call at his Southeast D.C. campaign headquarters. “I’m just the person people gravitated to.” Full story
Ward 6 Democrats picked Charles Allen to replace his former boss, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, in Tuesday’s primary election.
Opponent Darrel Thompson, who resigned his post in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office to launch his campaign, officially conceded the race around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, with D.C. Board of Elections results showing Allen leading by fewer than 2,000 votes.
Wells applauded his former chief of staff around midnight, when Allen opened up a double-digit point lead in the race.
“I congratulate my opponent for a hard-fought nomination and hope to work with him to make sure that all of our neighborhoods receive the progress they deserve,” Thompson said in a Wednesday morning statement thanking his supporters.
Thompson’s concession came after a long, slow vote count that frustrated many election watchers. Full story
Residents of Ward 6 have trusted D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells to represent their interests on the D.C. Council since his 2006 election.
Early Wednesday morning, it appeared Democratic voters picked his longtime chief of staff — Charles Allen — to replace him. Allen had approximately 58 percent of the vote, with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting, leading opponent Darrel Thompson, who brought impressive congressional credentials to the race.
The D.C. Board of Elections was still calculating electronic ballots, and neither candidate had declared victory or conceded in the race as night became morning in Washington.
Venturing off the Capitol campus in any direction on Tuesday likely brought Capitol Hill folk face-to-face with volunteers from both campaigns. Ward 6 touches all four quadrants of the city and encompasses the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Royal blue Charles Allen yard signs, affixed with black stickers boasting his Washington Post endorsement, lined local sidewalks alongside navy blue Darrel Thompson yard signs. Full story
April 1, 2014
District voters registered as “no party” who turn out to the polls today may be offered the chance to cast a provisional ballot, but it probably won’t be counted.
Those who are not registered as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or D.C. Statehood Green Party member “wouldn’t be able to vote today,” D.C. Board of Elections spokeswoman Tamara L. Robinson said Tuesday.
The deadline to change party registration was March 4.
Local voters who wish to register or update their information can apply for same-day registration at their local polling place on primary day, but party changes are not allowed after the deadline. Registration applicants must present proof of residence, such as a driver’s license, paycheck, lease, utility bill or bank statement showing an address in the District.
All 143 polling precincts will be open until 8 p.m. tonight. Those who aren’t sure where to vote can find there location by entering their home address on the BOE site.
March 31, 2014
Inviting in a former House majority leader and presidential candidate to ring doorbells in southeast Washington could seem like calling in the big dogs for a D.C. Council campaign.
“Some may say that,” Ward 6 candidate Darrel Thompson acknowledged last week as he sat near the window at Eastern Market’s Peregrine Espresso, waiting on Missouri Democrat Richard A. Gephardt, a 28-year veteran of Capitol Hill. But then again, as D.C. voters pull the lever in Tuesday’s primary, what separates winners from losers is likely to be a mere handful of votes.
“Dick was in my wedding. He’s a mentor and a friend,” Thompson said, reflecting on the lessons he learned while working on Gephardt’s 2004 presidential campaign.
In the race to fill D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells’ seat, Thompson’s opponent in the April 1 primary, former Wells chief of staff Charles Allen, appears to have momentum.
March 26, 2014
Similarities between the two Democrats campaigning to represent Capitol Hill on the D.C. Council — Charles Allen and Darrel Thompson — are striking.
On everything from sports stadiums to transportation, the two Democratic candidates have a shared vision for Ward 6 and both push nearly identical platforms on social issues. In the April 1 primary, the question will likely come down to which candidate voters trust to see it through.
Both men are backing the $390-million 11th Street Bridge project, envisioned as a way to alleviate interstate traffic and connect Ward 6 to Wards 7 and 8 on the east side of the Anacostia River.
They both want to look at re-routing the CSX’s proposed Virginia Avenue tunnel project, saying residents in Southeast D.C. have expressed too many concerns with the current path.
Allen, the former longtime chief of staff for current Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, said in a Tuesday night Washington City Paper debate that he would “demand” the railroad network not transport hazardous materials through the neighborhood. Full story