Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.
I have confidence in the policies we advocate here on Greater Greater Washington. They’re not helping one group at the expense of another, but best for DC as a whole. Vince Gray will thoughtfully listen to opinions and then pick the best course of action. Because I’m confident that will fit with our ideas when we can back them up, I’m voting for Vince Gray tomorrow.
Gray has said he’s for Smart Growth. He has made clear that he’s for bike lanes, and his comments about the Pennsylvania Avenue lane were about process, not about the value of lanes. At Thursday’s sustainability forum, he also confirmed that he supports bus lanes despite how he’d been quoted in the past. He’s repeatedly insisted he’s for streetcars.
He does want to roll back meter hours, though, but I believe after he learns more about parking he’d agree we should only roll them back in some areas and not others.
If he’s elected mayor, I intend to hold him to these promises, and push him to make real progress. I’ll organize people on the blog and in person to rally to continue the valuable Fenty initiatives and to engage on some of the necessary issues that the Fenty administration has neglected.
I’m sure I will disagree with some of his decisions. But I disagree with a lot of what Fenty does. If, and when, Gray does something I think is wrong, I’ll say so. I’ll push him to be the best possible Mayor, to hire A+ people just like some of Fenty’s appointments, but without some of the C- people Fenty also has in the mix.
As Council Chair, Gray was always straightforward about his beliefs. He listened to everyone, often in many hearings, but then he took the position he thought was right. He didn’t tell one group he agreed with them and then vote another way. If he says he’s now thought about transportation and development issues and decided he supports bike lanes, streetcars and more, then I believe him.
I care about having an executive branch that actually respects the legislature and tries to follow laws. I care about sunshine and honesty in the government. And I care about not leaving groups of residents out of economic progress.
A friend recently encapsulated the race in a great way: Fenty and Gray both share a vision for a “world-class city,” which has good schools, a strong tax base including more residents and more jobs besides the government, more transportation choices besides driving, and a healthy and prosperous populace. Fenty is focused on getting us there as fast as possible, and if some people are left behind, well, a rising tide lifts all boats. Gray, meanwhile, will focus a little bit more on getting us there together. And getting there together is important to me.
Gray will push early childhood education and community college education a little harder than Fenty has. When a piece of public property is being sold off for development, Gray will push a little more for a good project with meaningful community support instead of just getting a deal signed as fast as possible. That will mean fewer projects on public land, but it will also probably mean better projects.
I’m voting for Gray tomorrow because I believe Gray has been honest about supporting the policies we like, and will come to the right conclusions after listening to us and to everyone else as well. If he wins, I’ll push him through insiders and from the blog to hire the best people and keep some of the best Fenty people on, and then keep pushing him as mayor to do the right thing for everyone in DC.