Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest Column: Why I Support Vince Gray for Mayor

by John Chelen

I voted for Mayor Fenty in the last election.  After he was elected, I
liked his energy and decision to make education his number one priority.
But I gradually lost confidence in his ability to manage the
complexities the city faces. I didn't know Council Chairman Gray well
before the election, but since then I've watched him handle a range of
issues and listened to him speak. I'm now confident that he'll bring
much needed insight and judgment to our city during very difficult
economic times.

Perhaps one of the defining moments for me came during testimony before
the City Council. Attorney General Peter Nickles testified right after
me and actually said that he wanted to destroy government documents to
prevent them from being used as evidence against DC and its officials.
Even Council Member Cheh gasped at the misguided audacity of Nickles. I
wondered: why would Mayor Fenty keep such a man in his administration,
let alone rely on him?

Since then, I've seen that same "take-no-prisoners" approach
spread throughout the administration of this city. Even Chancellor Rhee,
whom I once adored for her tough management style, has exploited her
position to try to salvage Mayor Fenty's campaign.

So, why do I think Chairman Gray will be any better? He's proven to me
by his actions that his philosophy and judgment will benefit our city:

- Gray will put the needs of the city ahead of personal relationships,
as shown by his necessary effort to remove Council Member Barry from his
committee leadership.

- Gray understands the big picture. For example, he's identified the
totality of the social and cultural challenges we must face to improve
the performance of many DC students.

- Gray has shown that he can develop comprehensive solutions. Once again
with regard to education,he's proposed changes to the entire spectrum of
educational services that a municipality should provide that will help
our students become productive employable adults.

- Gray has notably demonstrated how a good leader also can be a team

So, I hope you vote for Vince Gray for Mayor. Our city needs his kind of
leadership. I also hope our Council Member Mary Cheh remembers Peter
Nickles' testimony and other ethical lapses of the Fenty administration
and endorses Vince.

We here in Ward 3 are regarded as the voters who may get to decide the
election. Please join me in supporting Vince to make sure we get an
entire management team which will benefit us all.

John Chelen is a Cleveland Park resident.  

1 comment:

  1. Why Gray? How the Sierra Club sees it

    Jim Dougherty is an environmental attorney. He is a member of the national board of directors of the Sierra Club and active in the DC chapter.

    He put together this post of why he and others at Sierra are supporting Vince Gray. Here's the link:

    John Campbell
    2601 Klingle Road NW