by Tim Regan November 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm 2 Comments

Dupont Circle at nightDistrict residents in need of a post-election hug will be able to find one in Dupont Circle this evening.

A “solidarity hug-in” is scheduled to take place around the Dupont Circle fountain at 6:15 p.m., according to a Facebook event post.

Locals participating in the hug-in are instructed to turn on their phone flashlights when they arrive to show they’re in need of some TLC.

More information from the Facebook event page:

As an attempt to overcome the politics of hate and fear, let’s all get together and hug. If enough people show up, we’ll hold hands and sing, “This land is my land.” With some radical acceptance and love, maybe we can start understanding one another better and work together for a better world. I know a lot of us are feeling alone and distraught.

This is a simple way for us to remind ourselves that we are still here and we are still capable of love and hope. When you arrive, turn on the flashlight on your phone on so we know you’re there with us.

Those who can’t make it to the event but still want to participate can take a photo of themselves hugging someone and tag it with the hashtag #hugyourneighbor.

by Borderstan Contributor December 23, 2015 at 12:30 pm 0

Oberting Dave Hi Res Head ShotDave Oberting is a candidate for an at-large seat on the D.C. council in the November 2016 election.

The views and opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Borderstan.

I was born into a middle-class Midwestern family. Both my parents were teachers. They stayed married to each other for 37 years until my father passed away about a decade ago.

The neighborhoods I grew up in were safe and secure — the kind of neighborhoods where you could leave your door unlocked at night. Crime never entered my mind because there wasn’t any.

I spent twelve years in Catholic schools. They weren’t great schools, but they were safe. Aside from the occasional fist fight, there was no violence. There were no metal detectors. We learned the basics.

There was never any doubt that I would go to college — both my parents had master’s degrees. There was also never any doubt that my parents would pay for it so that I graduated debt-free.

And most importantly, there was never any doubt that there would be a good white-collar job waiting for me when I graduated with a clear pathway to a successful career. And here’s the key to my story — I took it all for granted. It was an entitlement. It was the definition of the American dream and it was mine by right.

We probably all define white privilege in different ways. For some, it’s a myth. For me, it was the right to pursue the American dream without obstacles or roadblocks.

Many African-Americans in the District of Columbia, and around the country for that matter, have been systematically denied the kinds of educational, economic and job opportunities that the typical Borderstan reader takes for granted.

Look at a typical African-American child born in the District today: that child has a 72 percent chance of being born to a single mother. That child has a 47 percent chance of being born to a single mother who lives in poverty. That child will live in a District where poverty has grown steadily since 1989.

That child has a 40 percent chance of never graduating from high school, and as an adult, he or she will have a 20 percent chance of being unemployed, and a 39 percent chance of living in poverty themselves.

If that child is a boy, he will be eight times more likely to spend time in prison than a white D.C. resident.

The median income for white District residents in 2014 was $113,631. The median income for African-Americans was $41,394. That child will also grow up in a District that has become steadily less equal for the past 40 years.

Most critically, the median white household in the U.S. in 2011 had a net worth of $111,146, while the median net worth of an African-American household was $7,113. There are many elements of racial justice, but when I think about District residents, what comes to mind first is finding some justice of the economic kind, which is primarily about the availability of and preparedness for good jobs.

Every District resident, regardless of skin color, is entitled to the privilege of taking a good education, good job training, and a good job for granted. Right now, they’re not getting it.

Sometimes we forget the full name of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pilgrimage to the nation’s capital in 1963 was the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” It was no typo that “jobs” came before “freedom” in the title. Dr. King knew the right to a decent full-time job is the most fundamental entitlement there is and the cornerstone of human freedom.

Here is what I believe: there is no justice without economic justice and there is no economic justice without economic growth.

The District government owes every African-American D.C. resident (and every other resident) an economy that grows fast enough to create a sufficient number of good jobs.

Since 2007, D.C.’s economy has grown at an average rate of 1.28 percent. That’s just not fast enough to get it done. The U6 unemployment rate (a broader measure of unemployment) is 11.6 percent.

For District residents who don’t hold a four-year college degree, the unemployment rate is 22 percent. The unemployment rate for white D.C. residents is 4.1 percent, for African-Americans it’s 20 percent.

If you agree the District’s economy isn’t growing fast enough, then it needs to be stimulated. Since there can be no deficit spending, what’s left are serious reforms to our tax and regulatory systems. Making the District a better, easier and less expensive place to do business is a prerequisite for the faster growth that creates more good jobs.

Secondly, too many District residents have not had the opportunity to acquire the skills that permit them to succeed in the middle-class jobs that do exist, and the ones that will exist in the first half of the 21st century. This is a failure, over two generations, of our education and workforce development systems.

Anyone who is pleased with the progress of either hasn’t been paying attention. We spend $125 million per year on job training that is largely obsolete and ineffective, and we do little to actually connect the graduates of that training to meaningful employment.

We are eight years and over $16 billion into “school reform,” but our results continue to lag. Yes, there has been some educational progress, but it hasn’t come nearly far enough, fast enough.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We’ve been executing on the same economic and education policies for two generations. Thousands of District residents have paid the price.

It’s time for a little anger and it’s time for a change.

Follow Dave Oberting on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

by Tim Regan September 28, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

Candidate Holly Biglow touched upon the St. Thomas Church development project in her speech

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated in August when Underhill moved to New York City. Earlier this month, you heard from Kupcinski. Now, here’s your chance to hear from Biglow:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

I’ve been in the neighborhood for six years. I love the neighborhood. I love my community. I love the diversity. I love what my neighborhood stands for. I want to be apart of it. I am apart of my condominium association, so I do like being involved however I can, especially regarding where I live.

You previously thought about running for this seat, didn’t you?

When Justine [Underhill] ran, I was also interested, but I met and I spoke to her and I didn’t go through with getting signatures or anything like that.

So you didn’t run, but you were thinking about it.

Exactly. I was just interested, but I met with her and she was very passionate about it, so I sort of stepped back.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

I know the St. Thomas Church project is a very large project. It’s very important to the community, so that will be the number one issue that will have to be addressed.

After that, I would like to work closely or continue to work with the surrounding businesses, such as the restaurants. I know there’s a lot more competition in D.C., which is driving a lot of patrons to go to different parts of D.C. I want to try to keep our area vibrant and as active as it currently it. I would definitely like to work more to try to keep the businesses in our area.

I think congestion will be addressed eventually. Traffic congestion. I’m not sure about people congestion, but I know that is a concern, especially considering the St. Thomas street project and some of the other condos that are being developed in the neighborhood, such as the Patterson House. That’s one of the things I would definitely like to keep an eye out on.

In what ways would you work with the businesses to keep patrons here?

I know that normally the businesses come to the ANC to get approval on their patios or what they can and can’t do in terms of their liquor license, or can they play music or not? I think just sort of working in that regard and being open-minded and looking in a business sense to make sure that I’m helping them to thrive and keep customers coming into our neighborhood.

I do know that the ANC scope is limited, but when they approach the ANC with things they might want to do to boost their business, instead of saying no, [I want to] look at it more like, we do want to keep people coming into the neighborhood, how can we work together and keep the neighborhood thriving?

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

Like I said in my speech at the last ANC meeting, I’m a very open-minded person. I like working with different organizations and coalitions. That would continue with any association if I were elected to the ANC.

How would you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

I’m a Facebook user. I would probably use Facebook and keep people updated through Facebook. That would be my route.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

Nothing that I can pinpoint right now. But I feel like the commissioners are easy to work with and they’re very nice people. I’m sure if something did come about, they would probably consider my suggestions if there’s anything that I think would need to be changed. The meetings run pretty smoothly.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

This interview was edited for length and clarity

by Tim Regan September 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm 4 Comments

John Kupcinski at anc2b meeting

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated last month when Underhill moved to New York City. Now, here’s your chance to hear from one of them.

We spoke with Kupcinski about some of the local issues he feels strongly about:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

John Kupcinski: I’ve been involved in neighborhood politics, I purchased my property about a year and a half ago or so. I made a fairly big investment. It’s the biggest purchase I’ll probably ever make in my entire life So I wanted to make a big investment in the community as well. I got involved with Church Street Neighbors. Meeting the people who are my neighbors, I’m a proponent of trying to make things better. I felt like this is one of the ways I could contribute to the community.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

First and foremost, … I’d like to try to [figure out] how the construction is going to happen [at the St. Thomas’ Parish], how the operations will work, how the pre-construction, construction will work. Just make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings. It’s going to be one of the biggest developments happening in 2B-07.

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

It’s important to have people’s voices heard. One of the things we’re blessed with in 2B-07 is that we have a lot of very active and engaged community members who have decided to participate in the political process. So that, I think, is a fantastic benefit and also something that can help whoever the ANC commissioner is in October. I would see those organizations as a conduit for ideas and to help out with initiatives and to be able to provide communication back and forth between constituent groups within the neighborhood.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

This is kind of a non-answer, but my perception has been on the other side of the microphone. So, I would need to get in and see the workings of how things are happening. I don’t know yet. But I am looking forward to working with everybody. I think that everybody in the ANC has a significant amount to give and contribute. They’ve made the neighborhood a better place to live in. I’m excited about working with everybody.

You said previously that, even if you don’t win the election, you’ll still be involved in the community. Are there specific things you’d undertake?

I’ve been very fortunate to, through this process, to meet a number of the different neighbors and develop a lot of close friendships. I would get involved in [Dupont Circle Citizens Association] or Church Street Neighbors or even work with a message board that people are active on within the community.

How will you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

My Twitter is very professional. Mostly articles that I think are interesting with respect to information security. One of the things that I would like to do is find a way to engage people on social media, whether that be on Twitter, create a 2B-07 media account. Using other blogs. I know the ANC has a blog. But I’d try to find as many ways to reach out to people.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

by Tim Regan August 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm 0

ANC 1B

ANC 1B needs another new commissioner.

The latest position opened when former commissioner Allyson Carpenter, 1B-10, said she planned to resign from the position because she is moving. The D.C. Board of Elections published the position opening on its website today.

The neighborhood commission last sought a new commissioner in June and July with the departure of Mitchel Herckis, 1B-04.

Want to be an ANC commissioner? To qualify for the election, candidates must live in 1B-10, which sits at the northeast corner of the ANC’s boundary.

Potential candidates must also solicit signatures from local residents.

If no one applies for candidacy, the D.C. Board of Elections will continue to declare the vacancy until a candidate steps forward.

Locals can pick up nominating petitions at the D.C. Board of Elections office located at 441 4th Street NW.

Image via Facebook.com/ANC1B

by Borderstan.com October 9, 2008 at 9:29 pm 0

Borderstan's Diane Tucker is blogging for The Huffington Post's campaign series, "Off the Bus."

Diane Tucker

Borderstanian Diane Tucker has a posting today on The Huffington Post about military families and how they may vote on November 4, “Younger Military Families Closing Ranks Around Obama.” Tucker is blogging for The Huffington Post as part of its “Off the Bus” campaign coverage series:

QUANTICO, Va. — One of the largest U.S. marine bases in the world is located in Quantico, a tidy town with scant election fanfare. Everyone who lives here just assumes Republicans have a lock on the military vote. And so when Obama signs began to appear, tongues began to wag.

“At first I was worried about how my neighbors would view it,” said former marine corporal Dawn Jennings, 31, who bravely put an Obama sign in the center of her front yard. Jennings told OffTheBus that Quantico is the “kind of place where they’ll ask you to remove an Obama bumper sticker from your car.”

Read entire post.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list