by November 15, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,731 0

On Tuesday former DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown faced sentencing in federal court and the DC Superior Court.

In June, Brown resigned from the City Council after pleading guilty to bank fraud for lying on two bank loan applications a few years prior and for violating campaign finance laws.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Brown was sentenced in federal court (for bank fraud) to one day in custody and six months of home detention. In the afternoon, Brown was sentenced to two years of probation and 480 hours of community service (for the campaign finance violations).

So now we ask you, Borderstan: Do you think justice has been served?

[poll id=”35″]


by June 7, 2012 at 7:42 am 2,508 2 Comments

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

DC, Council, Wilson, Building

The DC Council is based at the Wilson Building, 14th and Pennsylvania NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Now slightly less fully loaded, Kwame Brown announced his resignation from the City Council on Wednesday. The now former chairman of the DC Council admitted in his resignation letter to lying on his bank loan application a few years ago and apologized for any “negative attention” his conduct has brought.

DCist tracked the story and has his resignation letter, Mayor Gray’s reaction and the earliest rumors of his resignation. In the meantime, Councilmember Mary Cheh will be interim chair and the Council will choose a replacement from the At-Large pool of members next Wednesday — Phil Mendelson and Vincent Orange, both Democrats, and David Catania and Michael A. Brown, both Independents. BTW, The Washington Post has already made its choice: Mendelson.

UPDATE: Washington City Paper is reporting that Brown has now been charged for “violating the District’s campaign finance laws during his 2008 re-election campaign.”

With several members potentially considering a run for mayor, it will be quite interesting to see who makes a move,who receives support and from where that support originates. Hat tip to DCist for great coverage of this breaking story. The Council will meet June 13 says The Post, to select a temporary replacement until a special election can be held, which must happen no later than 114 days after Brown’s resignation. By our math, that means an election must be prior to late September.

There is also a caveat that comes with being Council chairman — no outside income (like the mayorship). DC councilmembers area allowed to earn as much as money as they want from outside jobs. So, who is willing to give up the extra bucks for a shot at being Council Chairman? It’s a pay raise from the $125,000 for being a plain old councilmember to $190,000 for being chairman.

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by June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,193 2 Comments

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

Given Mayor Vincent Gray’s legal troubles and Chairman of the Council Kwame Brown still under investigation, it seems to have created an open field for the Mayor’s seat. Or so the The Washington Post would have you believe.

"DC Wilson Building"

The Wilson Building is home to the DC Government. (D.C. Council website.)

It seems they believe the leading contenders — noted, this means those that have taken steps to consider a bid, not their endorsement — may be Muriel Bowser, an African-American Washingtonian in her second term as Councilmember of Ward 4; long-time Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6). Ward 2 includes the Dupont and Logan neighborhoods.

When asked about possible mayoral aspirations, Evans’ office provided the following statement from the Ward 2 councilmember: “Right now, I remain focused on Ward 2 and the work of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. Like most elected officials, I always aspire to higher office and if an opportunity were to present itself, I would certainly consider it.”

What is notable about that list is not that all are sitting councilmembers; it’s that two of the three are white. DC has had an African American mayor since ‘home rule’ — when DC was allowed to begin governing itself in the 1970s — and it seems this could possibly be the election to break that streak.

Washington City Paper seems less than satisfied with the list of prospective candidates posed by the Post in their comment, “yeesh.” The city’s demographic trends make a strong white candidate a distinct possibility. We will all have to see who emerges as the front-runner to take hold of a fractious council and ongoing budget turmoil.

What a lucky person they will be, regardless of pigmentation! All kidding aside, the district is changing in demographics, income and goals. The next mayor will have a large hand in the path forward and in defining what direction counts as forward. Read up and get engaged, already.

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by May 29, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,512 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Last week the DC Council passed Mayor Vincent Gray’s 2013 budget proposal with an unusual absence of tax increases. Final approval is scheduled for June 5.

DC bars will be able to serve alcohol one hour later on selected holidays. (One Photograph A Day)

The Council chose spending cuts rather than tax hikes to close its projected $172 million budget gap. Still, council members made sure to assemble a quarter-billion dollar “wish list” of additional spending should tax revenue exceed projections for the coming fiscal year.

As the Washington Blade‘s Mark Lee points out, in true DC tradition, it did not occur to councilmembers to plan to reduce business or personal income taxes in the District, where they are the second and fourth highest in the country, respectively.

Of note, the DC budget partially implements Mayor Gray’s now-famous proposal for a one-hour extension of alcohol service period at city restaurants, bars and hotels, as a way of generating tax revenue and balancing the District budget.

Although the Mayor’s original proposal failed to pass the Council, Chairman Brown’s compromise was approved — providing for later service hours on the night before all federal and DC holidays, Friday through Sunday preceding Memorial Day and Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve and July 4 when they fall on a Monday.

Amidst their relatively rare instance of tax moderation, DC officials relished the comparison between itself and neighboring Maryland, which this week approved a series of tax hikes. “Thank God Maryland keeps raising their taxes, one of these days they’re going to catch up to us,” Brown quipped.

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by April 9, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,367 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Washington Times reports that the effort to recall Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown has fizzled. Fred Butler, who was organizing the effort, believes the ethics infractions of the city’s top officials will be revealed by ongoing federal investigations, and that his supporters’ money could be better used elsewhere.

Vincent Gray, Kwame, Brown, Luis, Gomez, Photos

Organizer Fred Butler drops effort to recall Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown.(Luis Gomez Photos)

Among other obstacles, Butler faced a tight deadline by which he needed to turn in 45,000 signatures from city residents. And that was just to get the ball rolling. From there, Butler faced a long, expensive road and near-insurmountable odds of getting Gray and/or Brown removed from office.

But perhaps the greatest challenge to the recall effort was visibility, or a lack thereof. During the lead-up to last week’s primaries, Butler’s organization was weak at best, with little to no presence around the city as voters went to the polls.

Butler’s attempt joins a handful of other failed recall efforts in the District’s 34-year history of home rule.

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by August 17, 2011 at 8:00 am 2,214 1 Comment

DC parking app, Borderstan

The city’s Pay by Phone parking app started showing up all over the Borderstan area recent weeks. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and  tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at [email protected].

Parkmobile Parking App Reviewed

As we all learned in Borderstan etiquette class, there are many drivers/parkers in our area. Presumably, you are occasionally forced to leave the hood and/or pay for parking in it. So you may find We Love DC‘s review of DDOT’s Parkmobile app, which will allow drivers to use their mobile phones to make payment to the meters. Early reviews? Plenty of room for improvement.


by July 27, 2011 at 8:30 am 2,265 0

14th Street, MatchBox, Ted's Bulletin, Luis Gomez Photos

MatchBox will open at the northeast corner of 14th and T Streets NW. Cafe Saint-Ex is to the south and Policy is across the street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster.

Ted’s Bulletin and Matchbox Coming to Borderstan!

Good news for Borderstanis who love supporting local chains — the matchbox group is bringing two of their restaurants to our ‘hood.  For those in need of a chilly adult-beverage, Ted’s Bulletin will be bringing their shakes, the tasty homemade pop tarts and all the other goodies to us. Washington City Paper reports that restaurant will be one of two tenants at District Condos on 14th Street.  As things cool down, you can warm up with a woodfired pizza from Matchbox, also brought to our attention by Washington City Paper. That’s delicious news!


by April 6, 2011 at 5:00 am 1,691 0

Dupont, Logan, U Street, Borderstan

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street (mostly).

By Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed on Twitter @MichLancaster.

Holy Crazy Weather, Batman!

Our area got pounded by early morning storms after a glorious spring day on Monday. Reagan National experienced a 33 degree swing in temperature in less than 24 hours, reports the Capital Weather Gang over at the The Washington Post. It should calm down out there tomorrow leading to a nice weekend, but in the meantime check out some awesome images from Sunday’s storm shot by Maxwell Kruger.

What Does Your Neighborhood Have to Do with Your Dating Life?

DCist has a very cool map that overlays the local neighborhoods in DC with the most frequently used words in residents dating profiles. Our area includes some that make sense (‘political’, ‘culture’ and ‘book’) and then some that give me pause (‘astrology’, ‘lunatic’ and ‘Kazakhstan’). It’s worth a peek.


by February 23, 2011 at 5:00 am 1,489 0

Dupont, Logan, U Street, Borderstan

News from the Dupont-Logan-U Street area (mostly).

From Michelle Lancaster. Got news for Michelle? Send her an email.

Rollin’ with Kwame

What do you need in order to do your job as DC City Council Chairman, as the city faces severe budget shortfalls and turmoil over a contentious primary? Why, order a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator, of course! The Washington Post used FOIA to nab emails that indicate his office insisted that it be black, inside and out, with a moonroof, DVD system and polished aluminum wheels. His defense? “We just asked for an SUV.” *****UPDATE: As of writing, Brown has returned the vehicle, according to the Post. Who says nothing happens quickly in DC politics?!***** Also, check out the take on the whole rolling-mess (we can’t help ourselves) over at 14th & You: “Navigating” DC’s budget: What does $90,000 get you?


by August 24, 2010 at 10:10 am 1,514 0

Clark Ray is running against Phil Mendelson in the September 14 Democratic primary for an At-Large Council seat. (Luis Gomez Photos)

A candidate forum this evening at 12th and U NW will feature candidates in two high-profile races in the September 14 Democratic primary.

Council Chairman. Invited candidates for the DC Council chairman spot are Kwame Brown and Vincent Orange as well as Dorrothy Douglas and Ann Wilcox. (See the results of Borderstan’s reader poll.)

At-Large Council seat. Candidates in the at-large race are incumbent Phil Mendelson and his main challenger, Clark Ray, as well as Michael D. Brown.

Location is the True Reformer Building (Marsh Conference Room) at 1200 U Street NW. The meet-and-greet starts at 6 pm with the program running from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Tonight’s forum is sponsored by DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, DC Jobs Council, DC Jobs with Justice, Defeat Poverty DC, District Alliance for Safe Housing, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition, Latino Economic Development Corporation, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Wider Opportunities for Women.

Full disclosure: Borderstan’s editors are supporting Ray in his Council bid. We knew him prior to launching

by August 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm 2,142 0

Vincent Orange’s road map to victory on September 14 probably doesn’t run through the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Orange, who is running for DC Council Chairman, got only 9% (with leaners) of reader votes in this week’s Borderstan poll. The easy winner among Borderstan readers was Councimember Kwame Brown with 66%, including leaners.

Orange, a former member of the DC Council from Ward 5, is the underdog, citywide, against Brown–all bets are on Brown to win.

The number of undecideds in the poll was 25%–with 17% checking “Undecided: Who are these guys?” Obviously, one in six readers have no idea who Brown or Orange are or their positions.

  • Strongly for Kwame Brown – 54%
  • Leaning toward Kwame Brown – 12%
  • Strongly for Vincent Orange – 3%
  • Leaning toward Vincent Orange – 6%
  • Undecided: Who are these guys? – 17%
  • Undecided even though I know the candidates – 8%

Note to newcomers: The chairman of the DC Council is the 13th member of the Council. Eight members are elected from wards and four more are elected at large.


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