Friday, May 14, 2010

At-large CM Phil Mendelson opposes streetcars; should be opposed for re-election

Via CM Tommy Wells' twitter feed.

CM Phil Mendelson is already notorious for killing any and all anti crime legislation through his role as the Chairman of DC Council's Public Safety and the Judiciary Committee. As the Police Union Spokesperson put it, "there's soft on crime, there's softer on crime, and then there's Phil Mendelson." Mendelson recently naively claimed that crime is "not a legislative problem."

Now CM Mendelson who is up for re-election for a District-wide At-large seat is speaking out against streetcars for H Street. Mendelson is facing a serious challenge from former DPR Director Clark Ray. ANC6A's Kelvin Robinson is also announcing his candidacy for the race. Mendelson's record on public safety issues already amply justified opposition to his re-election, but his recent opposition to streetcars dictates that any reasonable voters in Ward Six and the city's other eastern Wards should work hard to elect his replacement.

Streetcars on H Street have been strongly backed by Mayor Adrien Fenty, CM Tommy Wells and Council Chair candidate Kwame Brown. Mendelson's opposition appears to be the first attempt to stand in the way of the continued progress of the project along H Street by one of the city's elected leaders. It should not be forgotten at the polls in September.


  1. We residents of Ward6 and especially those living near the H street corridor want progress on the streetcars. I think so do all the H street businesses that have patiently endured the construction phases. We should not allow Phil Mendelsohn to have a hand in delaying them needlessly. Maybe his time on the Council needs to end.

  2. Mendelson is the patron saint of NIMBYs citywide. No surprise here really. From zoning overlays killing Cleveland Park, built on a decades-ago grasp of retail, to back channel enabling of obstruction to higher-density projects (esp. near Metro stations), and much more, Phil Mendelson is simply the best councilman for the 1980s.

  3. Interesting comments. The Street cars will happen, but it's a rather expensive boondoggle. I mean light-rail is great, but this project has dragged on for years and per DDOT wont be fully finished for some time to come. As a tax payer, I kinda wonder if it's all worth it, but we are in it too deep. As for Phil, he;s a good man. Process does matter, it is important to follow the rules. If he's found some that were broken or bent then we should listen. If he's blowing smoke then okay, that will come to light. However, the level heads are needed.

  4. Of course it's worth it. H St. is a burgeoning area. It's the next U St. Probably won't reach the same popularity, but it will be huge. The money poured into this streetcar will only benefit the area.

  5. Robby thx for warning us about the dangers when something drags on instead of moving forward.

    Gee which role does Mendo always play? He's the drag queen of Council. He and his staff and his personal colleague never have enough time to counsel "concerned citizens" on how to best lay down a thousand little roadblocks to any development that aims DC for a smart growth future.

    When you hear the word "process" from them, it means they weren't at the center of it. When they talk about delays, they never calculate their own creation of massive time sinkholes. And when you hear about costs, get out the laugh meter--they want no wires, which costs a lot more.

    Too bad Mendo has decided now to help cause trouble for streetcars, instead of sticking to his usual turf of dithering on crime. Hmmm wait we may benefit from the distraction actually.

  6. The "anonymous" mud-slinging undermines an otherwise useful blog.
    More to the point, who are the primary sources of the anti-Mendelson rhetoric? A tweet from a political competitor, and a carefully crafted quote from a police union official. Hey, I appreciate MPD as much as the next person, but a union official is hardly an unbiased source.

  7. OK "SeanO" with no profile.

    (And when you climb down off that high horse, maybe explain what in the world do police union issues have to do with Mendo blocking streetcars?)