Featured Article

THE BARRAS REPORT: Black History Is American History

I fell out of love with Black History Month, as a separate event, decades ago. I make that confession not to cast aspersion on famed scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson, who created Negro History Week. Actually, I celebrated the fact that last year the National Park Service, spurred by District residents in the Shaw neighborhood, including Alexander Padro, dedicated a $1 million memorial park in Woodson’s honor, replete with a bronze sculpture. His former Ninth Street NW home has been declared a national historic site and is under renovation.

So, what’s my beef?

[continue reading...]

It Is Time for The Council Freshmen to Graduate

If a consultant created a PowerPoint org-chart of the current DC Council committees, it would resemble a mass of ill-defined squiggles. That design, seemingly lacking rhyme or reason, is the brainchild of the legislature’s chairman, Phil Mendelson (D).

The council may say, for example, the key to solving the city’s homeless crises is preserving and constructing affordable housing. But neither homeless issues nor the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) come under the purview of the legislature’s Committee on Housing and Community Development. Instead they are within the Committee of the Whole (COW), headed by Mendelson.

The COW is mess.

The Fatherless Woman Song:

“Father’s Day is a very difficult time for me. I don’t show it outwardly. In my childhood everybody had a daddy, except me. To me there is such a stigma attached to it. I feel so ashamed… Where is my daddy?” (Ivory N. Sanders, Baltimore)


For Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), 2015 may have felt like a never-ending round of political fights, as she sought to assert her executive privileges, control territory and launch somewhat controversial policies. But 2016 will make last year seem like a summer boat ride on the Potomac if former Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) implements his revenge scheme.

He has threatened to run for the DC Council, representing Ward 7 or serving in an at-large capacity. While he never made it to court or jail following an extensive federal investigation into corruption in his 2010 mayoral campaign, Gray’s comeback plan seems to have the contours of someone who did—Marion Barry.

THE BARRAS REPORT: Lawmakers Say Yes to Exelon-Pepco Merger

SEVEN D.C. Council members have come out in support of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s settlement reached with the Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings. They are urging the city’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve the merger between the two utilities. The deal, as negotiated by the mayor and her team, could mean $78 million in benefits for District residents.