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“IT is okay for this government to work with its own [local] businesses,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser told more than 100 small business owners and their staff during a ceremony held at The Hamilton where she was named CBE [Certified Business Enterprise] Champion for 2016. “It’s okay to say everybody that works for me is going to follow that policy.”

Those remarks were a not so subtle slap at Ward 3’s Mary Cheh, who was convening a “closed-door public hearing,” into allegations that Bower had interfered in the procurement process at the Department of General Services to benefit a campaign donor. In the process the DGS director had resigned and two employees had been fired. Not without good reason, seemed to be Bowser’s point, which resonated with folks in the audience, many of whom couldn’t fathom that the legislature failed to understand its responsibility to promote DC businesses and residents first.

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Esther Productions Inc,’s Fatherless Daughter Reconciliation Project recently celebrated the successful implement of THE GIFT: An Interactive Arts Healing and Reconciliation Experience. Phase 2 of that program–Daughters Circle–continueson Dec. 10. For more information check out www.estherproductionsinc.com or write to estherproductionsinc@gmail.com

Healing Fatherless Girls and Women

Each day, tens of thousands of young girls and women struggle with the affects of father absence. They may have lost the first man in their lives because of death. Most often, however, the culprit is divorce or separation; their father and mother never married. Whatever the cause, the results can be devastating.

Many of these fatherless girls and women grappled with hidden or unexpressed grief. All too often their pain has been allowed to simmer, frequently misdirecting their lives. It can transform into rage and anger that morphs into violent behavior perpetrated against themselves or others. Their father absence pain can also send them on an endless search for love in all the wrong places, leading to teen or unplanned pregnancies. Sometimes these girls and women overcompensate. Other times, their pain may prompt them to reach for various substances that provide temporary relief but lead to a destructive, downward spiral of abuse.

ANITA BONDS: DC Renters’ Gladiator

DC At-large Councilmember Anita Bonds has picked a fight with the city’s landlords, hitting them where they are likely to hurt most: in their wallets. She has introduced or co-introduced several legislative proposals destined to reform the city’s rent-control law, including the Rental Housing Affordability Stabilization Act of 2016, which would recalculate annual allowable increases on apartments and discontinue hikes in rents on vacant units

Park Southern Tenants’ Hard Road to Victory

ON the surface the changes at the Park Southern in Ward 8 may seem like a win. Tenants haven’t reached nirvana, however. That may be years away. Some resident leaders have raised questions about whether the agreement with Vesta was properly executed. They also claim they had already selected NHP Foundation, which specializes in affordable housing, as their developer partner. They suggest that Vesta may have gotten the inside track because of its relationship with DHCD. Buckner vehemently denied those allegations.