Carol Schwartz and Michael Brown at Father McKenna Center

Councilwoman Carol Schwartz and Candidate Michael Brown spoke to a room of approximately 100 homeless men and 1 homeless woman this morning at the Father McKenna Center which feeds homeless men out of the basement of St. Aloysius church on North Capitol. This speaks volumes to the fact that DC homeless are being recognized and respected by their local government these days. After all, we work, pay taxes and vote too.

Ms. Schwartz emphasized the fact that she wants to keep Franklin School open as a shelter, at least until better living arrangements are available to the residents. She also took some time to explain the complicated, if not crazy, way in which committees have been assigned to the various council members. For example, Carol Schwartz's Committee on Government Operations oversees the surplussing of public property. However, Councilman Kwame Brown's Committee on Economic Development oversees the disposition of public property. Therefore, you end up getting sent from pillar to post as you try to deal with the immoral closing of a public building which is predicated on greed and ignorance. (The above are my words and not hers.)Carol Schwartz has always struck me as witty and dedicated to her job, even if I haven't agreed with everything that she has said or done. She DOES know the system, for which reason, she is a good person to get on your side.

Schwartz also promised to urge the mayor to keep Franklin open for now. She said that she would do all that she could. (However, the mayor can close Franklin without council approval.)

Michael Brown did his best to convince us that he has a heart for the homeless and others who are under-priviledged. He stated his position that there should be homeless services in every ward of the city. He doesn't believe that they should be gentrified. He has said that all wards should share the burden of homelessness. Mr. Brown also supports workforce development and the idea of offering DC jobs to DC residents. He hasn't had a chance to prove himself yet. All I can really say about him is wait and see, first if he wins and then what he does while in office.

Many people choose to ridicule politicians AFTER they have done poorly. I prefer to stay on their case BEFORE they do poorly, so as not to give them that opportunity. Let's give them the run for their money. We pay the politicians with our tax dollars. Let's get our money's worth out of them. Let's shift our focus from finding out THEIR positions on various issues to giving them OUR positions. Let's be proactive.

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