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Showing posts from September, 2016

Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump: Whetted Wit vs Wanton Ways

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have now held the first of three presidential debates. This means that those suffering from "election stress disorder" will soon find relief after hearing Mr. Trump's senseless rants for over 15 months as he eliminated 16 other GOP candidates (most of whom were more qualified than he is to become president). Then again, they might jump from the frying pan into the fire by having even more.....MUCH more to worry about if Trump were to win. Sadly, a Trump victory is not completely unrealistic given the fact that the candidates are in a virtual tie less than six weeks before election day. Though Mr. Trump gave his best performance to-date on September 26th (which isn't saying much),  he still got "Trumped" by Secretary Clinton. However, political scientists don't think that the debates will move the needle of public opinion -- no matter how well Hillary Clinton does or how poorly Donald Trump does. (Let's hope they'…

Communication Breakdown & the Solution: Kristy Greenwalt's ItCH vs Homeless Advocates

While thinking to myself recently about what I would discuss with DC ICH Director Kristy Greenwalt if she were to accept my invitation to treat her to lunch in October and to mend fences, I began to consider the following question:

"What qualities does having an ICH director add to the process that weren't present during the nearly eight years that this body existed without a director???"
The DC ItCH (inter-agency Council on Homeless) held its first meeting in June 2006 (the month I began advocating). It was held in the One Judiciary Square Building (441 4th St NW DC). As per DC Law, it was chaired by the city administrator who at that time was Robert Bobb. Since then we've been through city administrators Dan Tangherlini (who went on to direct GSA), Neil Albert (who now directs Downtown BID) and Allen Lew (who oversaw the construction of the Convention Center and Nationals' Park both of which displaced low-income people). Rashad Young is now DC's city admini…

Homeless Men Thwart A Terror Attack; Trump Revives FDR Internment Rationale

Though the media tends not to disclose the socioeconomic status of criminals who are not homeless, they almost always discuss when the perpetrator of a crime is homeless -- even when the crime committed is not directly related to their homelessness. (Sadly, Americans who assert that poverty breeds crime are more interested in locking up the poor criminals than they are in employing petty criminals after the fact or addressing poverty in blanket form before the fact. Think solutions.) This practice by the media of mentioning someone's homeless status (especially if it's a violent crime) does much to contribute negatively to societal biases and stereotypes concerning the homeless. While the media does indeed cover stories of homeless people being attacked as they sleep outside, the general public seems only to remember the stories of homeless people committing crimes and to forget about the many cases in which homeless people are victimized by housed people (often wayward adole…

Government Accountability and Action: Get There in a GOOD Way

If we're going to get there anyway, we may as well get there in a GOOD way.
All of us can relate to this scenario:Someone asks that another do something for them; gets turned down; gets upset and gets what they originally asked for.

It's enough to make you wonder: Why didn't the latter person grant the request BEFORE the temper tantrum???

Sadly, this scenario plays itself out time and time again in the relationship between government and the public they are supposed to be serving. Advocates for various causes have, in times past, developed detailed agendas that included stepping up the pressure on government if and when government failed to make good on the requests of the people immediately following the first time that a request was made. They then transition from making a request at a calm meeting with a few advocates and politicians present into staging large rallies or protests at which the advocates make demands to the politicians and might create bad press for said po…

Open Letter to Kristy Greenwalt The First Ever Director of DC's Inter-agency Council on Homeless (ICH)

First published on May 12th, 2014
Last updated on September 9th, 2016

UPDATE:

Kristy Greenwalt began her job as the first-ever director of Washington, DC's Inter-agency Council on Homelessness (ICH) on April 28th, 2014 -- just months after DC counted 7,748 homeless people (up from 6,859 in 2013). Though she is not to blame for the fact that DC calculated (without doing the canvassing/foot count) an increase to 8,350 homeless people in January 2016, I strongly suggest that she and any person working on ending homelessness should have or quickly develop the ability to wrap their heads around any and all grim realities of life -- especially if they earn six figures.....especially if the number of homeless people is INCREASING dramatically.

GRIM PREDICTION (also a header that should be the first paragraphs of the 5-year plan and get updated annually)
Washington, DC's homeless population increased by 889 people from 6,859 in 2013 to 7,748.After dropping by 450 people to 7,298 in 2015, …