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  • 17 Nov 2017 11°C 5°C
  • 18 Nov 2017 14°C 3°C
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Mr. Macri Comes to Washington

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri came to Washington DC for his first visit under the Trump regime on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017. The whirlwind visit lasted barely 36 hours and began with a meeting on Thursday, April 27th with the American President. Later that same day he appeared at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to address an overflowing crowd eager to hear about his government's vaunted reforms and plans for growth and prosperity (see Link that follows for a transcript of the event).

            Suave, soft spoken and earnest, Macri related how he is opening up the Argentine economy while retaining the approval of a majority of his countrymen for the reforms taking place. He was clear and emphatic in his rejection of the so-called 'populism' of the past 15 years that, in his view, kept his country isolated and mired in conflict and corruption. Macri has slashed taxes on agricultural exports, paid off international bond holders and negotiated new loans and assistance from the large multi-lateral lending agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank and FMI among others. With Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB, seated in the front row Macri described initial agreements on infrastructure development and improvements totaling hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. He stated his goal of limiting inflation to single digits, eliminating corruption and creating good paying, productive jobs for his people.

            Macri joked about his time as head of Boca Juniors Soccer Club, claiming it was an even more difficult position than his term as Mayor of Buenos Aires. He was clear, succinct and diplomatic when asked about his 'wonderful' meeting at the White House with his old friend from another life and added some thoughtful insights into the situation Venezuela faces today and the reaction of MERCOSUR and the OAS to the situation. Interviewed by the always tactful and knowledgeable Mack McClarty, Chief of Staff under the Clinton administration, it was a remarkable 45 minutes. CSIS made special mention of the popularity of the event which attracted an impressive audience. According to Mr. Macri it was an example of how Argentina has once again become an outward looking, sophisticated, welcoming society ready to do business with the United States. In the tense, divided atmosphere of Washington DC, it was almost refreshing to hear Mr. Macri's optimism and faith in democracy.


Open house at The Ronald Reagan National Airport Terminal

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  Secure National Hall
Construction of  two new Security Screening Check Points (SSCP’s) to facilitate the removal of the existing Security Screening Check Points located at each Concourse within the existing Airport.  The new Security Screening Check Points are additions to the existing Airport that will be constructed over the existing arrivals roadway.  The two check points are located immediately adjacent to the existing cross over bridges from the metro on the north and south sides of the terminal.  Each new SSCP (North and South) consists of new steel structure  on auger cast and micro pile foundations with roughly 50,000 square feet of finished space for passenger queuing lines and the new TSA screening stations.  The work entails full architectural fit out and finishes, MEP and Special Systems required for a complete and operational screening check point.  The Project also consist of extensive renovations and building modifications to the existing Terminal building to align with the new adjoining SSCP’s 
United Way Worldwide • Mary E. Gates Learning Center
701 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
February 16, 2017
3:00pm – 6:00pm
Please register on eventbrite

  • Published in Politics

The Franklin Phenomenon

From very early on when Franklin Garcia's interest in politics caught everyone's attention here in Washington DC he was active in the politics of his native Dominican Republic. Soon thereafter he became involved with the local Latino community organizing Saturday morning leadership meetings at Vida Senior Center. He coordinated a policy group that crafted the "Latino Agenda" and 10 years ago presented it to Dan Tangerlini, City Administrator in the new Fenty administration. Franklin was right there in the midst of it. During that time, he founded the "DC Latino Caucus" and simultaneously worked with the Democratic State Committee as delegate and ultimately Communications Director. During his tenure Hispanic representation on the DC DSC has increased fourfold.

            Two years ago he ran for the office of 'Shadow Representative' for the District of Columbia garnering over 110,000 votes more than any other Hispanic candidate in DC's history. The volunteer position,  alter ego to Congresswoman-without-a-vote Eleanor Holmes Norton's one Congressional seat, has no vote, salary or until recently a functioning office. Garcia has revamped the volunteer office and together with the two 'shadow Senators', Paul Strauss and Michael Brown made the entire group a more focused and visible force. Statehood has taken on a number of new initiatives and Mr. Garcia has been instrumental in all of them. Recently he organized the protests in front of the Trump hotel and a week does not go by where he isn't supporting charities, promoting statehood or sharing his name to worthy causes. Garcia is steadfast and diligent. He can be found organizing rallies and protests. He attends a rich variety of civic meetings, charity functions and political events. Seems like he's everywhere.

            We repost here the iconic photo that accompanies this feature of 3 outstanding, iconic Latino leaders that was taken at a Lincoln Memorial rally by the Hispanic Democrats of Fairfax County. Later that same week we found Franklin at a luncheon for Congresswoman Norton and leading (another) Trump protest. It's hard to understate the impressive work that Franklin Garcia is doing every day in the District for Statehood and his constituents.

            He will win his 'Shadow Representative' race this election cycle, but we hope that sometime soon the venerable Holmes Norton will decide to retire and new, fresh energy can be brought to the position of Non-voting Delegate. Franklin deserves the Delegate seat and many of us who know him are sure he will ultimately prevail where Ms. Norton has not. We need someone like Mr. Garcia whose perseverance and persistence in the face of impossible odds is legendary. His immigrant status has taught him never to give up and fight when all seems lost. Franklin has nurtured and grown a devoted following and we expect him to fulfill his mission as a public servant in the District of Columbia.

  • Published in Politics
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