In the days before this year’s general election, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson asserted that the city’s so-called political progressives were out of touch with the majority of the District’s electorate. Reviewing the unofficial results from Tuesday’s contest, it appears his analysis was correct.
Some top executives in DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration appear to be suffering from amnesia. Maybe it’s the stress of dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic and public health emergency.
How else to explain why they are intent on pushing through a Medicaid contract with a company — MedStar — whose past behavior jeopardized the fiscal health of two other managed care organizations and damaged the entire program? Another company with whom the District is seeking to finalize a contract — CareFirst — owes the city millions of dollars in cash or services; it also appears to be flaunting DC small business certification laws, with tacit support from government officials.
The DC Council Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Ward 4’s Brandon Todd, recently gave preliminary approval to the Racial Equity Achieves Real Change Amendment Act of 2020. The legislation, now known as the REACH Act, was the brainchild of Council Chairman Pro Tempore Kenyan McDuffie, but it was co-introduced by 11 of his colleagues.
With Mayor Muriel Bowser set to begin reopening DC after the city’s weekslong closure amid a public health emergency, there are legitimate concerns about the future of our arts and culture industry, including artists and other personnel. Much attention has been paid during this pandemic to the plight of hotels, restaurants and small businesses. However, for the uninformed, nonprofit arts organizations are also businesses. They seem to have been treated as superfluous institutions or fillers to the economy.
They are much more than that, explained George Koch, who has been a leader in the arts and creative economy movement for more than 30 years. He argued the “theater industry” and the “performance industry” are “two important drivers that bring people to a community.”