Photo of a church and commercial buildings at sunset in Tenleytown, an area in NW Washington, DC.
Tenleytown, located in Ward 3. Photo courtesy of user ehpien via flckr.

Tired of politics as usual. 

The mayoral candidate forum at St. Columba’s church on June 10, located above Water Ministries in the Tenleytown section of Ward 3, was the first political debate for this homeless advocate. When it was completed, I looked around the room of mostly Ward 3 senior citizens.  

I felt like I was looking into faces filled with amusement and disgust. I thought that the candidates could have done a better job answering the questions they were asked. I don’t know whether it is just the advocate in me, but when you hold a candidate forum over a ministry that provides great homeless services to those in need and no candidate give any thanks on behalf of the city for the works that people volunteer their time to do, it really says something about how much people care about those in our city who need our help, which Water Ministries has been providing year in and year out.  

That aside, Ward 3’s seniors have heard it all before because they live in the wealthiest ward in the city. I hope they left unwilling to pay for politics as usual. Our city needs Ward 3 ‘s leadership to help improve the lives of the poor and homeless people in Washington, D.C. Their leadership and support has given us Water Ministries and other works that the great seniors of Ward 3 have been volunteering at to help those in need.  

Listening to the panel of Ward 3 residents asking hard questions and hearing the so-called front runners attack each other rather than answering the questions made me wonder how they got their jobs. I know Ward 3’s seniors will be watching and listening, advocating for them to keep their word if one should become our next mayor. Neither one could do any worse than the two so-called front runners. Who knows? We thought that of Fenty.  

A friendly Ward 3 senior was sitting behind me. For that matter, they were all friendly. I don’t know how; maybe it was the smile that said, “Let’s talk.”  

So 10 minutes before beginning, we did just that. One of the things this great American from Cleveland said to me is that people need to engage themselves in politics and stop being so lazy. She was looking right at me. She also said we need to know that politics control so much of our lives. The only way we are going to make all the changes that the politicians promise to bring us is to involve ourselves in the politics of change.  

What can I say to that? I will not be lazy, and I will do what she asks. Please join me.