Tasty Morning Bytes – Hiring Ex-cons, Immigration and Unions, Anti-social Social

Good morning, DCentric readers! Ready for some links?

D.C. Council wants city to hire ex-convicts “The bill’s backers believe that not asking about criminal history on government job applications will make it easier for ex-convicts to get city jobs. They say hiring ex-offenders will keep them from returning to prison. Critics say the legislation will worsen problems the city has with weeding out dangerous job applicants…The District is home to about 60,000 ex-felons, nearly 10 percent of the population, the ACLU estimates.” (Washington Examiner )

MeFites who know DC: Please talk to me about Bloomingdale. “I am considering a move to the Bloomingdale neighborhood in DC. You know, the little one east of LeDroit Park, west of Eckington, and just north of Shaw…? I’m a 29 year old woman. I love the apartments I’ve seen, and they fit my budget… I have some concerns about safety in that area, moreso than other places I’ve lived (Cole Valley in San Francisco, Mt. Pleasant and North Dupont in DC, if that helps for comparison). I consider myself pretty city-savvy, and I know there are generally no guarantees of safety anywhere, but I’m not sure what to expect.” (

Concrete Bungle: How Immigration Divided a D.C. Union: A campaign to organize D.C. concrete workers hit a wall To talk to people who worked on the UCW organizing effort is to learn that its near-collapse is not the usual sad labor story of valiant unionists against perfidious management. Rather, it’s the story of union advocates turning on one another—in large part over the polarizing politics of immigration. For generations, the labor movement has periodically warred with itself over how to view newcomers, from the Italian-speakers a century ago to Spanish-speakers like Lemos. Are they a wage-depressing threat to be kept out of the job market? Or should they be embraced, on the logic that a unified labor force is the only way to secure better working conditions? (Washington City Paper)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Freudian Slips, Safety Nets, Saturday Schedules

Good morning, DCentric readers! While you were cheering on John Wall, we were out searching for links!

Fenty’s Freudian slip “When introducing Gray to the crowd of several hundred, Fenty said, “I couldn’t be happier to turn the government over to…,” then he cut himself short. The crowd laughed and he started over. “I couldn’t be happier to turn the podium over to Mayor-elect Vince Gray.” The slip was one of several lighter moments for Fenty, who was better known for being stiff at public appearances. Since losing the Democratic Primary in September, however, the outgoing mayor has been more relaxed in his public appearances. Almost as if he “couldn’t be happier to turn the government over.” (Washington Examiner )

An accident foretold “The fact that no agency officials saw fit to mention the report’s main conclusions to the Metro Board – even after two dangerous accidents – is an appalling violation of public trust. Officials could have done so either at a Metro board meeting on Oct. 14 or at one last Thursday, after the mishaps occurred. Instead, officials referred to the report but danced around the fact that it warned specifically about the escalators’ braking and maintenance problems.” (The Washington Post)

Beyond Bread: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back “…I often hear the old saying, “One step forward and two steps back.” There are a lot of reasons why using the safety net can feel that way. One is that people spend time in transit between different service providers, only to wait in long lines for assistance, as you saw in our post last week about utility assistance. Another comes from eligibility requirements that suddenly remove people from programs as their income increases. Imagine making another 50 cents an hour and suddenly losing your health insurance and having to pay out of pocket.” (

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Taxi Medallions, Tyler Perry and the Twinkie Diet

Good morning, DCentric readers! Ready for some links?

DC Cabbies Don’t Like Competition “Basically if you think it’s too easy and convenient to hail a cab in Washington, you’ll love an artificial regulatory restriction on the supply of taxis. In particular, if you think the city’s peripheral neighborhoods are too well-served by cab drivers and that we need to shift to a dynamic where you can only hail a cab in the downtown core, you’ll love this plan…If Gray is smart, he’ll recognize that this is change we don’t need. But I worry that Gray will think the lesson of his victory is that city government should always bow to interest-group pressure.” (Matthew Yglesias)

After Perry’s ‘Colored Girls,’ there’s plenty of bashing to go around “Jeepers creepers. For decades, Hollywood has been waving the same dirty drawers in the black man’s face, one black-man-bashing movie after another – including last year’s “Precious” and now Perry’s “For Colored Girls.” So where is the movie “For White Girls,” bashing white men? Stories of white men kidnapping and abusing white girls are in the news. And maybe the Lifetime channel will make one of them into a TV crime drama. But be assured that if it does, the show will feature more than enough good white men to make that one evildoer come off as an aberration.” (The Washington Post)

Encourage better conditions for restaurant workers in D.C. As restaurant goers, there are a couple simple things we can do to help support restaurant workers. First, leave your tip in cash. Since credit card tips must be processed, it can take longer for waiters to actually receive their wages, while some never receive their credit card tips at all. Restaurant employees and advocates are working to change tip processing, but for the time being the best way to ensure that your tips reach workers is to leave cash. (Greater Greater Washington)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Sidwell Trolls, Our Banana Republic and Marketing to Minority Kids

Good morning, DCentric readers! Here are your breakfast links:

Black Caucus mum on Tea Party Republican who wants to join “I plan on joining, I’m not gonna ask for permission or whatever, I’m gonna find out when they meet and I will be a member of the Congressional Black Caucus,” West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress last Tuesday, told WOR radio. “I meet all of the criteria, and it’s so important that we break down this monolithic voice that continues to talk about victimization and dependency in the black communit (

Rich Private High School Football Team Puts Uppity Reporter in His Place “These are the children of presidents, Mr. McKenna, sir. Are we clear? In case we’re not, Sidwell students (or, to be fair, people claiming to be Sidwell students) flocked to the story online to point out that while McKenna is a mere salaryman writing squibs for a common newspaper, they will inherit the earth because their parents paid $32,000 a year to keep them away from all the black kids in D.C. public schools…” (

Homeless seeking shelter in D.C. might need to prove District ties “As the economy has floundered and the unemployment rate has soared, a growing number of homeless families from outside the District have migrated into the city in search of shelter, burdening an already-strained social services network. Over the summer, D.C. officials say, 10 percent of the families most in need of shelter came from outside the city. Since 2008, officials say, the number of homeless families migrating into the District has tripled.” (The Washington Post)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Disconnected Utilities, Denying the Homeless, Longer School Days

Good morning, DCentric readers! Welcome back from the weekend.

Beyond Bread: A Wild Goose Chase for Utility Assistance “The Social Services Department here at Bread for the City is consistently returning phone calls and meeting with clients that are on the verge of being disconnected, with very few resources to protect them and their family from living without utilities this winter. We see this as a most pressing issue. In our Northwest Center, my colleagues and I fielded 126 phone calls this September and October, before the most high-cost winter months. This is an increase of 34% since last year.” (

Some Advocates For Homeless Say Residency Requirements Could Backfire “Some advocates for the homeless, however, say they’re concerned the plan will backfire. Nassim Moshiree, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, doesn’t mince words. “My main concern is that people will die of hypothermia on the streets when they can’t get any services,” says Moshiree.” (

DC Teacher Arrest Sheds Light On School Problems “I understand they both were wrong,” said Rayshad Anderson. “At the same time, Mr. Coleman is not the type of man to do something like that. So I think something needs to be done at the school to prevent these types of things. Tthis school is out of control. It has no structure whatsoever.” Volunteers Byron Ezell and Taria Nelson agree. They run a non-profit called Come Back to Give Back. This past year, they’ve spent Tuesdays and Thursdays working with Rock Creek students, who have a variety of disabilities. They said they believe an assault was “bound to happen.” (WUSA Washington, DC)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Mostly Mayoral Edition

Good morning, DCentric readers! Ready for some links?

UDC President Sessoms has D.C. Mayor-elect Gray’s support in recharging campus “Sessoms preserved the heritage of open access in the new Community College of the District of Columbia, with no entry requirements and flat $3,000 tuition. Four-year and graduate study is now housed in a separate “flagship” institution, with entry standards and higher tuition. The community college is effectively a branch of UDC. The president’s plan sparked protests last year, with students and some elected officials decrying the tuition increases and accusing Sessoms of trying to destroy a tradition of service to low-income African Americans.” (The Washington Post)

Mayor-elect Gray’s absence at police officer’s funeral blamed on staff oversight “Fenty’s behavior is not a surprise,’ Baumann wrote in an e-mail to TBD. “Fenty has made it clear that he has no respect for police officers and their sacrifices. The fact that the Council did not show is disheartening. Today the elected officials of the District made it clear they have little or no regard for those that keep the city safe and risk their lives everyday. There were more police officers and officials from Maryland and Virginia than District officials or politicians. Unfortunately, the message sent today was only the police care about the police.” (

Gray transition: bold innovators or a return to Barry? “Which would you rather have running Mayor-elect Vincent Gray’s transportation transition team? A former City Administrator under Marion Barry, who was running the city during the famous episode where Barry flippantly dismissed snow plowing failures while he was at the Super Bowl? Or a former CEO of Amtrak, head of UMD’s smart growth center, and occasional blogger who wrote excitedly about the return of streetcars, the value of high-speed rail, and the need for a federal transportation reauthorization? What if they’re the same guy?” (Greater Greater Washington)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – a Disabled Dachshund, Sidwell Football and Lunch with Obama

Good morning, DCentric readers! Ready for some links?

Paraplegic dog finds adoptive home; more pets remain in need “Buddy is a five and half year old dachshund. A spinal problem cost him the use of his hind legs, but his tail still wags. Despite buddy’s problems his life is good, thanks to the care of his owner. “I love him so much it is not tough on me at all,” said Janet Harris. “He is a very happy little boy he bounces, bounces up and down and play.” Harris has had health problems, she lost her job, is losing her home, and now has to give up her dog. “I can barely stand. I am kind of not trying to think about it because he is like my baby. He IS my baby,” shared Harris.” (

Fenty Write-In Campaign Drives Mayoral Write-Ins To Nearly 23 Percent the committed movement to write-in Mayor Adrian Fenty was the driving force behind the casting of 27,828 write-in votes in “…yesterday’s general election, nearly 23 percent of the approximately 125,000 votes cast. The vote total is all the more impressive when one considers that the movement to write-in Fenty was working with almost no money and lacked the support of the candidate it sought to elect.” (DCist)

Sidwell Friends’ Football Futility: The Obama Kids’ School Football Team is Losing Worse than Dad’s Party “Sidwell bashers: “Sidwell is a girls school that happens to have boys.’” “At other schools, excellence in the classroom and athletic fields are not mutually exclusive.” “Maybe Sidwell should consider a flag football league. Or just games where boys tickle each other with feathers.” Sidwell sympathizers: “Come tell some of the real male athletes (yes, there are a few) at Sidwell that they’re ‘girls’ and they’ll sort you out.” “Sidwell just isn’t a meathead school. Hey, if you want a meathead school, head to Landon.” “Landon athletes will have plenty of time to lift weights in prison.” (Washington City Paper)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Voting, Voting, Issues with Voting…and Pink Ribbons

Good morning, DCentric readers! While you were waiting for Election results last night, we were out collecting links!

On Forcing Myself to Vote “Hey, I’m a 27 year old Independent voter, and I’m not bummed – I’m pissed. I’m pissed that Democrats and the party faithful seem to have forgotten that the folks who elected Barack Obama weren’t always part of the base. That many of us were Independents, right-wingers for change, first time voters, and newly enfranchised. We aren’t post-racial, and may not ever want to see those days. (I’m personally still waiting for post-racism. Keep the heritage, drop the hate.)…We weren’t dropped – more like taken for granted.” (Racialicious)

D.C. Election Day drama: Scuffle at Shaw voting precinct “Witnesses described what began as a verbal confrontation between the elderly Brooks and Convention Center Community Association president Martin Moulton. The two apparently started getting into it over Moulton’s recent disparaging postings to the Shaw neighborhood e-mail list about oft-controversial neighborhood activist Leroy Thorpe. What happened next is less clear.” (

Straight Dope: Do Those Breast Cancer Pink Ribbons Actually Do Anything? Off-topic, but on so many of our minds: “We’re constantly bombarded with fundraisers and retail products sporting pink ribbons to raise money to “fight breast cancer.” Do pink ribbon campaigns do any good, or are they mainly a way for corporations to fleece consumers by leveraging their fear and sympathy over breast cancer? Where is all the money raised by pink ribbon campaigns going?” (Washington City Paper)

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Fixing ANCs, New DC9 Details

Good morning, DCentric readers. Due to technical difficulties, your breakfast links are a bit late. We apologize for that.

ANCs aren’t perfect. Here’s how to make them better. “ANC issues are apparently too small to attract the notice of the city’s paper of record (the most the Post could muster this time around was a generic piece that said nothing of use about ANCs except that those running wanted to “improve their communities”). But neighborhood representative bodies can be perfectly paired with the burgeoning crop of blogs that have been covering them in a fair amount of depth. Some of the healthier and better-run ANCs are in places where blogs…communicate to the broader public what happened at each meeting.” (Washington City Paper)

DC9 liquor license hearing: Board continues suspension of club’s license for 30 days “…not previously released audio recording of an ambulance crew radioing ahead to Howard University Hospital. A male EMT can be heard on the tape saying that he was bringing a 45-year-old male in apparent cardiac arrest to the hospital after what he described as a “bar fight.” He also tells the hospital that the victim only became unconscious after police arrived on the scene, contradicting an affidavit filed in court…” (

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Tasty Morning Bytes – Angling for ANCs, Vulnerable DC Foster Kids and Stereotypes for Costumes

Good morning, DCentric readers! Last night, when you were giving candy to trick-or-treaters, we were going door-to-virtual-door, searching for links!

In D.C., many angling for public office on Advisory Neighborhood Commissions “I’m tired of Ward 8 being considered the worst ward with all the problems that people think we can’t solve on our own,” said Janasha Thomas, 30, who had worked as an administrative assistant for the Fenty administration until recently. In the mayor’s office, she fielded residents’ complaints. A District native, she’s running for a seat near Skyland Mall, where she’s lived for 12 years. “You don’t have to move neighborhoods to make a change in your surroundings.” (The Washington Post)

Jon Stewart Rally: Transcripts and quotes “I think you know that the success or failure of a rally is judged by only two criteria: the intellectual coherence of the content and its correlation to the engagement – I’m just kidding. It’s color and size. I can’t even believe this has happened. It is a perfect demographic sampling of the American people. (laughter) Because as you know, if you have too many white people at a rally, then you’re cause is racist. But if you have too many people of color at a rally, well then you just must be asking for something, special rights like eating in restaurants or piggy-back rides.” — John Stewart (

The District’s Homophobic Bullies Part Two: It’s All About The Jeans “Shane Salter, the Executive Director of D.C.’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), recalls a case: “One foster parent put a kid out for creasing his jeans. He was a little too prim and proper. It was a conflict around the boy wanting a crease in his jeans—as if that was the end of the world.” Salter remembers another case, a transgender youth who ended up in the D.C. Jail. “He was put out, his father didn’t want him. His father beat him at one point. He dressed like a girl.” (Washington City Paper)

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