Council Re-Funds Streetcars

Photo courtesy of
‘infrastructure infrastructure’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

The news that the City Council was thinking of de-funding the streetcar program’s capital investments this morning sent shockwaves throughout the city. The Council, in their morning meeting, de-funded the effort to the tune of $42M, reserving only $5M left for future planning. The shock was immediate, explosive, and frustrating. Phones rang off the hook in the council offices shortly thereafter with angry constituents demanding that the council reverse their decision.

This afternoon, Chairman Gray backpedaled so fast you’d think he was cycling backwards in the Tour de France. After the lunch break, in their legislative session, the Council reinstated $10M in immediate capital funding, and set aside $37M in reserved funding once the Mayor has a further plan.

The total time between the cutting of the streetcar funding and its restoration through new budget amendments was less than four hours. The response was overwhelming, and is an amazing example of the power of the constituent to influence, through emails, phone calls, tweets, blogs and other rapid-fire media, the workings of the council. Good job, everyone.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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5 thoughts on “Council Re-Funds Streetcars

  1. This afternoon, Chairman Gray backpedaled so fast you’d think he was cycling backwards in the Tour de France.

    The mental image of this is hilarious. Too bad what he did to cause it wasn’t.

  2. Without even commenting on the ridiculous tactics Gray used today, I’d like to point out that the so-called reason for his original NO – lack of planning – is a total straw man. Gray just said that there will be “planning language later,” but DDOT interviewed firms for a streetcar operations plan weeks ago. Simply put, the planning measures that Gray has spent all day calling for already existed. Today was an empty day, one set up for Gray to jeopardize and then save the city as he sees it. As a voter, I’m taking notes.

  3. Hopefully those four hours were long enough to kill Gray’s campaign. The 2am stunt should be remembered as being one of the most destructive, underhanded, and sleazy moves in a DC political history that has no shortage. Didn’t care this morning, this afternoon, decided to vote for Fenty, no matter how far the grease-stache backpedals.

  4. More damaging for @grayformayor: Sneaky 2AM tactics or how blatantly out of touch w/ voters Streetcar-gate proved he is?

  5. @Maggie – you know what your statement, “Today was an empty day, one set up for Gray to jeopardize and then save the city as he sees it.” immediately reminded me of?

    Linda Cropp and the Washington Nationals. She blatantly undercut the city’s effort to get the team, then got back on board helping to “get a better deal” for the city, then stood with Tony Williams and all the other long time supporters to take credit for bringing baseball back to DC.

    Here’s hoping Gray and Cropp will be reminiscing over how great they are on a secluded island come September 15.