All Politics is Local

Meet Your Local Government… on the Internet

Photo courtesy of
‘A packed ANC 4C meeting in DC tonight’
courtesy of ‘Wayan Vota’

Doing what I do here at We Love DC, I am constantly looking for a way to keep track of what the heck is going on in the city. Don remarked once how grateful he is that he’s the one who actually likes reading the DC Register, since it’s basically a never-ending source of article ideas. Well, he’s welcome to it, because I don’t see myself developing that particular habit anytime soon. But I have run across three handy Internet/database projects of the DC government that help me dig up context on all the various bits of info constantly hurled my way.  Being a total nerd, this stuff makes me giddy:

DC Guide, which I prefer to refer to by the name referenced in its URL: Citizen Atlas. This database gathers all the random little bits of information you’d need to know as a District resident- what Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) do you belong to? Who is your specific representative to that ANC? What’s your voting precinct? You can see on their sample report that it also shows you a map of the address in relation to certain points of interest, like Metro stations. Handy also if you’re looking to buy a house in the District. Other methods of search will show you things like maps of neighborhood clusters, maps of zip codes and which ANCs and voting precincts serve them, etc. Continue reading

The Features

Getting hitched in the area, vacuus templum

Photo courtesy of
‘Congdon wedding’
courtesy of ‘nha.library’

When my darling then-fiancée and I finally settled on Ocean City, MD as our location for getting hitched, we had to confront the same challenge as a lot of our fellow heathens: who’s going to perform the wedding? Say what you want against tithing or organized religion, but it provides an infrastructure that can be a pain to duplicate.

Or not, if you believe the Washington Times’ article about people turning to mail-order ordainment so they’ll have an officiant for their wedding. A hop, click and a few bucks gets one of your friends or family members a certification as a minister, freeing them to perform your ceremony under the laws of Maryland.

Did you notice that I specified Maryland?

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The Daily Feed

No gay marriage referendum

Photo courtesy of
‘Buchanan’s Boyfriend’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’

The D.C. Superior Court has ruled that the Elections & Ethics board acted correctly when it refused to allow a referendum on D.C.’s recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states[pdf].

It was just over two weeks ago that the DCBOEE announced that the efforts to put forth a referendum on the matter would violate the city’s human rights act provisions. Kirk provided us with some analysis of the situation and just a few days later the referendum backers took the matter to court. Unless the backers of the referendum find some grounds to appeal this decision this might be the end of this measure.

More significantly, unless the referrendum backers get a higher court to issue an injunction staying any action till further appeal, this provision will likely take effect – and same-sex marriages performed and recognized in other states will be recognized by the District – by next Tuesday, July 6th.

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D.C. Parking Injustice – Tow Me… Blow Me…

Law enforcement scofflaws
Originally uploaded by philliefan99

Did you hear me Mr. Fenty and Ms. Babers? D.C.’s quest to now emulate Chicago with the new administration has reached new lows. As the Democrats and Obama administration have been touting friendliness to green technologies, smart transportation alternatives, and conservation, the city they now hold a majority in,  took a TWELVEFOLD step backwards. I had created the D.C. Motorcycle parking map of the Metro region to help those folks on two wheels track down ever vanishing spots (one set is in center court in the Verizon Center… how convenient), and since most garages do not allow motorcycles in, it’s necessary. Over this past weekend, the D.C. Parking Authority (aka, the D.C. DMV) cranked up the rates without warning for the motorcycle spots to be commensurate with the rates for cars (or even more so), from 12 hour meters which were 25 cents for an hour and 24 minutes, to now 7 minutes per quarter… a loss of 77 minutes 92% of your parking value… WTF?! It shocked most folks parking on the G Street meters (which until the beginning of last year were free) on the west side of the Old Executive Office Building so much, that today, EVERY bike has decided not to pay. Seriously D.C., are you trying to discourage smart commuting?

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The Daily Feed

A non-smoking Virginia?

Photo courtesy of
‘New Year Resolution’
courtesy of ‘Pete…E’
Say it ain’t so, Camel Joe! The Washington Post reports that the Virginia GOP has found a compromise position with Governor Kaine and there may be a bill passed limiting smoking in public places. Civil libertarians, rejoice grit your teeth a little less – this is a compromise better than the ban in the District: facilities that wish to do so will be able to build private rooms for smoking, provided they follow some sort of air handling standard.

Personally I’d rather that simply be a air handling standard for all public facilities and not have seperate rooms, but the Governor seems to have lost my phone number. It’ll be interesting to see what the details will be on this bill when it’s fleshed out.