Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sierra Club pick on Council Chair hinges on -- Klingle Road?

Earlier this week, I posted the Sierra Club endorsement of Ward 3 Candidate Mary Cheh. The Sierra Club also made endorsements for other Candidates including Ward 7 Councilman Vincent Gray. The pick prompted Ward 3 Councilman and Chair Candidate Kathy Patterson to issue this release:

I am disappointed not to receive the Sierra Club endorsement given our important work together over the last three years to stop the threat of "toxic trains" coming through the nation's capital. Sierra Club officials said they base the endorsement of my opponent on his commitment to reopen the debate on Klingle Road and reverse the earlier Council decision to rebuild and reopen the east-west roadway. I declined to make that commitment, and said that the majority vote by the Council should be respected, and the road rebuilt.

I also urged the Sierra Club to focus attention on critical environmental issues including the green buildings legislation I cosponsored and efforts of local anti-poverty organizations to address "environmental justice" issues such as the disproportionate levels of pollution in poor sections of the District. I am sorry that the Sierra Club is focused on a single roadway in upper northwest instead of environmental issues that could have a positive impact on every D.C. resident.

Now I am not the biggest Kathy Patterson fan in the world, but I do have to agree with the posters in the City Paper City Desk blog who claim Kathy's actual record of environmental friendliness over Vincent Gray's talk and discussion about environmental protection. What has Vincent Gray proposed in his 18 months on the Council to promote enviromental friendly laws?

Kathy Patterson has fought tirelessly on the "toxic train" issue. The irony is that she fought for the closure of Klingle Road, but believes that the Klingle debate should be over and not re-opened. The decision of the current council should be respected, and all sides should move on.

I agree with that sentiment. I think the Sierra Club choice on this seat is in error.

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