Vote. Whatever you do, please just vote
“We did it,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a liberal Democrat, proclaimed on Wednesday. “This week, we closed D.C. General once and for all.”
Making a huge deal out of closing the troubled family shelter at the old troubled D.C. General Hospital site is good news. But it’s not a victory for social services, or for that matter a victory for public health in the city.
Another reason why closing a troubled D.C.-owned facility isn’t a huge deal is that the same failed politics and policies that led to the closing of D.C. General as a public hospital led to the opening of the family shelter.
What’s also remained unchanged is the fact that nothing has changed in City Hall except the names of the mayor and the 13 D.C. Council members.
Chronic diseases. Troubled pregnancies and births. TB, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS. Substance abuse. Domestic violence. Shootings and stabbings. Those are the medical problems that drive the city’s health care dollars.
Unfortunately, political decision-making in the city is driven by ZIP code, which means moving all those poor unfortunates out of the city’s prime and upcoming neighborhoods and giving them their own hospital. On the other side of the Anacostia River. In Congress Heights. Near a different Metro Station. In a political ward that will likely elect or re-elect a black council member.
Out of sight, out of mind.
And if things get too uncomfortable for the folks who run the show from City Hall, play the money card. Throwing money at broken policies is what City Hall’s occupants do best.
Solutions that fix broken, sick people? Not so much.
So here’s what Americans across the country have to look forward to: shiny new housing and eateries, playgrounds and athletic fields on the eastern side of the Anacostia. Exactly what was showcased there before those grounds, the adjacent RFK Stadium and nearby neighborhoods took over.
As for the sick (and sickened) people of the city, don’t expect much to change with next week’s midterm elections. The way things were prior to the Obama administration will remain the same.
Why’s that, my fellow Americans asked me? Well, because the midterm vote might change the people seated in Congress, but City Hall will remain a liberal bastion of conservative-bashing. Its leadership demands as much.
Some call it poverty-pimping.
I’m begging. Vote. Please vote.
Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.