Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The Growler has learned that the legislation proposed by Del. Englin has its origins not in a formal public meeting dedicated to that purpose, but to an NAACP meeting at which Lenny Harris (yes, Lenny Harris) stood up and complained once again about police harassment of ARHA residents. The police and ARHA CEO Roy Priest were present, but apparently they were not consulted further before Del. Englin drafted the legislation.

Even more startling the Growler hears that neither the ARHA board, nor the Council, nor the City's legislative director Bernie Caton was consulted. In fact, the Growler is advised that elected officials did not receive a copy of the proposed bill until last Friday -- after Del. Englin had been speaking to the press about his plans.

The Growler has also heard that a press conference to be held by Lenny Harris yesterday (presumably to bring out public housing residents who have suffered harrassment) was abruptly canceled.

This morning the Cranky One went through every appointment in Del. Englin's Google calendar, posted on his Web site, and could find no evidence of any engagement that would seem to constitute a public meeting with police, the Mayor and ARHA officials.

Finally, after reading the print version of the WAMU radio piece (which revealed the name of the Adkins resident who complained about the barment policy), the Growler checked the General District Court records for persons of the same last name. The findings were very telling, even before the Curmudgeon could even get down to Circuit Court where the records are not yet on the Web.

Would a scrutiny of the background of those on the barment list reveal that the current ARHA policy is precisely serving the purpose it was designed for: keeping troubled people off its properties?

A Question for Del. Englin

In yesterday's exchange of comments and messages, Del. David Englin has twice evaded answering a key question posed by readers.

So the Growler will now ask it publicly.

At which meeting of the full ARHA board of commissioners -- which readers may recall now includes Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook -- did you, Del. Englin, present your proposed legislation for discussion and endorsement?