cassandra_m's Latest Posts
Last night was another big Mayoral debate, this one including the newly announced (but not filed) Maria Cabrera and finally showing up Dennis Williams. This debate was sponsored by the Complexities of Color Coalition, the Metropolitan Urban League Young Professionals, Interdenominational Ministers Action Council, Delaware Young Democrats Minority Caucus and Delaware Black and held at Ezion Fair church in Southbridge. This was really well attended and the audience was definitely there to be engaged. The NJ provides a bunch of the highlights of the evening, but I want to focus on some campaign themes emerging and a different cattle call at the end.
Tonite is the debate between Hillary and Bernie in New York. There are a couple of local debate watch parties that I know of listed below. The operative phrase here is “that I know of”. If you are aware of others, please post the details in the comments and one of us will get the information in the main post. So here we go:
Anyone surprised that Gordon is denying any allegations or corruption or mismanagement? Or that he is blaming Grimaldi? Saying that one of the parties who is actually heard on the tape is “misinformed”.
First, go look at WDEL’s story on this. The story as currently released alleges that an employee of the county (and husband of Bethany Hall-Long) took confidential records of low-income housing residents in order to run his own personal phone bank for his wife.
A confidential source implicated Hall-Long’s husband, Dana Long, in allegedly using his position as a Section 8 housing property inspector–a contract position within New Castle County government–to lobby for his wife’s state Senate re-election bid.
A confidential source told WDEL that Long took the county’s protected contact list of low-income housing residents and cold-called them–on his own time–urging residents in his district to vote for his wife when she faced Republican John Marino in her 2014 re-election bid.
Amazing, but once you think about it, not surprising. According the the NJ: The union that represents Wilmington’s firefighters on Thursday submitted a letter to the city’s elected officials notifying them they had “no confidence” in its leader, Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode. “It is with great regret that we report to you that the […]
The News Journal published a remarkable story yesterday, detailing the escapades of a Wilmington Fire Marshal who was supposedly performing a residency investigation. Some quick background, new hires with the City of Wilmington are expected to establish residency in the city within six months of hire and then are expected to live in the city for 5 years. There’s a Residency Review Board that is supposed to review challenges of non-compliance. But here we find that somehow a WFD Fire Marshal is clumsily investigating WFD employees:
The Complexities of Color Coalition, in partnership with the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals, Interdenominational Ministers Action Council, Delaware Young Democrats Minority Caucus, and Delaware Black are hosting a debate among Wilmington Mayoral candidates April 18, 2016, 7pm at Ezion Fair Baptist Church in Wilmington. You need a ticket (it’s free) for this one and you can sign up for that at this website. Your ticket comes via email.
A meltdown, right? Because WTF else could be going on here? For someone who needs plenty of votes this September, alienating some of them on racial lines seems just plain delusional. And this is not all. If you are on his page regularly, there are posts saying Good Night Wilmington (think Good Night JohnBoy) and for those who are asking serious questions or who criticize him in any way — you are unfriended and blocked. Like he was still in junior high school or something.
The Wilmington Black Lives Matter group is hosting a Town Hall on Wednesday, March 23 from 6 – 8 PM. The Town Hall is at 2303 Lancaster Avenue Wilmington, Delaware. Invited politicians include: John Carney, Matt Denn, Penrose Hollins, Stephanie Bolden, Theo Gregory, Kevin Kelley, Eugene Young, Justen Wright, Sherry Dorsey, Bob Williams, Greg Fuller, Maria Cabrera, Steve Washington, Matthew Meyers and others.
Interesting, yes? Legalizing marijuana thins out the importers. And certainly increases some legal entrepreneurial activity here. And it takes some money out of the black market and puts it into tax coffers. I can’t even imagine the savings from getting law enforcement out of the business of policing small users and producers.
We’ve been talking for a few weeks now about former Philadelphia Chief of Police Charles Ramsey providing consulting services to the WPD. The NJ provides some detail on his $16,000/month contract — namely, that there is a very ill-defined SOW for Ramsey’s services, and that one of his Deputies from Philly is means to be on the ground here working. Working on what is still the question — which is the question for all of the consultants that the Williams Administration has hired for the WPD.
It’s definitely political season and it’s time to watch some of the local GOP dust off and exercise their resentments. They do this, of course, because they can’t figure out how to connect with enough voters to actually govern. They also do it because they think that their resentments and bigotries are somehow supposed to entitle them to run the world. The latest local exercise in GOP bigotry was directed at Sarah McBride, who recently endorsed Bryon Short for the US House seat being vacated byJohn Carney. The Western Sussex Republican Club responded to Sarah’s Facebook announcement by reposting it with a snide and hateful comment, with a screen shot shown below. Sarah had losts of people supporting her after this stupid bit of business was posted, including a quick (but deleted) comment from John Fluharty who observed that stuff like this is why the GOP can’t win. The Western Sussex Republican Club has deleted its post, so the comments opposing them are gone. But both Sean Barney and Bryan Townsend took to Twitter to stand with Sarah and to denounce this hateful business. Note to the GOP — this stuff may speak to somebody, but this is not the stuff of electoral coalitions. Not in Delaware, it isn’t.
Campaign finance reports for the year ending 31 December 2015 were due into the Department of Elections by 20 January 2016, so let’s take a look at what those reports might tell us about the race for Mayor of Wilmington:
That’s what my sources tell me this evening. I talked to a couple of typically excellent sources this evening who tell me that NCCo President Chris Bullock will not run for a second term. A variety of reasons were offered, not the least of which is that his church is experiencing some turmoil and he wants to address that full time. According to these same sources, NCCo Rep Penrose Hollins would run for NCCo President. If so, I’d say it’s about damned time. Announcements from both men are expected as early as tomorrow.
I’ve been following the news from my Holiday Location and it is looking like Mayor Dennis Williams is being hung by his own “We’re Not Going to Let This Commission Take Credit for These Ideas” strategy in his effort to push back against having to live with the accountability (and potentially some consequences) that would come with a grant being provided by the Joint Finance Committee to help the City pay for foot patrols. You’ll recall that the Williams Administration’s response to the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission report was to claim that they had already implemented most of the recommendations made — with the help of the VRN folks, not the Governor. There is wide skepticism about this claim that they’ve implemented most of those recommendations — especially from me — and the JFC looking to send the Police Foundation back into the WPD to check on progress is an excellent accountability measure. And if I am Mayor Dennis Williams with a re-election hanging in the balance because he is widely seen as utterly ineffective in managing the crime problem (in spite of campaign promises) — it would be Good News all the way around if one of the Commission’s consultants could say that progress is actually being made as promised.
So jump to now, where we discover that the WFD is 6 months into its budget and $300,000 over its overtime budget for the year. What does that mean? It means that the rolling company shutdowns are back as a cost cutting measure AND both Goode and Williams are now quite open to eliminating those vacant positions:
The higher-than-average overtime cost was blamed on five vacancies in the department and coverage for personnel out because of injury or extended sick leave. As a result, Goode said one of the city’s fire companies will regularly be shut down on a rotating basis to offset the costs and he could move to eliminate a handful of vacant positions in the agency. [...]
This was first posted to Facebook by Jim Westhoff, whose family (featuring the amazing Robbie) started this Secret Santa effort last year. I’ve posted the entire text of Jim’s post with his permission. After you’ve read this, please contact Jim and volunteer to be a Secret Santa and go down to help wrap presents. If […]
The ABC network is going to take up the label that Newsweek slapped Wilmington with to create a new TV show called “Murder Town”. It will be set in Wilmington, and be a legal drama. You can read about all of that in the NJ article. Hollywoodizing Wilmington and its troubles won’t help those here that actually need some help and add to that a bunch of people who don’t live here getting ready to profit from Wilmington’s issues who probably won’t be investing here. Still. The most appalling part of this article is this:
Frank Knotts is a blogger over at DelawareRight — he previously blogged at DelawarePolitics until he was largely ostracized from there. I don’t agree with Frank over much (and have never met him, either), but he’s been the target of some really despicable actions by members of his party who don’t much like what he has to say about them, their views or political actions. Today, I am calling attention to the fact that 3 Sussex GOP members have decided to sue Frank — a blogger — for defamation. Just go here to see the letter.
This is the first Cattle Call I’ve written for the Wilmington Mayor’s race, even though there has been a fair amount of public positioning and “listening” going on among potential candidates. My work has taken up way too much of my time over the past several months, but it is well past time to start thinking about the folks who say they are running and who are “thinking” of running. What is interesting right now, is that so very many candidates are declaring and are circling around declaring for what would be Mayor Dennis Williams’ second term. This is a field that you would expect to see when a politician is term-limited out and the field is open, OR you would see this kind of field when the incumbent is widely seen as incredibly weak and mostly a failure. There’s been a rush of candidates declaring recently, so let’s take a look at the field so we can talk about this again come the New Year.
This time, I ask you to compare the reactions to two important developments:
If you live in Wilmington and are a parent, grandparent, foster parent, guardian, primary caregiver, student or just plain concerned community member — this is a newly formed group that is going to advocate for better equity, access and educational opportunity for Wilmington kids. From the brochure:
The PACE Network joins adults, youth and educators together to imagine, create and advocate for equity, access and more effective learning in schools and community places. The Vision is to ensure all Wilmington youth safely attend quality early learning programs, read on level by 3rd grade, excel in reading, math, science, social studies, technology, arts, sports, extracurricular activities and graduate high school prepared for college/career success. The PACE Network aims to shape a unified voice to advocate for Wilmington students. Families and city residents play a critical role in our children’s education. Network membership is open to parents, grandparents, community members, guardians, foster parents, educators in early care, pre-schools, districts and charter schools enrolling Wilmington students.
During Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s speech at the New Hampshire Deocratic Party’s convention was interrupted by what looks like a fair number of people calling for more debates in the upcoming Presidential season. It *is* in New Hampshire, where Bernie Sanders is doing really well, but still, I’m delighted with the pushback against ms. Wasserman-Schultz who looks pretty lackluster from here. I don’t feel strongly about more debates — especially since the media is treating the GOP ones like the damned WWF. Take a look:
Crossroads and its principals have been much in the news recently and subject of a recent post here. Since Crossroads was not contacted in the recent post here, I offered them the chance to tell their story, themselves. That is the guest post from Alberta Crowley that follows. I’m also going to be clear that I know that Crossroads is doing incredible work with a population that is never well served — urban poor kids with mental health and addiction issues. They’ve certainly had their problems — with recent unethical behavior and with a long-running tug-of-war with the state over resources to serve these kids. I’m interested in helping these kids and the people who do — which is why I’m posting Crossroads story here.