LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Voting is Essential

4/9/2014, 3 p.m.
It should have been a crime what some in the District did, or didn't do.
A woman approaches the 116th voting precinct in Southeast D.C. on April 1, the day of the city's Democratic primary election. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

There are so many things to enjoy and look forward to by being a resident of the District of Columbia. My wife and I have been here for about three years. Now we look forward to raising our family here.

As African-Americans, the District will offer our children endless educational opportunities and a rich diversity of professional models and career paths, to aspire to, if they choose. Being able to take advantage of all of the history that surrounds us is another great opportunity that not everyone can enjoy on a daily basis: the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, The National Gallery of Art, and the United State Capitol, to name a few. It’s that American history we must be mindful of.

As African-Americans, we are the only people who have had to have our right to vote legislated just because of the color of our skin; no other race of people needed to have that done to be able to vote in America. That brings me to the point of my letter to you, it should have been a crime what some in the District did: not voting!

I don’t care if you didn’t like the candidate. Write in Santa Claus, but we have to exercise our right to vote. A turnout of less than 20 percent is shameful! How can we complain about anything if we don’t vote to try to change things? I don’t want to go on about all those who died trying to secure the right to vote for African Americans in this country. I’m sure you’ve heard that.

This last election turnout leaves a real bad taste in my mouth about the District of Columbia and I hope I never have to taste it again.

James Simpson

Washington, D.C.

White Leaves School Board

I was sad to learn Trayon White has stepped down from his post as the Ward 8 D.C. State Board of Education member.

I remember how hard he and his supporters campaigned three years ago to get him elected following the death of his predecessor William Lockridge.

In doing so, they strongly stated their confidence that as the youngest person (he was 26 at the time) to assume the position, he would have a long and bright future representing the city’s most disadvantaged students, and in effect, helping parents, teachers and his general constituency to reclaim the promise of public education.

I’m not sure to what extent Mr. White proved to be an accomplished school board member, but I do recall seeing him at several meetings where he had a strong vocal presence. He could also often be seen engaged in community activities in support of students, and with his new job, I can only hope that he will continue to be involved in an extended capacity. Hopefully, his successor will be someone who can hit the ground running.

While Mr. White’s departure comes as somewhat of a letdown for me, I understand that as a young man with a growing family, he had to move on to a career that allows him to be a better provider.

With that said, I can only wish him nothing but the best.

Laura Green

Washington, D.C.