Early this morning, WABA alerted its members and supporters to a sudden decision by DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown to strip Councilmember Wells of his leadership of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation. Fundamentally, we were concerned that a change in leadership might mean (1) a stalling of certain proposals and initiatives that WABA and the the bicycling community have been working with Wells and the Committee to push forward, and/or (2) a new leader that would not share our view of the importance of bicycling as a core element of the District’s transportation network.
With the announcement of Councilmember Mary Cheh as Chair, those concerns are greatly eased. Councilmember Cheh is a cyclist who has demonstrated her support for bicycling during her time on the Council. So while we are disappointed in the discontinuity itself, we are happy to welcome Councilmember Cheh as Chair of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation and will make it a top priority to work with her, on behalf of our members and the cycling community, to ensure that momentum is not lost in expanding safe cycling in the District.
Congratulations, Councilmember Cheh, and welcome. We look forward to working with you, your staff, and the Committee staff under your leadership.
I wish I could share your enthusiasm for Councilmember Mary Cheh, but I can't. As my Ward 3 representative, she put politics before people by endorsing both Kwame Brown for Council Chair and Vincent Gray for Mayor. Neither were particularly deserving then, and have done little since to demonstrate ethical or political leadership. Her ascension and endorsement of this latest City Hall machination is disingenuous at best, and self serving at worst. It's great that she's a cyclist, but I expect better from our elected officials. I expect leadership, and she should have told Brown to go pound sand rather than advance up this rotten ladder.