Gray, Evans pledge at Ward 2 town hall to close Philly Pizza
October 15, 2010 | by G'town Saucer
Photo by Katie ManningA mellow crowd greeted presumptive mayor-elect Vincent Gray at the Ward 2 town hall Thursday -- that was until Georgetowner Anne Wittke opened the question period with a challenge for Gray and Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans to permanently close Philly Pizza.
Whittle noted that the Potomac Street takeout had again obtained an operating license and intended to reopen despite the actions of top D.C. officials to shut it down for trash, noise, zoning and other violations. Gray responded that he will demand transparency from his agencies and that they will work with neighbors or there will be "one more person on the unemployment lines and that person will be the director."
Evans, following the town hall, told The Georgetown Dish that "I'm going to put them [Philly Pizza] out of business. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but it's going to happen."
Wittle said, “Georgetown neighbors are thrilled with Evans’ commitment to close down nuisance joints like Philly Pizza. He's been with us 100% and we are with him."
Political analysts had predicted that Gray would find himself in “unfriendly” territory in Ward 2 where 72% of the voters supported Gray’s challenger incumbent Adrian Fenty. Yet, Gray struck many responsive cords with residents. He spoke glowingly of the senior village concept and said the additional support for seniors is needed in tight financial times. Delighting many, he also pledged to reduce the number of boards and commissions and to fill the remaining and most important bodies with qualified members. And again, he challenged the audience to battle for self-determination and to join him in acts of civil disobedience to achieve statehood.
In a week in which D.C education reform has been topic one both in the District and across the Nation, Gray demonstrated his commitment to keep reform on track by welcoming the new interim chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools Kaya Henderson who sat in a prominent seat in the front row.
Gray again stated that the departure of Chancellor Rhee from DCPS was a “mutual" decision. “She did not abruptly quit and I did not ask her to leave."