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John A. Wilson - Former Dc Council Chair


Guest Jack Evans, DC Council Member
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Guest Jack Evans, DC Council Member

May 19 will mark the 12th anniversary of the death of John A. Wilson -- former DC Council Chair ('91-'93), Ward 2 Councilmember ('74-'90) and longtime friend/mentor. Sadly, May 19 will also mark the 10th anniversary of Stevie Sellows' murder. Stevie was an activist/spokesperson/advocate for DC's disabled and handicapped community. I can truly say I miss both John and Stevie.

 

John Wilson was known as the politician's politician. He had his hand on the very heartbeat of this city. The lessons I learned from John while he was the Ward 2 Councilmember and Council Chair were invaluable. He taught me that government has a purpose - to serve the people. If you can't do that or don't think it's important, you don't need to be in this business.

 

Stevie Sellows was a unique fellow. Born with many physical and mental challenges and raised in St. Elizabeth's and other institutions, Stevie went on to have a distinguished career in the DC hotel industry. As Stevie became increasingly focused on helping DC's disabled community, he became a regular fixture at the District Building and was known by all city leaders and reporters. In fact, Stevie spent several years working in my office as an adult intern. Stevie spoke plainly. He let you know exactly how he felt and what he expected to be done on any issue he was working on. All who knew him respected him and he is sorely missed.

 

In his memory, I recently introduced Bill 16-170, "Stevie Sellows ICF-MR Quality Improvement Act of 2005" which amends Title 47 of the District of Columbia Official Code to implement the ICF/MR (Intermediate Care Facility for Mentally Retarded) provider tax and establish a fund designated as the Stevie Sellows Quality Improvement Fund. This Fund shall be separate from the General Fund of the District of Columbia and would be used for quality improvement at ICF/MR facilities. If Stevie were here, he would be pleased with this legislation.

 

So while you are enjoying this weekend and rooting for the Wizards and Nationals, take time out and remember those who have passed on - it is truly a great day.

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