With the 2006 Washington mayoral race coming up, The Washington Post has taken the time to profile the five major candidates. (Yes, I know this came out in February, but I just noticed it yesterday.) Right now, by the way, I'm leaning Cropp. Though I have been hearing excellent things about Johns.
The profiles are pretty standard and apolitical. Instead of asking what they think of creeping gentrification, parking issues, or the baseball deal/sham, the Post asks questions like "What's your favorite book?" I find these little "get to know your candidate" questionnaires to be totally useless, but let's work with what we've got.
By the far the best question on whatever form all these candidates filled out is "Crime victim?" Every single person running for office has been burglarized or had their car stolen. What a city!
I wonder what would happen if someone had answered, "Though I am acutely aware of the criminal elements of Washington, I have not personally been the victim of any crime." Would an answer like that be used against the candidate? Would it hurt them politically? Is that what happens when the crime victims outnumber the non-victims?
I'm just stunned that five well-off and well-connected individuals can all be victims of crime. Five is obviously a small sample size, but the 100% crime victim rate presented here is out of control. I just don't see how someone can defend this city as a good place to live when crime is this much of a problem. And don't tell me that it's the price to pay for urban living. My friends in Boston and New York all seem to be doing a pretty good job of not having their car stolen.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I personally have not been victimized in DC. However, my office building keeps getting broken into, so it's not like my stuff isn't at risk.)
To Washington's credit, crime is decreasing (and being pushed into Prince George's County). And, I'll admit, city crime is inevitable. It happens. It's when it happens to almost everybody that people should take notice. Can you imagine a presidential election where all four or five major candidates have been mugged?