Noontime Rally Draws Hundreds

Councilman OrangeAs laborers and fans and opponents streamed up Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th St. and 14th St. to a blustery and windswept Freedom Plaza, the brassy soundtrack played out over rented speakers. They can in day-glo vests and workers’ boots, in fur coats and snazzy hats, and many in Nats regalia, all out on their lunch hours to hear the speeches of labor leaders and councilmembers and community leaders and the Mayor.

The noontime rally was largely designed to be an effort to strong-arm local Democratic councilmembers into voting for the lease tomorrow night. Frequent reminders of the Redskins’ triumph over the Cowboys at RFK came from the community leaders and from the labor leaders, as well as promises of good paying jobs in Southeast not only building but staffing the stadium in Southeast.

Mayor WilliamsCouncil members Evans and Ambrose got up on the stage together to pledge their support for the Nats’ new stadium in Southeast, and they were followed by mayoral-hopeful Councilman Orange to talk about the economic impact of a new ballpark. Orange was sharply critical of the opponents of a stadium in southeast, saying that the stadium had the chance to bring in over $100M each year, and that there has been no vision on the part of the people who oppose the stadium to bring in any kind of additional funds into the general fund of the city itself.

The rally concluded with Mayor Tony Williams’ speech to about 500 people on Freedom Plaza, both for and against the stadium. Mayor Williams expects that the council will live up to its promise to bring a good home to the Nationals here in DC and that he was hoping for a good outcome at tomorrow’s council meeting. There was cheering and sign-waving and largely no interference except for the presence and occasional yelling from the distinctly out-numbered counter-protestors.

1 Comment so far

  1. Robert Marvin (unregistered) on December 19th, 2005 @ 7:09 pm

    vote on stadium postponted

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