Welcome to ‘A City Divided’

To our Readers:

Mayor Adrian Fenty ran in 2006 as a different kind of politician, and he was accepted with open arms and hailed as something of a savior to a city known more for its corruption and inefficiency than its competency.

But residents that once cheered the new era turned sour, and the smiling, charismatic mayor lost the will of the people and ultimately this year’s Democratic primary to Mayor-elect Vincent Gray. Controversial school closings and what some viewed as rampant development brought to the surface long-simmering tensions.

“A City Divided,” a special edition of American University’s graduate online publication, the American Observer, takes an in-depth look at community tensions throughout Washington, D.C. Voters were split on almost every major issue, schools and development chief among them. That divide was also seen along racial lines and from ward-to-ward.

You’ll read stories about a gay bar in a historically black neighborhood, hear the voices of those in barber shops in radically different Ward 8 and Ward 3, as well as learn what “gentrification” means to Anacostia residents, and much more.

The multimedia site — featuring a graphic of the District with multimedia narratives embedded —seeks to tell the kind of stories that often go untold, the narratives that unfold in a visceral way in neighborhoods across the city that affect how District residents live.

Also be sure to check out our panel discussion, shot in high definition in AU’s revamped television studio. The three panelists, representing a range of opinions, look back to September’s primary and forward into Gray’s new term beginning in January, as well as provide a fuller understanding of the issues affecting Washington, D.C.

We hope you enjoy and become a part of the conversation.

Jeremy Borden
Managing Editor, “A City Divided”