The official blog of the 2009 inauguration in Washington DC through the eyes of Andrew Spear, Kristin Majcher, and Johnny Simon. 

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coming Home

Hi, I'm Johnny. One of two photographers heading down to D.C. for this melee of tradition. This is going to be an interesting trip for me, mainly because its also a trip home. I've lived (excluding college obviously) in the Washington D.C. area all my life, and I'd thought I'd share some facts about the city, and why this election means so much to the residents.

A quick primer:

Population: Roughly 591,000 residents. That's just a few thousand shy of Boston, but 150,000 less than Columbus. The metro area boasts more than 5 million. D.C. is one of the nation's leaders in traffic congestion as many people who work in the city commute from Maryland or Virginia.

Mayor: Adrian Fenty has been in office for two years, preceded Anthony Williams who in turn was preceded by notorious mayor Marion Barry. Fenty, once in office, hired Michael Rhee to the post of "School Chancellor" to take control of the district's troubled school system.

Demographics: 55.6% Black, 36.3% White. Obama won here with 90% of the vote. Kerry captured 85%. Either way, the end of the Bush Administration and the ushering in of the first black president holds a special place for Washingtonians. On an ethnic level, sure. But on ideology and politics, lets just say that Bush wasn't the most welcome here and it seems Obama has been greeted in open arms.

Representation: None! A common misconception about the district is that it has a voice in Congress. Thats a half truth. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district's only voice in Congress, is allowed to vote in commitees but is completely barred from vote on the floor of the House of Represenatives. Which means in turn Washington D.C., a city bigger in population than Wyoming, is put on equal ground legislativly with Puerto Rico, Samoa, and Guam. There have been debates going on for years bringing up the idea of D.C. voting rights or even statehood, but none of them have successfully passed through the legislative branch. It seems that Obama will be supportive of such a measure, but with all the problems on his plate, I doubt we will such much happening with this issue for awhile.

So there are some quick facts. I hope they help put this inauguration in context to what it means locally (they do foot the bill for the Inauguration by the way). I'm leaving town in a few hours, and I can't wait to start sending images from whatever's happening down here.


  1. As Mayor, you forgot the forgettable Sahron Pratt Kelly...

  2. As mayor, you forgot the foregettable Sharon Pratt Kelly...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


Andrew Spear

Andrew Spear
Andrew Spear is a Midwest-based photographer currently studying photojournalism at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. A junior in the program, Andrew is also a staff photographer at The Athens NEWS, in Athens, Ohio. He splits his time between Athens and Cleveland, his hometown. Please click the image to view Andrew's portfolio. (Photo courtesy of Matt Eich)

Kristin Majcher

Kristin Majcher
Kristin Majcher is a junior studying magazine journalism at Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Communication. Currently a staff writer at The Athens NEWS, she has also worked with The Post (Athens, Ohio) and Cleveland Magazine. She splits her time between Athens and her hometown of Cleveland.

Johnny Simon

Johnny Simon
Johnny Simon is a Midwest-based photographer currently enrolled as a senior photojournalism major at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. His work has been regcognized by the Southern Short Course in News Photography, NoTxt Magazine, the Corcoran Gallery FOCUS on Photojournalism and his adoring parents. Please click the image to see Johnny's portfolio.
All content © 2009 Andrew Spear, Kristin Majcher, Johnny Simon, and The Athens NEWS.

No reproduction without permission of the authors under penalty of law.