Four years before Reagan broke the mold designed by L’Enfant and codified by Jefferson, I walked six blocks from my apartment on East Capitol Street to attend the Inauguration of Jimmy Carter. I walked [I could walk then] past the Library of Congress to my left, past the Supreme Court on my right into glorious grounds designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed New York City’s Central Park) then into the massive parking lot in front of the Capitol of the United States.
Often late at night, I walked that walk from 1973 when I arrived in DC as a permanent resident until 1990 when I left to take a job as a technical writer for a telecommunications company in Durham, North Carolina.
For noon on January 20, 1976, this was my destination:
Joel Solkoff’s Column Vol. VI, Number 5
Friday, October 30, 2020, Williamsport PA, five days before the US Election, the most important US election in my 73 year lifetime. The outcome of this election is not merely important to me as a elderly man among the most vulnerable because I have a damaged immune system as a consequence of treatment for cancer that also caused me to be a paraplegic. It is also import, indeed critically significant, because a rational problem president provides hope that my three grandchildren might have a future as citizens of this country I have sworn to uphold multiple times. Most especially, this country of my birth and allegiance must bind up the wounds that divide us as Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Whatnots.
Bottom line: Former Obama Vice President Joe Biden will be elected President of the United States and current US Senator Kamala Harris of California will be elected Vice President. They will win overwhelming not only in the popular vote which President Donald Trump lost in 2016, but also in the electoral college, which the aristocratically-minded framers of the Constitution of the United States (ratified in 1792) decided was a necessary protection against mob rule and which in a major shock made Trump President because a small number of votes in the key battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania,
Today’s column reports on how the Presidential and especially critical US Senate election—where Covid 19 pandemic which has killed over 218,000 of our people have died, as of yesterday, https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=how+many+us+dead+from+covid
This US Special election focuses on how you, my architect, engineers, and those in the construction industry readers must instantly drop everything to prepare housing for the most vulnerable in our society, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, agricultural workers, and inmates in jails and prisons must be housed and have home office space in the years–yes years–ahead. This, dear readers, is how you must your your talents and skills to control this plague which has killed as of yesterday, 1.18 million million people in the world.
Here in the dangerously isolationist US, the federal government==principal;y through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (but also through the the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Veterans Affairs et cetera must spend billions of dollars–probably billions to create a future safe from cornoavirus and the dangers respectred epidemiologist of ever more deadly viruses to come.
“In the long run,” the great economist John Maynard Keynes said, “we are all dead.” In the interim, you in the AEC Community must use your skills–which include 3-D modeling, building information modeling, town planning–to convince the heads of federal governments in Washington, London, Paris, Tokyo, Nairobi to spend what will clearly be (at whatever gargantuan amount) limited funds to spend it properly. No more must architects wait to apply for grants. You must actively design the whole process i.e. the planning before money is spent. To that, architects must eschew the neutral “I am above politics” conceit which unless you become political will result in avoidable deaths.
I cannot tell you how to exert influence in London now, because UK politics is not my metier. US politics is and has been since I was one year old abd a princpal factor in my parent’s divorce was the divisive 1948 election when Harry Truman surprised everyone and won.