News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Hanging With the Yang Gang

Photograph by Evy Mages

Andrew Yang is holding his first major DC event this evening, on the National Mall by the Lincoln Memorial. I was embedded with Yang’s Beltway buddies last night at Lucky Bar as a few handfuls of local supporters gathered to watch the tech entrepreneur and supporter of universal basic income’s CNN town hall. A few seemed excited about tonight’s big event. Most, however, sat in relative silence and picked at bar food for an hour. (Check out my tweet thread for more behind-the-scenes from last night’s shindig.) Will Yang-mentum catch on in Washington? Tonight’s turnout may be a good indication.

Speaking of 2020 candidates, unemployed Texas man Beto O’Rourke is also inching toward Washington. He will be meeting and greeting students at the College of William & Mary tomorrow. A little over 150 individuals have marked themselves attending the Williamsburg event. O’Rourke makes his way to the University of Virginia for a similar event tomorrow night, then swings through to Alexandria for a town hall on Wednesday.

Happy Tax Day. I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. You know the drill by now: Email me at and follow me on Twitter with thoughts on today’s newsletter. Or if you just need a friend, I’m listening. Kaila Philo ( contributed reporting today. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to this newsletter.

Presidential candidates are releasing their tax returns just in time for Tax Day. So far, Kamala Harris tops the list with a gross 2018 income of $1.89 million (when combined with her husband’s). Elizabeth Warren released a decade’s worth of her tax returns, which listed a total 2018 income of about $906,000 (when combined with her husband’s). Bernie Sanders and his wife are set to release their returns soon, after the candidate was criticized for criticizing billionaires when he just became a millionaire. (He’s coming for you, Kylie!) What about the taxes of Donald Trump? Sarah Sanders remarked that congressional Democrats are not “smart enough” to review Trump’s tax returns. I’m going to try to use that line on the IRS about my own filings and report back. 

Dito’s Bar at Floriana (the restaurant with the Nancy Pelosi themed Christmas tree) has added to its ample political decor with a large Pete Buttigieg ceiling sign.

Dito E. Sevilla, main bartender and “master of ceremonies” at Dito’s Bar, is an enthusiastic Democrat who’s raised money for many 2020 candidates and is currently volunteering for Buttigieg (who officially launched his campaign Sunday). Move over Moscow Mueller—hokey Mayor Pete drink puns may be coming for your gig.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • You can buy those avocado-pun totes in person at the Neighborhood’s new brick-and-mortar.
  • Don’t feel like shelling out for boutique fitness? I don’t blame you. Here are some free workout classes happening this week.
  • A one-legged female spy who helped steer the course of World War II may sound like a show on the CW, but lucky for us, it’s real life.
  • Venus Williams—as well as the Washington Kastles—will play on the roof of Union Market this summer.
  • Kyirisan, Tim Ma‘s French-Chinese fusion joint in Shaw, will serve its last plate of wings this week.

Our pick for things to do around town:

BOOKS Slate Political Gabfest podcast co-host Emily Bazelon’s new book, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, looks into the power that prosecutors wield in our justice system. She will speak about it—and offer possible solutions—at Politics & Prose, where she’ll be in conversation with Invisibilia podcast co-host Hanna Rosin. Free, 7 PM.

Good reads: 

• America’s mayors on the man running to be America’s Mayor (and President), Pete Buttigieg. (BuzzFeed News)

• TikTok—yes, the lipsyncing and dancing app—is fundamentally changing how we hang out online. (New York Times)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Sip sip rosé! Join us as we toast to spring at our Rosé Soirée on Thursday, May 16, at Long View Gallery! It will be an evening full of wine from local and national vendors, light bites, and music. Use code brittany for 15 percent off your ticket at

An evening under the sea: We’re celebrating the best restaurants in the Washington area at Best of Washington, presented by Lexus, on Thursday, June 6, at the National Building Museum. Tickets are selling fast to the kick-off party of the summer, so get yours today at Want 20 percent off your tickets? Use code bestofbrittany.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.