Mark Plotkin, a fixture in Washington, D.C., politics for decades, has died. He was 72.
Plotkin was a political commentator and analyst for radio stations WAMU and WTOP, made numerous appearances on local and Canadian television and wrote columns for various publications.
Born and raised in Chicago, Plotkin moved to D.C. to attend George Washington University and quickly adopted the nation’s capital as his hometown.
He had an institutional knowledge of politics that was unmatched and a wit to go with it that made him perfect for radio commentary.
A passionate advocate for D.C. statehood, the “taxation without representation” license plate slogan came out of a conversation on Plotkin’s politics program at WAMU.
In 2007, Plotkin was thrown out of the White House after trying to ask first lady Laura Bush a question about D.C. statehood at an event in which she honored the Ballou High School marching band.
“Mark embodied DC politics, cared deeply about this city, and was an unrelenting advocate for securing voting rights for our residents and for DC statehood,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “Mark was never one to mince words and offered fair, poignant perspectives across media outlets. In particular, tuning into Mark’s show was must-listen radio. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark and all who knew and loved him.”
Plotkin also paved the way for the District to regain control of the Wilson Building in the late ’90s.
Journalists and politicians shared their memories and tributes on social media.
Plotkin was a fierce supporter of his alma mater and donated his collection of papers and works to GW Libraries in 2018.