The Future

The Future

As time passes, most Americans look to the present and to the immediate future. I was given the opportunity to have a look at what the future holds for the country not just for the next 5 years, but quite possibly for the next 25 years.

As part of our service, Concierge Tours provides class visitations. I had the pleasure of visiting a third-grade class at Public School 165 in Flushing, New York. Principal Tiffany Davis-Nealy heads this diverse group of White, Asian, African American and Hispanic students to one of the best Primary Schools in the Borough of Queens.

Third grade teacher Rina Walter has been teaching at PS 165 for almost 30 years and instructs classes that can contain 30 or more students. The dynamics of her class represent the entire school. Many of Mrs. Walter’s students are the first generation to be born in this country.

Over the last few months, the country had been hearing about the presidential election in almost every news cycle. The students of this third-grade class began to ask questions that many adults had also been asking. One of the biggest responsibilities we have to young students, is to accurately answer the questions when we are asked, “Why?”

These talented third graders were like sponges. When provided some information, they wanted more. When told a story about Francis Scott Key and why he was inspired to compose what would be our National Anthem, will now have these students singing the Star-Spangled Banner with more reverence. When told about the creation of Washington, DC and the monuments and sights there today, I’m certain that a trip to our nation’s capital will be at the top of their list of destinations to visit.

We need to keep answering questions and challenging young students to learn as much as they can. This will allow the adults of today to rest assured that the future will be in capable hands. At the end of my visit, Ben, a very talented young man informed me that someday he will be President of the United States. How’s that for setting your sights high?

Concierge Tours is happy to visit schools and provide information about Washington, DC and our history. If you are planning to visit Washington, DC, book a personal tour with Concierge Tours. Visit our website at or call at 202-997-7861. We look forward to serving you.

Alan Feldman of Concierge Tours sits with his third grade audience

Alan Feldman of Concierge Tours sits with his third grade audience


The Electoral College

The Electoral College

After the results of the recent presidential election, the United States has once again elected a President who attained an absolute majority of Electoral Votes but failed to secure the popular vote.  As a result, the nation has been mulling the question, “Why have an Electoral College?”

The nation’s founding fathers had a number of possibilities of how the President and Vice-President are chosen.  At that time, the notion of electing a President on the basis of a ‘popular vote’ was rejected  as it did not adequately represent individual states.  Therefore, it was concluded that the selection of the President be based on a combination of both a popular consensus and a group of people selected by each state to ensure proper representation to be known as the electorate.  There is one major criteria to serve as an elector that is detailed in Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 of the United State Constitution which says:

“No Senator or Representative or person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States shall be appointed an Elector” This provision was to ensure that there would be no influence or the appearance of impropriety from government officials on electors.

In the early 1800’s, this form of presidential selection may have satisfied the people of the 17 states in the union.  There were approximately 5.4 million free persons in the United States with almost 900,000 slaves who could not vote.  Today, the people of the 50 states in the union and over 325,000,000 people are debating whether this form of presidential selection is still permissible.

At present, there are 538 Electoral Votes.  The number of Electoral Votes assigned to each state depends on both the number of Senators and the number of representatives the state has allotted to Congress.  Therefore, a presidential candidate needs to win states that would secure 270 Electoral Votes to win the presidency.

Looking at recent presidential elections, twice in the past 5 elections winning candidates failed to win the popular vote.  And once again the question is raised as to whether the Electoral College truly represents the will of the people.  So, the debate will continue and very good and smart people will agree and disagree with one another on this topic.  Thankfully we all live in a country where this conversation is not only permissible but welcomed as well.

Where do you stand?

Come book a tour of Washington, DC with Concierge Tours.  Please visit our website at or give us a call 202-997-7861.

270 and The Presidential Process

As the presidential election draws closer, we are constantly hearing references to the Electoral Map and the race to 270 Electoral Votes.  Where does the 270 come from and how many Electoral Votes is designated to each state?

Let’s first look at how we arrive at the number 270.  There are 538 electors based on the following:

  • 435 Representatives
  • 100 US Senators

As you can see, this brings us to 535.  The District of Columbia while obviously not a state is allotted 3 Electoral Votes.  According to the 23rd Amendment, the District of Columbia will receive the same number of Electoral Votes as the state with the least number of votes.  This brings our total to 538.

Therefore, the candidate who wins the most states to bring their electoral count to 270 will win an absolute majority of Electoral Votes and win the presidential election.

Each state is given a specific number of Electoral Votes based on the members of Congress each state is appointed.  The candidate who wins the popular vote in each state is awarded that states’ Electoral Votes.  In the past, we have had situations where a presidential candidate won the popular vote but failed to win the Electoral Vote. (Bush-Gore 2000)

On election night, the country will know who will be the next President of the United States, but the official process has not concluded.  The Electoral College meets in December on the first Monday after the second Wednesday.  All the electors will meet in their respective states and cast their votes for President and Vice-President.

It’s not until January 6, 2017 in a joint session of Congress will the Electoral Votes be counted.  The current Vice-President who serves as President of the Senate, oversees the Electoral Count and declares officially who has been elected as President and Vice-President of the United States.

Finally, at 12:01PM on January 20, 2017, the Presidential Oath of Office as written in Article II, Section One, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution will be administered to the incoming President by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The oath is as follows:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And with this oath, the peaceful transition of power will have taken place.  These final days leading up to election day will be very exciting.  Concierge Tours will continue to publish stories with information we feel you might like to know.  Visit our website at to arrange a tour of Washington, DC.

Presidential Inauguration

Presidential Inaugurations – What to look for

As election day approaches, our nation will shortly be voting for a new leader of the free world.  After the election, the new president will be inaugurated  on the Capitol’s West Front on January 20, 2017.

What people may not know is that preparations for the inaugural event takes place even before election day.  In addition to the 1600 spectators who will be seated behind to the left and right of the new president, there will be risers constructed for the electronic and print media to either side of the president.

As the president delivers the inaugural speech, the electronic media will be situated to the president’s left and the print media to the president’s right as the crowds on the National Mall look on.  The electronic media’s site is constructed to provide the best possible angle for photographers to take all the iconic pictures the world will see in the days that follow the inaugural.

Here are some facts to know about the inaugural that unless you’re reading this blog, you may never know!

There will be five flags draped down on the Capitol building behind the new president.  The flags are arranged in a specific order.  As you look at the flags from left to right the significance is as follows:

The US Capitol Building, decorated in preparation for the inauguration of President Obama.

  • Flags 1 and 5 – These flags are identical and represent the 13 original colonies.
  • Flags 2 and 4 – These flags are identical and represent how the flag appeared when the new president’s home state was inducted into the union.
  • Flag 3 – Represents our current flag.

In case the weather does not cooperate and there are freezing temperatures on inauguration day, don’t worry about the new president.  The platform where the podium is situated will be heated from below!

Finally, another little-known fact is that below the platform where the new president will be standing, is a solid piece of Mahogany.  After the ceremony has concluded, the Mahogany will be removed and carved into 100 gavels to be presented to the president at a later date.

Concierge Tours will continue to bring you the Washington, DC you may not know. Call Concierge Tours to book your personal tour of Washington, DC at 202-997-7861 and visit our website at for more information.