Petula Dvorak

Washington, D.C.

Local columnist

Education: University of Southern California

Petula Dvorak is a columnist for The Washington Post's local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things. Before coming to The Post, she covered social issues, crime and courts in New Orleans, New Jersey and Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the mother of two boys.
Latest from Petula Dvorak

Behind curtains, Capitol Hill quietly mourns one of its own

Dan Turton’s parents learned of the influence their son wielded when Washington’s power players came to his funeral.

January 18, 2024

2024 ushered in two firsts for military women. We’re all celebrating.

First, Vice Admiral Yvette Davids became the first woman to lead the 178-year-old U.S. Naval Academy. Then, the nation got its first active-duty Miss America.

January 15, 2024

After mass killing at Prague school, many won’t speak the shooter’s name

Familiar rituals followed the shooting deaths of 14 people at Charles University. In mourning, many Czechs have little to say about the shooter.

January 1, 2024

These gifts have nothing to do with holidays. They’re about humanity.

Witnessing your generosity has been an enduring gift over 14 years of writing this column.

December 25, 2023

Homelessness is at a record high in America. Volunteerism is declining.

A sharp rise in the number of people unhoused for the first time drove the uptick. Meanwhile, fewer Americans are stepping up to help.

December 21, 2023

My mother-in-law is dying. Was the war over her tchotchkes worth it?

My mother-in-law was intractable about decorating my house in her taste. It took me a while to figure out why.

December 18, 2023

Is it fair to say you’re from Washington if you’re not really in D.C.?

If the Caps and the Wizards move to a new sports arena in Virginia, they’ve lost the right to claim Washington.

December 14, 2023

She wasn’t allowed in combat, so they had her train the fighter pilots

At 104, Betty Printz Sims was the oldest-living female Marine before she died last week.

December 11, 2023

The adults who rejected a grant won by LGBTQ students failed again

School board members in Lynchburg, Va., tried to negate their bias by refusing more money, this time a donation for volleyball.

December 6, 2023

Only way to honor Washington fans is to bring football back to D.C.

A game at FedEx Field is a miserable experience. Maryland gets the Ravens, D.C. gets the Commanders.

December 5, 2023