A quick run down of my picks for the November 4th election (in order of my personal priorities):
For ANC6B05 – Steve Hagedorn – As I wrote in a previous endorsement, Steve understands the issues, is level-headed, has knowledge of how the ANC works and will be a pragmatic representative that listens while seeking to advance major improvements in our neighborhood, such as the Eastern Market Metro Plaza redesign. Carl Reeverts, one of Steve’s two opponents, is a good man who I believe would listen to all sides of an issue, but I do not understand his vision for the neighborhood, and I do not agree with him on several issues. For example, I can’t tell if he wants to move forward with the EM Plaza redesign or start anew. He has historically been opposed to Hine (EMMCA—the group he leads is an intervener in the litigation that seeks to stop the redevelopment of the parcel), yet he’s failed to own this position during the election. I find the lack of a succinct position unsettling. Ellen Opper-Weiner, the third candidate running for the seat, has run an energetic campaign for the office. Alas, following my mother’s sage advice, I have nothing to say about Ellen, but will simply urge voters to do a little research of their own.
For Delegate to the House of Representatives – Tim Krepp – Tim has a been a friend for many years, but that’s not why I’m voting for him. Tim brings wit, passion, integrity, intelligence and a fresh approach to the filling this position. As a City, we need it, because the status quo is not working. What’s more, the limited amount of leverage we do have goes underutilized (where is that CSX Record of Decision—Eleanor?). Tim will engage with the Park Service to redefine our relationship and ensure that our many park parcels serve not only the Nation, but the communities within which they reside. He will pay attention to and work with other members of Congress to influence matters that impact the City, rather than react out of convenience or for PR purposes. Not to mention, he (and we) will have a good time while he’s doing it.
For my 1st At-Large Council Vote – Elissa Silverman – I supported Elissa in the last election and she has only gotten better. What did she do after barely losing the 2013 special election? She campaigned vigorously, and successfully, for laws and policies that improve the lives of lower and middle-income families. But Elissa is way more than just a champion of the working class. Where other candidates talk about campaign finance reform and election integrity, Elissa acts. She has set the standard for refusing corporate campaign contributions in a major election. Most of all, I like Elissa because I believe she has the intellect, attitude and understanding of the City’s inner-workings to hold Departments accountable through oversight. She soberly acknowledges the dysfunctional state of our City’s social services system, and will work to ensure that our tax dollars are not waisted, but used effectively to improve the lives of residents that most need assistance. It also doesn’t hurt that Elissa is a Ward 6 resident.
For Ward 6 Council Member – Charles Allen – Charles has a deep understanding of the neighborhood, is an effective facilitator, a good listener and a bridge builder. He will serve us well on the City Council.
For Ward 6 School Board Rep – Joe Weedon - Joe is a fellow Maury Parent, so I’ve witnessed his passion and involvement first hand. He is impressive in his ability to motivate action, use data to assess issues and his tenacity in dealing with the daunting bureaucracy that is DCPS. Joe’s energy and activism have helped to make Maury a great school, and is having a visible impact at Elliot-Hine Middle School. He understands the local and City-wide educational issues and will be a tireless advocate for establishing cradle-to-grave feeder patterns that serve all of our City’s children.
For Mayor – David Catania – I like his approach to problem solving. He digs into a problem and commands the details surrounding an issue. I appreciate his focus on education and his results on health care. Will David’s temper suit him well as a manager of the City bureaucracy? I’m not sure, but I do know a few agencies that are in dire need of the kind of aggressive reform he can provide.
For Attorney General – Paul Zuckerberg - This is one of the toughest races to pick. Flying in the face of several City Councilmembers’ declaration that this race would be a failure because “no qualified candidates would run” and their efforts to delay the race, we indeed have a field packed with qualified contenders. Karl Racine, Lorie Masters, Lateefah Williams and Edward “Smitty” Smith all have great qualities and good back stories. But simply put, there would be no election without the Herculean efforts of Paul Zuckerberg. I admire his pluck and tenacity and believe he will be a great counter-balance to whichever candidate occupies the Mayor’s Office. And, I can say that after speaking with Mr. Zuckerberg, those who shallowly label him as the single issue “Marijuana Candidate” have it wrong. Paul has an extensive vision for improving the juvenile justice system, chiefly by working hard to keep our youth out of trouble and out of jail. We need someone who will focus on this issue with the same laser like attention he demonstrated while pursuing the creation of an elected AG position—he deserves a chance to do the job.
My 2nd vote for At-Large – Toss Up – Snowden, Pitts, Putta and Bonds (yes, Bonds) all have qualities that I admire, all have baggage. I don’t believe in bullet voting, and will likely surprise myself by voting for Bonds (why? because she’s a staunch advocate for senior citizens, a repository of DC civic history, and, in her demeanor, she reminds me of a late, dear family member).
City Council Chair – Phil Mendelson
Shadow Senator – Paul Strauss – Operating from a largely ceremonial position, Paul used his bully pulpit to help concert organizers break a log jam with NPS that threatened a long running Fort Reno concert series. He also demonstrated creativity by initiating the “51-Stars” campaign for DC Statehood, which recruited the likes of Mario Van Peebles to film Public Service Announcements in favor of DC Statehood. Pretty good for a shadow position…
Don’t forget to vote and I look forward to seeing you at the polls tomorrow!