June 25, 2010

Ward One Recap

There are few things the four candidates for the Ward One council seat agree on, but there’s one thing for sure: when asked which mayoral candidate they each endorse, all four candidates claimed to be undecided at this point.

At the Ward One Candidates Forum on Tuesday, all four candidates stated their cases for representing the ward after the upcoming election.

Jim Graham

Jim Graham (D) spent the entirety of his five minutes as most incumbents do, listing his accomplishments since his first election in 1998.  Specifically he listed the following:

During the question and answer session, Mr. Graham also stated his support for school vouchers.

When asked about small-business set-asides for city contracts, Mr. Graham expressed his disappointment with the lack of enforcement.  The problem, he stated, was not with the laws, but rather with their enforcement.

Marc Morgan

Marc Morgan (R), a resident of LeDroit Park, announced his love of the neighborhood and focused a good deal of attention on crime and small business development.  He asked how many people feel safe walking around at night.  He said he wants to facilitate the improvement of the District’s small businesses, which serve as the best sources of local employment.

Mr. Morgan also announced his environmental credentials and the importance of reducing carbon footprints.  Throughout much of the question and answer session, Mr. Morgan touted the value of leveraging public-private partnerships to accomplish various worthy tasks, such as environmental protection and energy conservation.  When asked if he had held elected office before, Mr. Morgan responded that he had owned a chain of restaurants in Ohio and Arizona and that he served as an environmental official in Ehrlich Administration in Maryland.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith (D) brought photos and graphs for his speech, which he started with the complaint that Ward One has become less green and over-developed.  He didn’t hesitate to mention that one of Councilmember Graham’s top staff members had been indicted on corruption charges and that the Metro, under Mr. Graham’s continuing tenure on the WMATA board, has suffered a catastrophic crash and subsequent loss of public confidence.

Mr. Smith held up graphs illustrating that Ward One leads the city in robberies and thefts and a graph comparing proficiency ratings for DC public school students versus their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia.

Beyond graphs, Mr. Smith also held up photos of various blighted spots in Ward One that he claims languish despite the glitz in Columbia Heights and U Street.  The crumbling Howard Theatre was one of them.

Mr. Smith expressed cautious support of Michelle Rhee and charter schools.  When asked how he would pay for his plans, he trotted out the usual response of better management of existing funds.

Brian Weaver

The evening’s final candidate was Bryan Weaver (D), who is currently an ANC commissioner in Adams Morgan.  Mr. Weaver started off announcing that his campaign’s theme was to bring accountability and oversight to the District government, a hot topic lately.  He criticized DCPS for improperly assigning teachers and called nearby Cardozo High School the “school of least resistance,” by which he meant the dumping ground of problem children.  Nonetheless, he praised Michelle Rhee for making “great progress” and he cautioned residents to be patient about school reform.

Regarding the city’s falling revenues, he said that we need to restructure the District’s tax code and rethink how the city does business.  He brought up the recent park construction fracas as a prime example of waste.

Weaver was the only candidate of the evening to express the concern that Ward One is headed for a widening income gap and that we would become a ward of the well-off and the poor.

What issues matter to you the most?

Categories: Good Goverment
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2 Replies

  1. It may seem petty, but I’ve got an issue. If I have to move my car on Thursday for street cleaning could they at least actually sweep my block? Totally annoying.

    3rdStreetDesign - June 25, 2010 @ 7:33 am
  2. they always sweep my block.

    #1 issue is crime.

    eric - June 25, 2010 @ 10:26 am

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