Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't forget! Vote tomorrow for At-Large City Council

Tomorrow is voting for a few races in town, namely the At-Large City Council seat currently held by Vincent Orange. It's technically the primary, but since the vast majority of the city are Democrats, this is basically the election.

So, who is running? Incumbent Vincent Orange is running against Sekou Biddle, Peter Shapiro, and E. Gail Anderson Holness. Biddle is a former councilmember, being appointed temporarily to Kwame Brown's seat when he became council chair, serving a few months until the new council was seated. Shapiro is a former Prince George's County councilmember, and Holness is the chair on ANC1B, which serves part of Columbia Heights.

Here's my thoughts: Vincent Orange isn't a bad person per se, but he didn't call for Harry Thomas, Jr. to resign after it was uncovered that he used hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for personal expenses, like buying an SUV and taking golf vacations. He's also a career politician, basically, and just doesn't seem like he does very much.

I think Biddle, Shapiro and Holness would all be much better than Orange. However, I also think that the three could split the vote, so I recommend you vote for Sekou Biddle. Biddle was endorsed by the Washington Post, the City Paper, plus two other local pols: current at-large councilmember David Catania (whose seat isn't up for election this cycle) and well-liked former Ward 1 and at-large council candidate and current school board member Patrick Mara. Here's Biddle's site for more info.

But whatever you do, I recommend not voting for Orange, although in hindsight I should have endorsed him over Kwame "Fully-Loaded Navigator" Brown. Here's what the Post said in their endorsement of Biddle:
By contrast, Mr. Orange, a former Ward 5 council member, is too much a creature of the old way of city governing. We have admired Mr. Orange as a wily student of government, endorsing him over Kwame Brown for council chairman in 2010, but his return to the council has been a disappointment. He betrayed his claim to fiscal responsibility with an ill-advised scheme to tax municipal bonds, proved an uncertain ally of school reform and, for all his talk about improving ethics, failed to speak out against former council member Harry Thomas Jr. and his transgressions. Recent questions about how he managed his own political campaigns and the role played by suspicious contributions from a prominent businessman add to our unease.
Plus, you may remember when he parked illegally while calling for more parking enforcement. Not the most glowing example.

Here's the DC Board of Elections and Ethics site for more info on where and how to vote.

And for even more info, the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force held a candidate forum a few weeks ago and put the answers of each candidate on Youtube. Take a look:

All seven candidates were present who gave opening statements followed by five panel questions, a series of Yes/No questions and three audience questions.  They then gave closing statements.  Their answers to the panel questions, yes/no questions and audience question are on the following Youtube clips.  The panel questions are specifically related to Georgia Avenue issues: 
Forum Question 1: Why do you want this job? 
Forum Question 2: Former Bruce Monroe Site 
Forum Question 3: Lower Georgia Avenue Streetscape and Transportation 
Forum Question 4: Existing small businesses and retail on Georgia Avenue 
Forum Question 5: Addressing the wealth gap in providing housing and employment  
Audience Question 1: Creating one city where no one feels threatened 
Audience Question 2: Quarterly Town Halls 
Audience Question 3: Legislation you are most proud of

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i disagree on Biddle simply b/c he has very close associations to Fully Loaded. If you want to get rid of the dirty cronyism of the past
DO NOT vote for either biddle or Orange.