Thursday, October 25, 2018

Early voting is underway: vote for Elissa Silverman for at-large council

Early voting is underway in DC (learn more here, you can vote in our neighborhood starting tomorrow) and there are a number of races. I'll be recommending certain candidates, and also shortly publishing posts on Advisory Neighborhood Commission races which are competitive (many only have one person running.) And first, I recommend you vote for Elissa Silverman for the At-Large DC Council.

This election you can actually vote for two candidates for this race, one for the Democrat seat (which will most likely be incumbent Anita Bonds in a landslide) and for the seat reserved for non-Democrats, the frontrunners of which are incumbent Elissa Silverman and new coming Dionne Reeder.

I'm picking Silverman for two reasons: she is a progressive who works hard and fights for what's right, and Reeder's team is full of criminals. Literally, not figuratively.

Many of the members of her campaign team have been convicted of various crimes, such as former Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., who served 38 months for stealing $350,000 of city money intended to help less fortunate kids, instead using it "as a personal piggy bank" to buy luxury cars and expensive clothes, trips and meals. Another campaign staffer is Ted Loza, who was Councilmember Jim Graham's chief of staff and who served time for accepting bribes while working for the council member.

Another active supporter is Joshua Lopez, a city employee who hosted a rally in which a speaker referred to Silverman, who is Jewish, as a "fake Jew." Bowser refused to make him step down from a city board, but he later apologized and resigned after the outcry. Lopez also posted on Facebook that Silverman should "go home to Baltimore." According to the Post, Reeder, who is gay, also has the support of Rev. Willie Wilson, who has made many anti-gay remarks in the past.

So if all those supporters and campaign staffers don't give you pause to vote for Reeder, also consider Silverman's accomplishments and policies.

Silverman is a staunch progressive and tough questioner of city officials -- something the city desperately needs. And that's why Mayor Bowser is supporting Reeder, who most likely will be a rubber stamp. Bowser has complained before that Silverman is too hard on city officials and has too many critiques of her proposals. Which is basically what a legislature is supposed to do.

Silverman also supports paid family leave in the city, which the mayor opposes, and Reeder and Bowser have been attacking Silverman over it, which seems strange to me. Reeder says it's a waste of money.

Silverman has also fought against tax breaks for developers, while a lot of Reeder's donations come from developers and other big businesses.

Silverman has also advocated hard for reform in DCRA, the city's slow and ineffective permitting and regulatory agency. Bowser is opposed to this.

And in a first, Bowser is actively campaigning for Reeder, especially after her preferred candidate, Kathryn Allen, was kicked off the ballot for submitted faked signatures in her nomination petitions. Bowser also held an event with Reeder that may have violated campaign finance laws as using government funds to support candidates.

The Post reports that Bowser told a fundraiser "we need to get her out of there" in regards to Silverman, and bizarrely she recently jumped into former ANC commissioner Bryan Weaver's Facebook wall to debate with people about Reeder. I would think the mayor has better things to do.

So for all these reasons, please vote for Silerman.

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