Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

DC City Council elections this November

In the primary, held way too early, in early April, At-large Councilmember Vincent Orange eeked out a win over challenger Sekou Biddle (who is too close to the traditional powers in my opinion).  Had there not been other Democratic candidates, Biddle would have won.

So in the general election, two at-large councilmembers, Vincent Orange and Michael Brown--he of the attempt to bring Internet-gaming to the city's lottery system, are up for re-election.

There are a bunch of independent candidates who will also be running.  While I have no idea of who I will be supporting, there is no question that my general election voting heuristic will be functioning along the lines of "Anybody but Brown and Orange."

So this campaign statement from independent (really a Democrat in independent's clothing) David Grosso is interesting as it expresses similar sentiments to my own.

Campaign Statement
Getting Back on Track
May 2, 2012On the eve of the sentencing of former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., David Grosso, candidate for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, released the following statement:

"Tomorrow, Harry Thomas Jr., former Ward 5 Councilmember, is scheduled to be sentenced for stealing $350,000 from D.C. residents. Later this month, I and fellow Ward 5 residents will head to the polls in a special election to replace Thomas. We’ll place our faith in someone new; someone I hope will keep the public’s trust and begin to earn back the respect in our leaders we so desperately need.

"Thomas’ demise offers us a sobering reality. So distracted in its own unethical behavior, the Council unwittingly stood aside as Thomas blatantly stole from the very people he swore to serve.  Although the Council today is fraught in scandal and looming indictments, last month’s primary proved that the residents of D.C. are starting to realize that they can play a vital role in turning our city around.

"Sekou Biddle's efforts showed this reality and with limited time and resources, and a crowded field he came close to victory. Unfortunately, Biddle came up short but sent a clear message that Councilmembers who embarrass themselves and our city are vulnerable to defeat.

"My campaign for an at-large seat, Grosso for Council 2012, is the sea change needed to bring new leadership to the D.C. Council. We have built a grassroots movement focused on ethics, education reform, and economic development. We’ve knocked on doors all over the city, held dozens of house parties and hosted events focused on a new, brighter future for our city.

"My candidacy stems from my experience working for six years for Sharon Ambrose, two years as chief counsel for Eleanor Holmes Norton, and now three years in the private sector helping implement President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

"It’s now time that voters take a hard look at the Council and ask, do we want more of the same troubled Council or do we want new, bold leadership that sets this city on course for a brighter future?

"On November 6 you'll have that choice."

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