The Current april 23, 2013 ■ special election About the Voters Guide
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Anita Bonds, 67, lives in Bloomingdale and has served as the interim at-large D.C. Council member since the D.C. Democratic State Committee appointed her in December. She is on leave as director of corporate relations for the Fort Myer Construction Co., which performs roadwork. Her previous D.C. government experience includes working in the administrations of mayors Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt and Anthony Williams, and as chief of staff for Kwame Brown when he was an atlarge member. She has chaired the D.C. Democratic Party since 2006. If elected to the permanent at-large seat, Bonds said she would focus most on public safety, employment training and healthier neighborhoods. Bonds, who is currently assigned to the council’s public safety committee, said the city needs to look harder at its linked fire department and emergency medical services, possibly splitting the See Bonds/Page V8
Michael Brown, 48, lives in Chevy Chase and lobbies on Capitol Hill for Fortune 500 companies and public entities. Brown, now a Democrat, previously held a D.C. Council at-large seat as an independent for four years starting in 2008. During his council tenure, he chaired committees dealing with economic development, housing and workforce development. If elected again to the council, he said his three major priorities would be affordable housing, jobs and improving the safety net. On affordable housing, Brown said his record speaks to his attentiveness to the issue. “One of the first things I did after being first elected was get the rent control law extended for 10 years,” said Brown. “I strengthened our tenants’ rights laws to protect their ability to purchase a rental building when it is sold.” See Brown/Page V6
Matthew Frumin, 53, has been an American University Park advisory neighborhood commissioner since 2008 and has worked for two major law firms as an international trade attorney. As chair of the Wilson High School Management Corp., he helped oversee the school’s modernization process; he currently is a member of the mayor’s task force on undergrounding utilities. If elected, he said he would concentrate on education, infrastructure and affordable housing. On education, Frumin said the city must address the disparity between the public schools in its eastern and western sections. “In areas west of [Rock Creek Park], we have an increasingly successful but overcrowded local school system,” Frumin added. “Elsewhere, we see a weakening ... system competing with a growing charter sector made of some great and some not-so-great See Frumin/Page V7
Patrick Mara, 38, lives in Columbia Heights and has served as the Ward 1 D.C. State Board of Education member since 2011. A two-time candidate for the D.C. Council seat, Mara does consulting and business development for his company, Dolan Group LLC. If elected, he would be the council’s only Republican. As a legislator, he said, he would focus on education, fiscal responsibility, and open, honest government. On education, Mara said he supports the recent reconstitution of the council’s education committee as “a very good step to continue with education reform,” noting that the new stand-alone committee will provide oversight and resources for both public and charter schools. He said he supports recent school consolidations because larger schools can offer greater diversity in programs and activities. Elementary schools that are struggling to increase enrollment See Mara/Page V7
Perry Redd, 48, lives in Brightwood and works as a volunteer community organizer. He directs Sincere Seven, a nonprofit workers rights advocacy group. If elected, Redd would be the first Statehood Green Party member on the D.C. Council since 1999. As a legislator, he said, he would prioritize promoting statehood, making residents employable and getting justice for residents who have served in prison. On statehood, Redd said his party’s name speaks to the issue’s importance. “Statehood is the chief issue and our party’s reason for being,” Redd said. “With a city of 600,000-plus residents, statehood is a justifiable demand.” Redd said that the District of Columbia — excluding the National Mall, White House, Capitol and surrounding federal core — should be admitted as a state, with the Republican-leaning Puerto Rico added to offset the liberal representatives See Redd/Page V8
Elissa Silverman, 40, lives in Capitol Hill and is on leave from her job analyzing the District’s budget and workforce development programs for the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. A longtime journalist, Silverman has previously written for The New Republic, the Center for Responsive Politics and The Washington Post, and is perhaps best known locally for the time she spent writing the “Loose Lips” column in the Washington City Paper. If elected, Silverman said she would focus most on integrity, accountability and investment. She said there are three principal roles for a council member: “Perform tough oversight over the executive branch, legislate where there are public policy gaps, and be an advocate and a voice for residents.” Many who run for the D.C. Council, she remarked, seem to be seeking the role of police chief or schools chancellor. See Silverman/Page V7
Paul Zukerberg, 55, lives in Adams Morgan and works as a sole practitioner trial lawyer dealing with criminal and civil matters. If elected, he said his prime goals would be to make health care reform succeed here, reform portions of the criminal justice system and improve city schools. Zukerberg calls universal health care “the social issue of our time.” He is concerned that the city is “not nearly ready” to implement key provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, often known as “Obamacare,” in time for the impending deadline. “We are way behind,” he said. “There is no conceivable way this can be done by Oct. 1.” Major steps and decisions remain, Zukerberg said, such as deciding whether purchase through the D.C. exchange will be mandatory or optional. “There has been no period of public comment because there are no proposed regulations for the D.C. See Zukerberg/Page V7
The Current’s staff interviewed candidates running for the at-large D.C. Council seat vacated when Phil Mendelson was elected council chairman. The interviews provided the basis for profiles detailing candidates’ biographical information and their top priorities, as well as charts offering brief positions on a variety of issues. The Current’s Voters Guide for the April 23 special election appears in The Current and The Washington Informer. It is also available online at issuu.com/currentnewspapers.
Budget autonomy referendum The April 23 ballot will include Proposed Charter Amendment VIII. The Board of Elections’ summary reads as follows: “Currently, the Home Rule Act requires affirmative Congressional action with respect to the entire District budget (both federal and local funds). “This Charter Amendment, if ratified, enacted and upheld, would permit the Council to adopt the annual local budget for the District of Columbia government; would permit the District to spend local funds in accordance with each Council approved budget act; and would permit the Council to establish the District’s fiscal year.” Under the proposed process, the budget would become law unless Congress passes a disapproval resolution within 30 days that the president subsequently signs, as can occur with other legislation approved by the council.
Statehood Green Party