Page 1

& The CurrenT april 23, 2013 ■ special election about the Voters Guide

VoTers Guide

anita Bonds

Michael Brown

Matthew Frumin

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

perry redd

Elissa Silverman

paul Zukerberg

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

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.

Republican Party

Democratic Party

Democratic Party

Statehood Green Party

Democratic Party

The Washington Informer

Democratic Party

Democratic Party

Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013


D.C. CounCil at-larGE SEat

anita Bonds Democrat

Michael Brown Democrat

Matthew Frumin Democrat

patrick Mara Republican

perry redd statehood Green

Elissa Silverman Democrat

paul Zukerberg Democrat

How would you differentiate yourself from your fellow candidates?

I have a long history of public service in Washington.

I’m talking about what I’ve done; they’re talking about what they will do.

I’ve been deeply involved in local issues through work in the schools, as an advisory neighborhood commissioner, and a member of various cityoriented task forces.

I will put my foot in the revolving door of oldguard District politics, and I understand citywide education issues better than my competitors.

I’m unequivocally for statehood. I won’t accept corporate contributions. My agenda favors lowerincome people.

I have a 15-year track record on transparency, accountability and advocating for investment in our city’s people and places.

I’m the only one giving straight, practical answers to people’s problems.

What do you think of Mayor Gray’s proposed legislation on political contributions, which he says is designed to restore trust in the District’s elected officials?

It’s difficult to use legislation to restore honesty. It would put a damper on ordinary citizens running as it takes money to tell one’s story.

It’s a good first step. I favor public financing for campaigns.

He has offered a positive framework to pursue campaign finance reform.

It’s inadequate. I think we should go to publicly financed campaigns after a specific amount has been raised from individuals only.

I’d like it to go further. I favor public campaign financing.

It is too complicated. I support a ban on direct corporate contributions to local candidates.

No law will prevent dishonest people from being corrupt. What we’ve seen is a character failure of certain elected officials.

In considering the District’s next budget, what spending areas, if any, would you like increased? Decreased?

Would look at reducing personal property taxes, spending more on affordable housing, helping homeless and repairing infrastructure. Can’t identify any reductions at the moment.

Increase affordable housing, job training and safety net. Unsure as to decreases.

Increase schools’ operating budgets. Invest more in infrastructure, parks, affordable housing and the social safety net, especially for homeless youth. Increase efficiency of providing special education.

Decrease bureaucracy. Improve contractor quality. Every school should have a library and librarian. Have more language immersion programs. Slightly increase police foot patrols.

Increase affordable housing, homeless services and green energy projects. Decrease tax abatements to large corporations.

Increase spending on housing production trust fund. Would look at cutting transitional employment program as I don’t believe our money is spent well.

Spend more in early childhood education. Increase salaries and bonuses for highperforming teachers in low-performing schools. Invest in affordable housing and job training. Eliminate council member skyboxes and SUVs.

Given the District’s current budget situation, which taxes would you like to see increased? Which taxes would you like to see decreased?

Would reduce residential property taxes and taxes for new small-business start-ups. Could do surcharge on very wealthy to build up reserves if there is really a need; they are willing to help.

Favored past increases for people earning more than $350,000. Would like cut for teachers and other public-sector workers if they live in the District.

I would like to see what the tax commission proposes. I would like them to be revenueneutral.

Opposed to any increases. Make business taxes more similar to Maryland’s and Virginia’s. Look at reducing taxes on individuals across the board.

Decrease for middleincome earners. Modestly increase taxes on those making over $1 million. They would not move out.

Provide property tax relief for homeowners earning up to $50,000. I favor a progressive income tax, but would await tax commission recommendation before making decision.

No increases. Provide relief for all working men and women, homeowner tax relief, and payroll relief for lower-income groups.

Some argue that high income tax rates encourage wealthy retired people to leave D.C., yet they need few services and their presence helps our treasury. Should there be a tax exemption on pensions, Social Security and 401(k)s, as in Pennsylvania?

It would be a good way to try to keep them here. But these people do need some services.

We should examine it.


We should strongly consider it.


I would ask the tax commission to look at that issue. I don’t know the data.

Low-income seniors shouldn’t have to pay taxes on Social Security. High-income people should.

For commercial real estate in a high-landcost area such as D.C., the price per square foot is far lower for high-rises than it is for low-rises. Should parts of wards 7 and 8 be allowed under D.C. law to have high-rises in an attempt to reduce unemployment levels?

We are going to have to build up there. I’m in agreement with that.


I would support it subject to input of local advisory neighborhood commissions and residents.

I would like to see the report that the U.S. Government Accountability Office is doing on it. I could see it in wards 7 and 8.

No. They wouldn’t employ D.C. residents to build them.

Our unemployment is due to issues of literacy and skills. Building height has nothing to do with unemployment in wards 7 and 8.

I support easing height restrictions where appropriate, after community input, in exchange for an affordable-housing contribution.

Mayor Vincent Gray says D.C. gets little tax revenue from high-tech firms but could expand the sector since the city is very attractive to potential employees. He favors lowering District profits taxes to better compete with Virginia and Maryland, and lowering capital gains taxes for their investors, and he says any taxes D.C. collects will be additional city revenue. Do you agree with this approach?

That’s a premise that can work, but is not necessary as we are a mecca and we are very exciting for IT workers.

Yes to profits taxes, no to capital gains taxes.

I think we should await the tax commission’s conclusions.

Yes to both.

Yes to both, if they hire mostly D.C. residents.

No to capital gains taxes. Aside from that, I would want to get the tax commission’s recommendations first.

Yes to corporate taxes. Need more data on capital gains taxes.

30 Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013

The Washington Informer

District of Columbia Board of Elections

When and where can I vote in the Special Election?

You can vote on Tuesday, April 23 at your neighborhood polling place from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Election workers will confirm your name and address using electronic poll books. If you do not know the polling place that serves your residence address, visit the Board of Elections’ website at, or call the 24-hour automated telephone service at (202) 727-2525 for your correct polling place. Some polling places have recently changed.

Can I vote early?

You can vote early from Monday, April 8 until Saturday, April 20 at the One Judiciary Square (OJS) vote center only. One Judiciary Square Vote Center 441 – 4th Street, NW Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. • You can choose to cast a paper ballot or use the touch screen equipment to cast your ballot. • The early vote center is closed on Sunday, April 14 and Emancipation Day, Tuesday, April 16.


Already Registered?

Confirm your registration. Call the Board of Elections at (202) 727-2525, or visit the website at to verify your registration information.

Need to Register?

To register at the polls, bring a driver’s license or DMV identification card to cast a provisional/special ballot. If you do not have a driver’s license, you can also bring: • Bank statement • Utility bill • Lease or residential agreement • Occupancy statement • University housing or tuition bill • Statement from a homeless shelter • Other government document …showing your current name and address in the District.


Telephone: 202-727-2525 Website: Twitter:@DCBOEE District of Columbia Board of Elections

The Washington Informer

Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013


D.C. CounCil at-larGE SEat

anita Bonds Democrat

Michael Brown Democrat

Matthew Frumin Democrat

patrick Mara Republican

perry redd statehood Green

Elissa Silverman Democrat

paul Zukerberg Democrat

What approaches, if any, should be taken to decrease the likelihood of lower-income, longterm D.C. residents being forced from their homes because of increasing real estate values and taxes, or are our current policies generally adequate?

We have the homestead act. Perhaps we could give retirees a tax incentive to stay here and fix up their homes.

I led the charge for $50 million of affordable-housing initiatives over the past two years.

I like Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser’s proposal for a moratorium on property tax increases for people who have owned homes for a long time, regardless of income.

Lower the cap on residential property tax increases due to higher assessments to 5 percent annually.

We shouldn’t raise property taxes on those earning less than $40,000.

I support property tax relief for residents with incomes under $50,000.

Increase the homestead exemption. Control utility bill increases. Relax accessory dwelling regulations.

D.C.’s commercial real estate and business taxes are the highest in the area by far. Business groups say Virginia attracts many District firms due to tax rates. Should there be an effort to reduce them to compete?

It should be considered.

Unsure. We are examining them. It would blow a hole in our revenue receipts.

Studying this issue is part of the mandate of the tax commission. I would like to see their proposals.

Yes. Especially for areas with high unemployment.


If the tax commission recommends lowering business taxes, I would seriously consider supporting it.

From what I can see, we don’t have a problem now attracting new businesses.

Should the sales tax include services, such as gym memberships?






I’d want to see what the tax commission says.

Absolutely not.

What steps do you believe should be taken to improve public education?

Truancy and discipline problems would be reduced with a more interesting curriculum and instructors. Serve free breakfast and lunch every day to everyone regardless of income.

More per pupil funding to the classrooms and not the administration. Better wraparound services.

Support local schools and give disadvantaged kids the support needed for them to succeed.

The stand-alone education committee is a start to provide oversight, but we cannot micromanage D.C. Public Schools nor the charter schools.

Have charter and regular schools under one umbrella. Include civics education in curriculum. Set a moratorium on school closings and new charters.

Better oversight of both D.C. Public Schools and charter schools.

Increase early childhood education. Have high schools focus on job skills. Increase resources for lower-performing schools.

What line items, if any, should be reduced, struck from or added to the school budget?

Add free breakfast and lunch. Reduce size of classes in underperforming schools. Offer more enrichment activities and more art and music. Look at cutting administration.

Libraries, physical education, art teachers and nurses should be in every school.

Reduce central office expenses and budgets for special education transportation and private placements. Make food service more efficient and increase its quality. Allow principals to hire more tutors, social workers or teachers where kids have great needs.

Add libraries and librarians, and offer a minimum level of music and art at all schools. We need additional resources for language immersion programs, particularly at elementary levels.

Add line items for at-risk youth, family support services and disabled. No further charter school spending.

I’d have to take a closer look at the school budget.

Increase early education, before- and after-school programs. Offer year-round programs and high school job and skill training. Can’t think of any cuts.

Charter school advocates claim the government does not follow the law by giving them first crack at many closed school buildings. What, if anything, would you do about that?

Charter schools should have the right only based on the quality of their programs.

They should not get first crack in every case.

I think the city is appropriately working to address charter school demands for buildings.

In many cases, they should have the right of first offer when D.C. Public Schools will not maintain the facility for future use.

Nothing. I’m against giving away our public assets.

They should have the chance to locate in closed buildings and co-locate in currently operating schools.

We need a comprehensive review of all school facilities and a plan to effectively utilize them.

Charter school advocates say that charter schools do not receive as much per pupil funding as the public school system does, since most charter schools have to fund their own buildings. Do you agree? If yes, what should be done about it?

It is going to be very hard to make it fair, as they are regarded as businesses. We could help them with start-up money. It’s difficult to be independent and take government money.

Generally no, but there are cases where charters are at a disadvantage.

I don’t agree. They get an allowance to cover their building costs. Their cost structures differ from the public school system’s.

I agree. We need to give them access to adequate facilities or finance the building if they are deemed highquality.

I don’t necessarily agree. They make a choice to become a charter. They can get corporate money, which evens the playing field.

No decision should be made before advisory neighborhood commissions, the Office of Planning, business owners and other community stakeholders have given their recommendations.

There needs to be unified facilities planning for both charter and D.C. public schools. The charter school board and school system administration should have a joint task force on facilities, which could match new charters with closed D.C. public schools.

The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services has been criticized for alleged lax supervision of juvenile offenders. Do you believe the agency overall is doing a good job? If not, what should the council do?

It needs improvements. It should have steady, dependable offender supervision. Give more thought to returning juveniles back to the communities. Improve their education so they feel like they belong in society.

It has had systemic issues for years. Aggressive oversight by the council would help. The New Beginnings facility is doing better than its predecessor.

It would be hard to give it high marks. Today, I have no specific proposal to solve its problems.

It’s not doing a good job, as youth offenders seem to have a revolving door.

It’s not doing a good job. The oversight needs to be compartmentalized and much more detailed on placement, personnel and support services. Reports should be bimonthly rather than annually.

More oversight.

We should decriminalize marijuana and not criminalize truancy to assure that youth services focus exclusively on serious problems.

32 Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013

The Washington Informer

D.C. CounCil at-larGE SEat

anita Bonds Democrat

Michael Brown Democrat

Matthew Frumin Democrat

patrick Mara Republican

perry redd statehood Green

Elissa Silverman Democrat

paul Zukerberg Democrat

What steps, if any, should be taken to help former prison inmates find jobs?

We need an ombudsman to arrange prisoner job training wherever they are incarcerated.

I changed the “First Source” law to ensure returning citizens get job opportunities, and changed the language from ex-offenders to returning citizens to eliminate the stigma.

Give businesses incentives such as tax abatements to hire them. We should also establish support groups.

Establish targeted workforce development programs for jobs that really exist. Many current programs have no measured outcomes.

Provide automatic, citysponsored insurance for their employers, stipend-based employment training and skill-matched job placement.

Train them for appropriate available jobs after assessing their skills and literacy levels.

Increase job-training programs for returning offenders and prohibit discrimination on offenses unrelated to the job position.

Is the present level of enforcement for quality-of-life offenses generally adequate, too heavy-handed or not tough enough?

It’s more than enforcement. Many who commit crimes need health assistance and wraparound services.

Not tough enough.

Not tough enough.

It’s generally adequate, but more policing is needed.

Too heavy-handed. We need to enforce other things.

We should properly enforce our laws and legislate where changes are needed.

Too heavy-handed. Some of these laws are draconian.

Should D.C. turn over citizenship information to U.S. immigration officials when suspects are arrested? When they are convicted? Just when convicted of a violent crime? Or not at all?

When they are convicted.

After conviction, but not before.

When convicted of a violent crime.

When convicted of a violent crime.

When convicted of a felony.

I would ask criminal justice experts about it.

Just if convicted of a violent crime.

How would you get better enforcement of laws on jaywalking, bicycle riders ignoring moving vehicle laws, and drivers ignoring yield signs, using cellphones and blocking the box? Or would you eliminate some of these laws?

Parking ticket people should have scooters with authority to pull individuals over and ticket them.

Leave it to the judgment of the police.

Traffic cameras help. We need more police to enforce these kinds of issues. Bicyclists should pay the same amount as car drivers do.

It’s an issue that varies in different parts of the city. Get rid of the laws that are not directly correlated to safety.

Would eliminate jaywalking law. The others should be enforced in full or not at all.

Criminal enforcement is more important. Police officers should ticket lawbreakers, especially where there are accidents caused by them.

Everyone must obey traffic laws. But improved transportation planning and facilities can help eliminate these issues.

Do you think we have an adequate number of police officers?

We need more, but many sit behind desks. Many are on leave for extended periods. We should consider changing the union contract to limit this.

Yes, coupled with the other law enforcement branches operating here.

A modest increase will help.

I think we need some more, but we should have an independent commission to evaluate the number.


Yes, there are enough on the payroll, but not on the streets.

Yes, but they’re too busy making small marijuana arrests.

Should the city substantially raise fines for cyclists who violate traffic rules? Should bicyclists be allowed on sidewalks?

Yes to increased fines, no to sidewalks. Bicycles should be registered.

No to increased fines at this time, but we should re-examine it if the bicycle population continues to increase. No to sidewalks.

Increase fines to the same level as car drivers. Only allow on sidewalks if they are so designated.

Increase fines only if it’s co-related with safety. No sidewalks where there is highdensity foot traffic.

No to both.

I would look at best practices elsewhere. Yes to sidewalks outside of downtown and other dense areas.

I think fines are adequate. No to sidewalks unless they are accompanying children.

Is the District’s present open-meetings law adequate?




No. Notice requirements are often only 48 hours. It’s difficult to find out what’s going on with many boards and commissions.

No. Meetings should be recorded and accessible to the general public in real time.

Yes, but not in spirit. Council budget sessions are open, but there are no seats for the public.

No. Too many decisions are made in executive sessions by officials improperly claiming they involve personnel matters or other exceptions.

Should the D.C. Council seats become a fulltime job, with a ban on members earning outside earned income?

There should not be a ban, but it should be a full-time job.


No, Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh’s teaching at GWU is not a conflict. The key is the time they spend on the council and whether they opine on matters where there might be a conflict.

Yes, but current members can be grandfathered.


Yes, but current members should be exempted.


Should D.C. Council members be allowed to keep constituent service funds? If yes, should they be larger, smaller or left as they are now?

Yes. They should remain as they are now.

Yes. They should be larger. There are many people in need.

Yes, subject to full transparency, including the names of beneficiaries.

No. There is no measurement of need when paying constituents’ utility bills.

Yes. Increase them.

I would ban individual funds, but have a councilwide fund as a part of the budget for emergency needs.

No. They are just slush funds.

Should D.C. allow residents to set up selftaxing districts where residents pay extra to receive extra services, similar to business improvement districts?

No. It sounds like a good idea, but it could get out of hand.


No. It would take us on a road to deeper divides in the city between the haves and the have-nots.

Yes, if they want to.



No. Everyone should get the same level of services.

The Washington Informer

Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013


D.C. CounCil at-larGE SEat

anita Bonds Democrat

Michael Brown Democrat

Matthew Frumin Democrat

patrick Mara Republican

perry redd statehood Green

Elissa Silverman Democrat

paul Zukerberg Democrat

More than 60 percent of D.C. government employees live outside the District, so the city doesn’t collect their income taxes. What if anything should be done about this?

The primary reason for it is the lack of affordable housing. We need to increase the supply of belowmarket-rate housing based on income.

We need to do a better job attracting D.C. government employees to live here. That’s why affordable housing is so important.

Consider providing a $500 monthly voucher for police, firefighters and teachers for mortgages or rent on District housing. It could be revenueneutral or even revenue-positive given increased income-tax receipts.

Offer police, firefighters and teachers who purchase homes in the District a tax credit (the amount of which would be less than their District income taxes).

The city should provide tax incentives to its employees to entice them to live here.

Improve schools and create more affordable housing so people with moderate incomes can live here.

I have no specific suggestion.

Some observers say D.C. statehood is a hopeless cause as Republicans don’t want two more Democratic senators and Virginia and Maryland don’t want a commuter tax. They say we should go for territorial status so we wouldn’t pay federal income and corporate profits taxes, attracting businesses to reduce unemployment. What do you think?

I think we should stick with statehood as a goal.

I don’t agree with territorial status.

Pursuit of statehood and a vote in Congress is a high priority. We should look at ways to pursue a commuter tax.

I support statehood, but think we should concentrate on what’s attainable in the near term — first obtain budget autonomy, then consider other options.

Statehood is an achievable goal. Anything less is unconstitutional.

I want statehood. All Americans have the right to representation in Congress.

I’m a supporter of full D.C. statehood and think we shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Voters Guide Ad:Layout 1


1:13 PM

Page 1

BroWn From Page V1


34 Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013

Brown also takes credit for restoring $50 million to the affordable-housing budget’s many programs: the Housing Finance Agency for rental assistance, the Housing Production Trust Fund for producing and preserving affordable housing, the Home Purchase Assistance Program for down payment help, the Local Rent Supplement Program, and programs helping families on the verge of becoming homeless and for young people leaving foster care. “I would like to try to figure out how to increase the available funds ... to stop the wave of diminishing affordable housing,” Brown said. On job creation, Brown said training and placement for residents is essential. To ensure that local jobs are available for residents, he said, he co-wrote D.C.’s revised “First Source” law, which established local hiring requirements for projects that receive between $300,000 and $5 million in government subsidies and added to them for projects over $5 million. But significant training is still required to prepare much of the D.C. workforce for jobs, Brown said. “You can do self-checkout at grocery stores, so we must retrain those folks,” he said. “Construction may be the most visible form of job creation, but it actually is very small. Tourism, hospitality, local universities’ service side, weatherization, green jobs and IT are where the jobs are.” Brown noted he helped increase the budget for the city’s community college — by $6.7 million in the 2013 fiscal year. Its programs, he

The Washington Informer

said, are an important component of job training. Brown also said he supported a proposal by Mayor Vincent Gray to offer tax breaks to tech firms, provided that the majority of their employees are D.C. residents. Additionally, Brown said he helped overhaul the summer youth jobs program, making it cheaper and more efficient, and blocking non-residents from participating. On the city’s safety net programs, Brown said he has an extensive record of defending the most vulnerable residents. He “took a leadership role in modernizing and strengthening” the city’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. One of the reforms sought to identify barriers that keep families unemployed. About 6,000 families, with about 14,000 children, rely on a mix of District and federal funding, according to Brown — and the money isn’t always sufficient. “The current payment for a family of three is $428 a month. That’s why we have a spike in family homelessness,” he said. He said one of his key initiatives was securing federal money for the District — $20 million for food stamps, and funding to cover 180 children cared for by grandparents and other seniors. He said he also lobbied for $17 million to help the chronically homeless, and for increased federal funding for disabled residents. Brown said he hopes to restart a previous unsuccessful attempt to provide increased property tax relief for low-income residents. A third-generation Washingtonian, Brown graduated from Clark University and the Widener University School of Law in Delaware. He is divorced with two children.

FruMin From Page V1 schools. The big challenge is ensuring we have successful local schools everywhere.” Frumin said the upcoming closures of more than a dozen public schools are concentrated unevenly in certain sections of the city. This will result in “neighborhoods ... that don’t have great local options or at least the hope they are going to get them,” he said. “Resentment is building. When you have closures in one part of the city, it gets very, very difficult to explain the need for expansion in another part.” The school system also needs to improve its wraparound services, Frumin said. “The best charter schools have tutors and social workers,” he said. “In Denver and Houston, they’ve increased staffing in public schools to

ZuKErBErG From Page V1 exchange,” he said. In addition, “major issues have not been decided by the council,” which he said “needs to promptly hold hearings, propose regulations and solicit participation from providers.” If elected, Zukerberg vowed to “work 24/7 to see that our exchange is set up on time, that our software is easy to use, and that our prices and plans are the most competitive in the country. Oregon and some other states are already online.” “When people log in on Oct. 1,” he said, “I want them to ... see their choices and the prices.”

Successful implementation of affordable health care would be a boon to the city, Zukerberg suggested — encouraging “businesses to locate and stay here” and giving both employees and companies “a major perk” through competitive health plans. On criminal justice reform, Zukerberg suggests decriminalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana and instead making that a civil infraction. “For adults it would mean a fine; for juveniles, it’s parental notification plus an educational class,” he said. Zukerberg said current penalties for marijuana create “an enormous drain on police resources” when police are needed more urgently to

Mara From Page V1 need “hooks” or “things that represent what higher-performing charter schools are doing” to remain competitive, such as language immersion programs. Mara also said he supports using school facilities — both public and charter — for after-hours vocational training for both students and adults in “industries and skill sets where jobs exist in the city and will continue to grow.” Athletics, art and music should be used to help engage kids in schools, he said. Students should be awarded academic credit for their work in art or music, and more sports teams should be set up so more students can participate. Students are less likely to skip school if they are held accountable by teammates and coaches, Mara said, and the in-class time set aside for athletics could also be used for remediation or Advanced Placement classes. Mara also said he sees a need for better marketing of schools. He cited Columbia Heights’ Tubman Elementary as a well-marketed example and said others should follow its lead. He also proposed a comprehensive A-through-F rating system that would make it easy for parents to understand the performance levels of all public and charter schools. On fiscal responsibility, Mara said it’s essential to maintain the independence of the chief financial officer. However, the new chief needs to make less conservative fiscal estimates so the city doesn’t have so much unanticipated revenue. Mara also said the city should be considering “tax relief for individuals and businesses”

implement lessons from charters. And it is working.” He also recommended locating more specialty programs within comprehensive high schools. And he said funding for athletics must not continue to focus disproportionately on boys teams. Frumin pointed to his experience with Wilson’s $105 million modernization. “I worked on that project from soup to nuts and gained an expertise that I can bring to other projects,” Frumin said. Discussing the city’s infrastructure needs, Frumin said he agrees with Mayor Vincent Gray that green measures like rain gardens and permeable pavement can help address a federal mandate to prevent sewage spills into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. Lowimpact alternatives, he said, are preferable to constructing multibillion-dollar tunnels to store surplus stormwater.

Frumin suggested that the city find a way to establish a commuter tax in order to fund a regional infrastructure bank with a board including District, Maryland and Virginia members — similar to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. For further investments, Frumin said he favors increased spending on recreation. A facility akin to Montgomery County’s SoccerPlex might be appropriate for Anacostia Park, he said. “Kids in lowerincome areas do not have parks with playing fields,” he said. “It’s why Wilson and Bell [high schools] dominate soccer and Wilson dominates baseball.” On affordable housing, Frumin said the city’s growth “must benefit all our communities” and that part of the resulting revenue should fund ways to allow lower-income residents to live in the District. This should include government employees like librarians,

fight violent crime. “We arrest over 4,000 people each year for small amounts of marijuana,” he said. He also argued that the current approach saddles “young black men with permanent criminal records, which becomes a lifetime impediment to employment and advancement.” He noted that Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and 18 states have already decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. On education, Zukerberg said the city must support and replicate successful programs, rather than focusing just on the D.C. Public Schools system — “I don’t care if it’s DCPS, charter or parochial.” He takes issue with “high-stakes

now that the city’s reserves are close to its average spending for two months. To increase transparency, he proposed a website that would publicly track government expenditures. He also called for improved record keeping to prevent waste and fraud. Mara also said that there should be better evaluation of nonprofits so government money isn’t wasted on those “that aren’t capable of doing what they say they do.” On ethics, Mara said he supports moving to a system where political campaigns are partially publicly financed. Candidates would have to raise a certain amount of money through individual contributions, and then would be awarded a specified amount from the city. Corporate and union contributions would be banned. Mara believes that once in office, council members — exempting the current legislators — should not be allowed to hold outside jobs unless cleared by the council. If elected, he said, he would devote himself full-time to the council. Members should also not be allowed to receive gifts or even cups of coffee from lobbyists, Mara said, but they ought to be able to receive free admission to widely attended events such as Chamber of Commerce dinners. Mara also said the city’s open meetings law needs stricter enforcement, especially for boards and commissions. “In a number of these meetings, people aren’t able to follow what goes on,” he said. Mara, a native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., graduated from Marist College in 1997, where he majored in environmental science and political science. He received a Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurship from Babson College. He is newly married.

police officers and firefighters, he said, and should also exist beyond separately subsidized affordable-housing units. “We need to use carrots to attract our workforce to the city: a voucher of something like $500 a month for mortgage or rent in the District for, at first, teachers, firefighters and police,” Frumin said. “If it proves successful, it can be expanded to other city employees. We could then offer incentives to businesses to offer something similar.” He also supports a proposal from Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser to enact a moratorium on increased property taxes for longtime residents at all income levels. Frumin grew up near Detroit, graduated from the University of Michigan and moved to the District to attend law school at George Washington University. He is married with three children, who all have attended D.C. public schools.

testing with one big test” to measure performance. Instead, he said he supports “evaluations throughout the year with quizzes and mini reviews.” Teacher evaluations, meanwhile, “should include surveys of satisfaction by students, parents and other teachers.” Advanced Placement classes are important, he said. “Students who can advance should have that opportunity.” But the city also needs more focus on job training and skill development during the high school years. “Good jobs,” Zukerberg said, “are going vacant because our high school graduates do not have the skills necessary to fill them. High school graduates can make it as

SilVErMan From Page V1 On integrity, Silverman said that she supports transparency in government so that its “actions are understandable and accessible to taxpayers.” “I have a track record of pushing transparency,” Silverman said. “Until three years ago, decisions about the budget were made behind closed doors,” and “I led nonprofit groups advocating to push [then-Council Chairman Vincent] Gray to open up those negotiations, which wouldn’t have happened without my advocacy.” One of the future reforms Silverman said she would seek is to establish a practice of posting city contracts online. She also said called for more oversight of the Children’s Youth Investment Trust Corp., which offers out-of school-programs for District children. The group lost more than $300,000 in recent years, stolen by then-Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, too, needs increased oversight and accountability, Silverman said. “We need to revisit how the CFO works with our agencies to make sure it is a structure that is beneficial.” In general, she said, there needs to be “better oversight of all of our agencies.” It shouldn’t be “a once-a-year thing with the budget” but rather “year-round work with … the tax and revenue committee.” Silverman supports banning direct corporate contributions to local candidates, noting that her campaign is not accepting them. On accountability, Silverman said her career examining city government from the

The Washington Informer

dental hygienists. ... They can take courses to prepare for food service management careers.” Zukerberg noted that fewer than 10 percent of D.C. high school graduates complete college within six years. In addition, he said, there’s a problem of “for-profit colleges … snapping up high school graduates desperate to learn marketable skills and saddling them with huge student debts and graduating a very small percentage.” Born in Paterson, N.J., and a graduate of Hamilton College, Zukerberg came to D.C. in 1981 to attend American University’s law school. He is married and has two children who attend local public schools.

outside gives her a strong background. “I have detailed where the city spends its money. This is the kind of accountability I’m talking about: a comprehensive map of where the city spends its workforce dollars. I think we should be doing this kind of oversight and then I would ask the question, ‘What outcomes are we getting for these dollars?’” On investment, Silverman said the city should put more money toward affordable housing and schools because of substantial gaps here both in opportunities and income equality. She said the key reason for the significant unemployment east of the Anacostia River is that “schools are not performing to the level of Janney or Brent,” referring to high-demand elementary schools in Tenleytown and Capitol Hill. “We need to be honest [to parents] about their [children’s] skills and literacy levels and how we get them jobs,” she added. Silverman said she supports schools offering breakfast, lunch, and, if necessary, dinner for students who don’t get proper meals at home. “Then we need to make sure we’re funding housing programs so that the kid is not sleeping in a park, shelter or motel room,” she added. Silverman said the city should “put more money into the Housing Production Trust Fund,” which is the “best generator of affordable housing.” To further stimulate affordable-housing construction, Silverman said the District needs to enforce its existing inclusionary zoning laws, as well as explore other approaches. Silverman, who is single, grew up in Baltimore. She earned her bachelor’s at Brown University, where she studied economics and history.

Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013


BonDS From Page V1 two into separate agencies to save money and improve service. “Eighty-five percent of the calls are for emergency services, not for fires,” she said. Bonds supports increasing the number of police officers in the city. She also said she is “a fan of community policing where officers walk the beat, so you build trust between police and neighborhood businesses … [and] it’s easier to report suspicious people in the neighborhood.” Asked about civic groups that want to fund their own security presence for their neighborhoods, as the Citizens Association of Georgetown has done for several years, Bonds said such groups have “a right to do that as long as it does not infringe on others’ rights. We don’t want gated communities.” In response to recent acts of violence involving D.C. youth, Bonds has urged a comprehensive approach and an “infusion of resources to address the root causes.” She criticized decisions to reduce — and, in some cases, eliminate — funds for effective programs such as the Weed and Seed Initiative and the Roving Leaders Program. On jobs, she wants the District to do more to help ex-offenders integrate into the workforce. “The city should put money into their training while they are incarcerated, no matter where,” she said. “We should match them with a job for which they have been trained and that is appropriate to their skill set and their crime.” Bonds also believes schools should expand their job-training capabilities for specific positions, she said. “That includes open-

ing buildings for evening courses for adults who are unemployed or feel they are underemployed.” She also suggested that “for the hard-core unemployed,” the creation of a service corps could be helpful. Workers could “plant trees, do landscaping and cleaning and sprucing up our neighborhoods,” she said. “They could help our disabled seniors tidy up their properties. They could clean up invasive species in Rock Creek Park.” On the subject of “healthy neighborhoods,” Bonds spoke of the importance of improving the quality of life of District communities. The city must make proper investments in infrastructure like streetlights, and provide opportunities for commercial entities to thrive in neighborhoods. And the “Great Streets” program should be expanded, she said. Cleanliness and healthiness are important for both businesses and residences, according to Bonds. “We have to create a process for grading business establishments for cleanliness and safety as they do in Los Angeles and Singapore,” she said. She also said the city should help residents ensure that front yards and porches remain clutter-free. “It’s helpful to have someone get rid of some of that debris.” In some neighborhoods, such as Adams Morgan, the government must “pay attention to oversaturation with liquor licenses,” she said. Bonds, a widow with three children, studied for four years at the University of California at Berkeley. Her background also includes working as a community organizer, chairing the Perry School Community Services Center and managing a youth mentorship program at Georgetown University.

rEDD From Page V1 Washingtonians would likely elect. “The representation from the two jurisdictions would be akin to when Alaska and Hawaii joined the union,” he said. The issue is a matter of civil rights, said Redd. “Disenfranchisement is unacceptable and un-American. Constitutional rights, selfdetermination and self-government should be equal among all Americans.” Some advocates have suggested that the District become a territory, like Puerto Rico, in which residents pay no federal income tax. Redd disagreed with that approach, saying representation in Congress is more valuable both to residents and to the country. “Taxes are a part of the American responsibility,” he said. On employment, Redd said the District should “aggressively support” its “First Source” law, which requires that certain city contractors hire primarily D.C. residents and sets out penalties for out-of-compliance firms. Furthermore, he said, the District should do more to encourage people to live here, including property tax breaks or reduced pay for city employees who live in other jurisdictions. “Living outside of D.C. and working here has no consequences,” he said. “I would create incentives to live where you work.” Redd also the city should increase its jobtraining budget, and tie programs to the types of jobs that are available. “I commit to legislation to open accredited training for tech positions, administrative, management level and in-demand occupations such as green jobs.” On returning citizens who were formerly

incarcerated, Redd said it’s important to treat all residents equally — preventing discrimination by employers based on criminal history, and reinstating ex-offenders’ rights to serve on a jury. Helping returning citizens establish a stable lifestyle is valuable not only for them but for the city as a whole because it reduces the likelihood they will return to crime, Redd said. He recalled data stating that 70 to 80 percent of unemployed returning citizens are arrested again, compared to 20 percent of those who are employed. “It’s a reality that idle time is the devil’s workshop,” said Redd. “So to ensure public safety, provide opportunity and for their selfesteem, employment is a necessary tool.” In addition to providing employment protections, Redd said the city should help returning citizens get back on their feet by using the Housing Production Trust Fund to connect them to subsidized living arrangements. “A majority of them go to shelters or couch surf,” he said. Redd noted that there are times when it’s not appropriate to ignore a citizen’s history. For instance, he said, a convicted child molester should not be hired by a school or the Department of Parks and Recreation, and a bank should retain the right to not hire someone convicted of robbery or fraud. “Ex-offenders should be able to be barred from employment in appropriate cases,” he said, but “I disagree with the part which allows an employer to bar employment just based on any conviction.” Redd, a native Washingtonian, graduated from H.D. Woodson High School and Northwest Academy in Chicago. Divorced, he has a grown daughter, two stepsons and six grandchildren.

Perhaps the greatest right that we Perhaps theUnited greatestStates right that we all have as citizens all have United citizens isas the rightStates to vote!

is the right to vote!

Being an informed voter is important and we urge you to take the time to Being an informed voter candidates is important take and we you to take the time to review the review the positions onurge the myriad of issues that can help to improve our region both the local andthat the can federal As a our region positions candidates take on the at myriad of issues help level. to improve long-standing corporate citizen metropolitan Washington both at the local and the federal level. of Asthe a long-standing corporate citizenarea, of the we hope you will indeed and then exercise your right metropolitan Washington area,become we hopeinformed you will indeed become informed to vote in the upcoming elections.

and then exercise your right to vote in the upcoming elections. Giant is commited to continuing our long-standing

Giant is commited to continuing our long-standing tradition of being an involved corporate citizen of this tradition of being an involved corporate citizen of this community. Please join us in becoming involved too! community. Please join us in becoming involved too!

See the polls! See you you at the at polls! 36 Apr. 4, 2013 - Apr. 10, 2013

The Washington Informer

Voters Guide  
Voters Guide  

Voters Guide