The National Black United Front, along with the District branch of the NAACP and the Federal City Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., sponsored the Ward 8 Candidate Forum 2020 at Busboys and Poets in the Southeast-based Anacostia community, Feb. 20. Salim Adofo, representative, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, District 8C07, hosted the event. Eighty citizens attended the forum.
Dalton Patterson, a candidate for the U.S. shadow representative position, talked about how he would work to get a D.C. statehood bill passed in the U.S. Congress. Representatives from the presidential campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke about their candidates and how, if either were elected to the White House, they would improve conditions for District residents.
The D.C. State Board of Education panel consisted of at-large candidate Jacque Patterson and Ward 8 resident and candidate Dr. Carlene Reid.
Patterson said he will advocate the use of social media to get more working parents involved in their children’s education and wants more vocational education offerings in the school system.
Reid said she would like to see a teacher’s and parent’s seat, respectively, on the board and will work to implement more technical education programs that will lead to residents making livable wages.
D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8) participated in the Ward 8 council panel with Democratic candidates Christopher Hawthorne, Mike Austin, Richard Campbell, Yaida O. Ford, Stuart Anderson, Jeronda Hilton, Nelson Jackson Sr. and Danielle Platt, and Republican Nate Derenge.
White noted when he came into office in 2017, no money existed in the budget for crime prevention efforts. However, due to his advocacy efforts, $16 million has since been allocated. The council member also said he succeeded in restoring a portion of the money for Ward 8 schools that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had proposed to eliminate in last year’s budget (FY 2019).
The District party primaries take place on June 2 with the winner facing either independent Christopher Cole or Derenge in the Nov. 3 general election for the Ward 8 council seat.
The final panel consisted of candidates for the two at-large council seats that will be decided in the Nov. 3 General Election. D.C. Council member Robert White (D-At Large) participated as the only candidate of his party while Markus Batchelor, Eric Rogers, Marcus Goodwin, Jeanne Lewis, Christina Henderson and Chander Jayarman spoke on why they would best represent the District as the independent, at-large legislator.
Robert White said if reelected, he will push for a better education system for all residents, more affordable housing and the expansion of opportunities for returning citizens. Batchelor said as a council member, he will be a fighter for affordable housing and more-equitably-funded public schools.
Before the end of the forum, Adofo shared his own “breaking news.”
“I am going to run … for reelection as a commissioner,” he said.
Voters Receive Incorrect Mailers on Primary Election Date
On Feb. 21, the D.C. Board of Elections released the following statement in regard to erroneous information on mailers sent to 5,000 registered voters. The cards indicated that the primary election will be held June 16. However, the accurate date is June 2.
“We regret the error and will correct it in all future communications,” the statement said. “We have planned a number of future communications about important events in this election cycle and voters will be well informed about when and where to vote.”
Holcomb Withdraws from Bid for Board of Education
Tyrell M. Holcomb, the chairman of the ANC, 7F, recently dropped out of the Ward 7 D.C. State Board of Education race. He addressed his reasons on social media.
“When I ran for ANC, I committed to seeing a number of projects completed,” he said on Twitter. “These projects will be the catalyst for economic development, business and career opportunities and a chance to see transformative change that includes our community in the process. To fulfill my pledge to those I’ve been honored to serve the last three years I will not seek the Ward 7 State Board of Education seat and will instead run for commissioner for a third term.”