Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)
Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)

Total number of Candidates: 5

Muriel Bowser [Democrat • teammurieldc@gmail.com]

Robert White [Ward 4 • Democrat • robert@robertfordc.com]

James Butler [Ward 5 • Democrat • james@butler4dc.com]

Trayon White [info@traywhiteformayor.com]

Stacia Hall [stacia@staciahall.com]

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JAMES BUTLER

Ward 5 • Democrat • www.butler4dc.com

What do you hope to accomplish in your first 100 days in office?

I will make DC one of the safest cities in the country by increasing the number of police by 700. A) Create a special Gun Interdiction Unit to work with the Gun Recovery Unit B) Work with ATF to ensure ghost guns are a thing of the past C) Review with our Local and Federal Courts Deeply Affordable Housing A) rent control to all places in DC including those built after 1976. B) Discontinue using HUDs formula to calculate AMI and adopt our local formula C) end tax breaks to big developers

How will you increase access to affordable housing throughout all eight wards in D.C.?

I will begin using city-owned properties as opposed to relying on private developers for the bulk of our affordable housing. I will look at how to calculate Area Median Income (AMI) to determine what is affordable. Presently, the District uses HUDs formula which factors in neighboring counties of the District…this artificially hikes, or raises, what is affordable in the District. —and he will change the law to create our own localized formula and make housing truly affordable.

What steps will you take to address high unemployment in the Black community?

  • Modifying the Sunrise Movement’s Federal Guarantee Jobs proposal to a Localized Guarantee Jobs (LGJ) Program.
  • Restructuring the First Source Program to work with multiple industries outside of the construction; local government, tech firms, law offices.
  • Funding for UDC to provide FREE soft skills training for employees in the LGJ.
  • Making the pursuit of a technical degree affordable to DC residents.
  • Reviewing the areas to repopulate DC’s vocational education programs for children and adults.

Describe your long-term recovery plan for schools and businesses still reeling from COVID-19.

We will begin converting all HVAC to HEPA-compliant… and follow the science. My goal is not to need to shut the schools or businesses down again. Also, we will use SBA and City funding and grants to ensure Small businesses that were hurt by Covid… Get the funding that they need.

What can be done to address health-related issues that impact the quality of life in the Black community?

  • Qualified mental health services.
  • Job placement through local community organizations, government and private entities.
  • Complete access to the ballot box.
  • Access to affordable housing.

How will you tackle gun violence in the District and concerns about police accountability? What role, if any, will MPD Chief Robert Contee III play in fulfilling this vision?

Reformulating a constitutional no-loitering law to make DC streets safe hubs free of criminal activity and unsafe environments. label gun violence as a public health crisis and will put the full efforts and public health funds and resources to address it as such. implement a Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit with MPD. This Unit will specifically and solely work to target and tackle all illegal, unregistered, and ghost guns coming into the District from neighboring and other states.

What will you do to address the disparities among neighborhood middle schools, particularly those East of the Anacostia River, that forces parents to seek alternatives?

I will build a racial equity incentive system for schools making leaps and bounds in addressing educational inequity. Double our foundational investments for all public and charter schools and Ward 7 and 8. Create bonuses for schools that show improvement in increasing early child literacy, mathematics, and STEM. More frequent accountability checks with school administrations Ensuring monies to schools are not used autonomously on salaries but flow directly to classrooms and teachers

Do you support mayoral control of District schools? If not, what’s the alternative?

YES

What will you do to ensure small businesses thrive in the District?

My administration is focused on seeing different wards throughout the city become a hub for small businesses by ward residents. Instead of focusing large grants to big-box businesses, we will incentivize the collaboration between the two.

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ROBERT WHITE

Ward 4 • Democrat • www.robertfordc.com

In my first 100 days in office, I will create a culture change in our government. I will end pay-to-play politics and focus our government operations on the people who need us most. In addition, we will immediately get to work putting my comprehensive public safety plan into action to make our city safer, convene teachers and parents to restore trust in our education system, and make clear to developers that they

How will you increase access to affordable housing throughout all eight wards in D.C.?

I have pushed DC government to convert vacant office buildings into affordable housing, added unprecedented transparency to development projects, and am pushing agencies to identify District-owned properties we can convert to housing. As mayor, I will continue working on creative solutions, like community land trusts and social housing, and will move rapidly to implement. I will make clear to developers that they need to meet our needs and build family-sized, affordable housing.

What steps will you take to address high unemployment in the Black community?

I will implement a Jobs Guarantee for DC to put people to work addressing climate change and building resiliency and sustainability in our infrastructure. I will ensure all students are leaving high school either college or career ready through the most dramatic expansion of vocational education in our city’s history. I will conduct a thorough, data-driven investigation to determine why so many workforce programs are not producing results and replace programs that are not successful.

Describe your long-term recovery plan for schools and businesses still reeling from COVID-19.

I’ll advance an equity-based approach that includes increasing funding for schools with large populations of students with high needs and providing wrap-around services. I’ll invest in mental health services and ensure schools are equitably resourced. The pre-pandemic reality isn’t going to return. We need to find creative ways to support businesses. I’ll convert empty office buildings into affordable housing to provide a customer base for downtown businesses while creating affordable housing.

What can be done to address health-related issues that impact the quality of life in the Black community?

The best care is preventative care. We need to ensure that residents have access to recreation, nutritious foods, and clean air. I will keep our streets safe so people feel confident walking or running, invest in small, reliable grocers to get food into communities that have become food deserts, and prevent pollution and environmental harm. I also will build a stronger healthcare network for communities east of the river.

How will you tackle gun violence in the District and concerns about police accountability? What role, if any, will MPD Chief Robert Contee III play in fulfilling this vision?

I released a comprehensive plan to focus police resources on public safety, take a proactive approach to eliminating the conditions that lead to crime, and expand violence interruption. In addition, when people do not trust the police, they do not work with officers to solve crimes. I will take a hands-on approach to build trust and create a culture of transparency in MPD. I have a great deal of respect for Chief Contee and will work with him and anyone else committed to making our streets safe.

What will you do to address the disparities among neighborhood middle schools, particularly those East of the Anacostia River, that forces parents to seek alternatives?

At a minimum, every school must have a nurse, librarian, full-time mental health counselor, and other basic staffing and resources but equality is not enough. Our staffing and resource allocation must be based on equity. We need to increase funding for schools with large at-risk populations and provide wrap-around services for those students. We also need to work with communities to determine which programs are most appropriate to meet the needs and desires of families and implement accordingly.

Do you support mayoral control of District schools? If not, what’s the alternative

I don’t support our current system – the most extreme version of mayoral control in the country. 60% of Black and Brown students are below grade level and 40% of students leave our public schools before high school. I reject the idea that we have to choose between what we did before that failed students or what we’re doing now that is failing students. As Mayor, I’ll work with the Council to create an independent State Superintendent of Education and appoint a Chancellor with a sense of urgency.

What will you do to ensure small businesses thrive in the District? I will invest in incubation spaces so local entrepreneurs can become business owners, reduce red tape and bureaucracy, and bring down fees for small businesses. I will also protect local businesses from being taken advantage of and prioritize providing them with greater opportunities to compete for government contracts. I also will expand the work I’ve done on the Council assisting local businesses with buying their buildings to prevent displacement.

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