Gordon-Andrew Fletcher, a Ward 5A08 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and chair of the Ward 5 Democrats, said he wants the party’s nomination for Kenyan McDuffie’s Ward 5 council seat in 2022.
“This has been a dream of mine, a passion of mine,” Fletcher told the Informer after declaring his candidacy on July 22.
“I have wanted to be a community servant since high school and wanted to serve the residents of Ward 5 since I moved here 19 years ago from New York City,” Fletcher said.
Still, he admits, “Kenyan McDuffie has done a great job as the council member but I want to take the ward to a higher level.”
Fletcher lives in North Michigan Park.
The Ward 5 council race will be one of the major elected offices up for grabs in next year’s midterm election. Voters will also consider candidates for D.C. mayor, council chairman, attorney general, two at-large seats and council seats for Wards 1, 3 and 6.
Fletcher has emerged as the first major contender for the council seat but former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange and Ward 5A05 advisory neighborhood commissioner Ronnie Edwards have indicated interest in running.
There is talk among political observers that Faith Gibson Hubbard, the director of the mayor’s office of community affairs, may join the race, too. McDuffie hasn’t announced his political plans as of yet.
Fletcher’s Platform
Fletcher said he plans on running a grassroots campaign. He noted in his campaign email that he won’t accept PAC money or any individual contributions exceeding $50.
On economic development, Fletcher said he will listen to what residents want. He made it clear businesses owned by African Americans and females of any race will be prioritized.
Fletcher wants to expand the city’s Main Streets program, an initiative that provides financial incentives to businesses located on major thoroughfares. Essentially, he wants commercial and residential development projects in Ward 5 “but only if they look right.”
“A high-rise building next to a group of rowhouses doesn’t look right,” he said. “I want development in the ward but the right type.”
Regarding public safety, Fletcher wants residents to take a more proactive approach. He supports a return to orange hat patrols—where residents walk their neighborhoods wearing colored caps with communications devices—to fight crime.
He also said he wants more community policing, more speed bumps in the streets, removal of guns from criminals and more events such as block parties where neighbors can get to know each other.
Fletcher said as a council member, he will have to make tough decisions on behalf of the ward. Nevertheless, he said advocating in the best interest of the ward and not acting paternalistically will be his mode of operation.
Also, he said he wants to work to get things done “and not try to be a part of The Club” at the John A. Wilson Building.
“I will be authentic,” he said. “I will be who I am. I will listen to the people. As a council member, I will actively and regularly meet with advisory neighborhood commissions and community associations.”
McDuffie Responds
Although unannounced for reelection, McDuffie issued a statement to The Informer regarding Fletcher’s candidacy without mentioning the challenger specifically.
“I’ll announce my future plans soon, but my immediate focus is squarely on Ward 5 and our city’s most pressing needs—keeping residents safe from the dual crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising gun violence epidemic, ensuring an equitable economic recovery for our low-wage workers and small business owners; and getting parents and teachers the resources to address our students’ learning, social and emotional needs,” the council member said.

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James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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1 Comment

  1. Please have these so-called person trying to get names on paper to stay out and away from Senior Bldgs they should be ashamed of their selves and this is a locked secure Bldg and No one seems to want to help with this.

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