Robert White speaks to Ward 8 residents in southeast D.C. during a forum in May. PHOTO BY ROY LEWIS
Robert White speaks to Ward 8 residents in southeast D.C. during a forum in May. PHOTO BY ROY LEWIS

Almost one month after the early departure of D.C. Council member Vincent Orange, residents welcomed his replacement Robert White as the newest council member at-large.

With just weeks to go until the general election, council members made an executive decision to swear in White on Sept. 16 as the interim council member at large.

With a tentative agenda already underway, White detailed plans for his first 100 days of office, should he be voted in permanently.

“I am so excited for this role and feel extremely prepared,” White said. “Because I am stepping in as council member at-large midsession, I plan to utilize my first 100 days in fortifying a strong team, so that when the council reconvenes in January, we will already have a dynamic team ready.”

With White’s defeat of Orange during the June Democratic primary, and with Democrats accounting for over 75 percent of the D.C. voting population, there is little chance that White will lose his council spot come November.

As White’s task force consists primarily of work development, affordable housing and education, he attended an event at Ketcham Elementary School in Southeast on Sept. 23.

While at the event, where the students got the opportunity to meet the first black Olympian skier, Seba Johnson, White spoke to hundreds of students concerning the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Though White’s political platform consists primarily of three core agendas, he also gave insight into additional pressing issues, including statehood, the currently proposed paid family leave bill, which will give D.C. residents up to 16 weeks off for family emergencies such as pregnancies, and the Fair Scheduling Act, which will require employers to list their employee schedules at least two weeks in advance.

“I am 100 percent for statehood,” White said. “However, the constitution needs some work and that is what I am looking into right now.

“The paid family leave bill, is a great proposal and I believe the bill will more than likely pass this session,” he said. “The Fair Scheduling Act has been tabled for this session, but will more than likely come back up next year.”

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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