**FILE** Ward 8 Council member Trayon White is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor on June 21. (WI photo)
**FILE** Ward 8 Council member Trayon White is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor on June 21. (WI photo)

For more than a month, The Washington Informer has attempted to secure an interview with Ward 8 D.C. Council member Trayon White to discuss his plan and platform as he seeks to become the next mayor of the District. 

But to date, we have been met with postponements, cancellations and other challenges that have frustrated our best efforts. Still, we have not given up and remain cautiously optimistic. 

White will challenge Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council member Robert White (D-At Large), and several others, in the mayoral Democratic primary that will take place on June 21. 

But with the clock continuing to tick, we have asked a few Ward 8 residents their views on White’s candidacy.

D.C. State Board of Education at-large member Jacque Patterson said he generally supports White’s aspirations and thinks his entry into the mayor’s race will raise issues that might not otherwise be discussed.

“However, I do have concerns about whether Trayon White has citywide appeal,” Patterson said. “I think he will do well in Ward 8 and in Ward 7, but in Wards 1, 2 and 3, he may have some problems. Wards 1, 2 and 3 have certain perceptions of executive expectations that are different from Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.” 

Patterson said that in order to be successful in the race, White must convince voters in Wards 1, 2 and 3 that he will maintain the level of city services they expect. He said White will do a good job articulating the concerns of residents east of the Anacostia River.

Patterson said White should try to mimic the mayor of a nearby city in terms of reaching out and getting the support of people outside of his Ward 8 base.

“Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is a good example that White should follow,” Patterson said. “Scott has done well in balancing the concerns of the poor in that city and those who are well-to-do. Scott served on the Baltimore city council and as its president, so he has had the time to know the whole city and what the needs of its residents are.”

However, there are some residents who remain skeptical about White’s effectiveness as the next mayor. 

“I think Trayon White is the worst thing that has happened to Ward 8,” said Stephen A. Slaughter, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner. “While he has been on the council, he hasn’t passed a decent piece of legislation benefitting the ward. He should not be a candidate to be the next mayor of our city. He cannot take the city to the next level.”

Former commissioner Joe Johnson said White shouldn’t run because he can’t win.

“I think White will have a hard time beating Muriel Bowser for re-election,” Johnson said. “I think he may end up taking votes away from Bowser, with Robert White in the race. He will take votes from somebody but he won’t win.”

Johnson said White should focus on the needs of Ward 8 residents.

“He can do better for Ward 8,” he said. “I don’t see a future Mayor Trayon White.”

Stuart Anderson, a longtime civic and political activist, has supported White’s past campaigns. But he said he agrees in principle with Johnson that White should focus on his council duties.

“Council member White should focus on obtaining more tenure on the council,” Anderson said. “Let’s say he were to win the mayor’s race this year. The ward would have to elect another council member and that person would be a rookie on the council, at the bottom. That would be a disservice to the ward. Tenure gives a council member more opportunities to obtain resources and programs for constituents.”

Anderson said White should be using his organization on getting the best results for redrawing advisory neighborhood commission lines and educating residents about the economic opportunities available with the likely development of Poplar Point. 

Poplar Point, a 110-acre site on the eastern shores of the Anacostia River, will become property of the District from the federal government in the near future and Anderson stressed that Ward 8 residents should be involved in the economic development projects that could be there.

“Redistricting, focusing on how the ward can benefit from Poplar Point and gaining more seniority on the council should be his focus,” Anderson said. “That is more important than running for mayor.”

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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9 Comments

  1. I really like that approach Mr. Wright took with this article. With Mr. White deflecting the Informer’s interest in his campaign, it was genius to go out to opinion leaders in the Ward for a balanced look at pros and cons. Nice one.

  2. Trayon only have 2 years left with the ward 8 redlining of parts of ward 6 he is doomed. There’s no way they are voting for him. We deserve better in ward 8

  3. Trayon White has done a terrible job running ward 8 and should not even be considered for mayor. He lacks professionalism, he cannot navigate criticism from his constituents, he spread misinformation about coronavirus via social media and he made antisemitic comments several years ago. This man should not be in charge of ward 8 or Washington, DC.

  4. My comment is we need people for the people. TRAYON is for the people, we all can pretend to be better than someone else but wait to the new person get in the seat and DONOT continue their promise only to prove that they can accomplish something. All a lone just wanting to be in charge, I will say to our councilman be mindful and watch out for traps. They can be sitting right under you now. Laughing to see you fail or make a mistake, please weigh your options, donot move hastely everyone says you are smart and intelligent show them and keep your seat, let the stress go someone else. I say Stand and see how the blessings will fall. A lot are for your tenacity to move forward, but the majority will see you make the mistake and then talk about he new he shouldn’t have done it. Stand Still and see the Salvation of God. Stand I say

  5. A ward 8 on wheeler rd where you office is can we get the city’s on the curbs pruning they over growing from no 4100 and 4200 block of wheeler rd

  6. I listened to all the candidates speak about what they will do if elected ‘Mayor of DC’ the sad part is that once any of them were to win? What would will do differently? Talk is ‘Cheat’ not bonding…The acts too their actions speaks louder…Has any of them did anything to provide or prove that they will be the best for all wards? Take for instance ‘ The Frederick Douglas Bridge? What presentations it should it represents ‘Frederick Douglas? The Bridge is incomplete and the roads are off, manholes sticking out of the ground, people running in each other lands to prevent from messing up their cars and wheel linemen, is the city willing to pay for damages or not? Schools throughout DC…Music, Track teams, Art Classes, Wood shop, Pottery Class, Home Economics which includes, Cooking, Sewing, Writing letters, business, personal, cover letters, grant writing, Resume writing, The Motto is: ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ‘ Our children are so left behind don’t matter the color of there skin they are, what who any of offer to help the parents? After school programs, swimming teams, Since the pandemic came into our lives…It’s been messing everyday, The children don’t have counseling for children of all ages, parents need help as well…Mental health care is no longer, all seem to be important is building more apartments to make it unavailable, unaffordable who wants betterment in their surroundings, management companies don’t want to be bothered with people who has section 8, because they think they are worst people to have on the property, everyone not from the same breed, senior citizens wants to be comfortable and secure…They not, most of them on fix income, barely enough to each with…I have seen them go into dollar stores to go buy unhealthy food because they don’t get foodstamps, nor money to cover them as it should, medicine that they have to pay for barely have enough to cover the cost to be better, without have to go the hospital all the time, it’s not free for to go too the ER that cost. What about hospitals they build a basketball arena which it’s not been useful for who? What happen to the hospital? The greater South East Hospital, why it wasn’t upgraded? What about patient first health care offices? ST. Elizabeth Hospital, why not upgraded for the patients who already there instead kicking them to defend themselves? The patients should have been the first ones to get units to benefit them? Why? What would you differently? Our babies are lost, they dealing with alot of self esteem issues, well as the parents, child are so anger because they had reason to be ready to go to school everyday, now they don’t have no more reasons, they seen the school board members and DC councilors don’t seem to care, why should they? Kids are getting younger, car jacking, robbery, suicide, smoking Marijuana, selling whatever it worth selling, losing their lives since less killing, What any of them shown to any wards of DC …I’m your person? Show a difference…Like Mayor Marion Barry…He care about all people regardless of your parents did far work wise, you was promise a summer job, no matter what your parents make …Show all the wards 1-8 What you all will do differently. PERIOD BECAUSE I HAVEN’T SEEN IT….THE KILLING NEED TO STOP….PUT SOMETHING ELSE IN THEIR HANDS BESIDE …DISTRACTION, DISTRUNCATION , BUT TERMINATIONS, MOTIVATIONS…All these different types of companies to come to build at least 80% of residents should be part of Construction of Options and Opportunities, if they can’t do that then they can’t build a business. Period…
    Peace

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