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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

At-Large Candidate Mini Bios

Anita Bonds

Anita Bonds (Democrat | anitabonds2022.com) has been a DC at-large council member since 2012. Currently the chair of the council committee with oversight of housing, she points to legislative successes including the Vacancy Increase Amendment Act of 2020 which limits rent increases on vacant units; and Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force Act 2018, which established a task force to provide policy recommendations to improve existing and add new cooperative housing in the District. A proponent of “community policing”, she was the only candidate in the primaries to support Mayor Bowser’s proposal to increase police ranks to 4,000 officers.

Fred Hill

Fred E. Hill (independent | fredhill4councilatlarge.com) said he is running to make city life better for everyone in the District. A ward 8 resident, father and grandfather, he has been a successful business owner for 25 years, during which time he as employed more than 500 residents and 80 returning citizens. He calls for a pathway to training in the trades and a 30 percent salary increase for police officers, emergency responders, educators and sanitation workers. Hill says current council members have had time to get the job done but have failed. That, Hill said, means it is time for change.

Karim Marshall

Karim D. Marshall (independent | marshallfordc.com) is a third generation Washingtonian who graduated from Banneker High School and lives in Ward 7. An attorney who has spent much of his career in city government, much of it with the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), where he said he wrote landmark environmental and transportation laws, helped create affordable housing and led efforts to push for a more equitable District government. He calls for a wholistic view of public safety that emphasizes better training for officers. Marshall also advocates the transformation of vacant units into new housing, equity-based school funding and plans to expand the Benning Road Streetcar.

Kenyan McDuffie

Kenyan McDuffie (independent | mcduffiefordc.com) was elected to represent Ward 5 as a Democrat in 2012 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. McDuffie took a circuitous path to the at-large ballot. Earlier this year, he was ruled ineligible to run for Attorney General for the District of Columbia as a Democrat after a successful ballot challenge. He switched party affiliations from Democrat to independent and announced a run for an at-large seat Currently Chairperson of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, McDuffie counts among his legislative accomplishments the NEAR act, which addresses violence as a public health issue; the REACH Act, which establishes oversight of District efforts to achieve racial equity; and fought for millions of dollars in the Commercial Acquisition Fund to allow socially disadvantaged business owners to apply for grants to purchase commercial properties here in DC. Most recently, wrote the “Baby Bonds” Act, which puts up to $1,000 a month in trust fund for low-income children.

Graham McLaughlin

Graham McLaughlin (independent | grahamfordc.com) is a Ward 7 resident who leads the social responsibility program for a 180-member health services organization. Touted as a pro-business candidate, McLaughlin is also a social activist who has invited returning citizens to live in his home, helping many to found businesses and through the non-profit accelerator he co-founded, Changing Perceptions. Rejecting blanket solutions to public safety McLaughlin said that people who hurt others must be detained and held accountable by an adequately resourced police force but says officers are asked to play too many roles and need to be held accountable for abuses and that incarceration should prepare citizens to re-enter the community. McLaughlin supports funding for the Birth to 3 Act, the creation of pathways to trades or college post-graduation and a re-evaluation of zoning laws to allow for greater housing density.

Giuseppe Niosi

Giuseppe Niosi (Republican | niosi2022.com) is a third-generation Washingtonian currently serving as a system engineer with the US Navy. He currently lives in the Shaw neighborhood. Describing himself as “an urban, DC-Republican” in the model of Carol Schwartzman, Niosi is running to increase public safety, fiscal responsibility and the quality of education in the District. Niosi says that council has ignored historically high rates of crime. He proposes increased funding to support staffing, resources and technology for DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He supports school choice and incentive programs to help families purchase homes in District communities.

David Schwartzman

David Schwartzman (Green Party | dcstatehoodgreen.party/candidates/David-Schwartzman) A retired Howard University professor, Schwartzman has been politically active in the District since the min 1970s. He first ran for office in 1998 and says he is continuing the fight for an even more just and equal DC. With a focus on the reduction of child poverty, he wants to increase child TANFF payments, advocaing for government-subsidized social housing and land trusts. An advocate of the Green New Deal, he supports a DC Public Bank. Schwartzman has been extremely critical of what he sees as the District’s over-reliance on “trickle-down economics” which he said drives racial and economic disparity.

Elissa Silverman

Elissa Silverman (independent | elissafordc.com) is an incumbent first elected as at-large member of the D.C. Council in 2014. As serves as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, she co-authored and oversaw the implementation of the District’s Paid Family Leave Law, which increased compensation time while decreasing payroll tax rate after a fiscal review found tax contributions exceeded costs. She also worked to create the DC Healthcare Sector Partnership, which helps train D.C. residents to become nurses and health aides and get living-wage jobs at the District’s hospitals and healthcare businesses. A progressive voice on council, Silverman has also been critical of many of its decisions, such as the contract for the District’s sports betting system.

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