What Are Your Thoughts on the Ward 1 Council Race?

DC Council (Image from Logan Circle Community Association Web site)

DC Council (Image from Logan Circle Community Association Web site)

I suspect that most people have probably been more focused on Thanksgiving of shopping for Christmas than the upcoming April primary … but one thing we really need to be paying attention to is the race for the Ward 1 seat on the DC Council. Thus far, the Democratic candidates circulating nominating petitions are:

Ms. Nadeau is strongly connected to the 14th & U Street/Meridian Hill area, Mr. Weaver hails from Adams Morgan, and Ms. Wheeler lives in Columbia Heights. both Nadeau and Weaver are former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners whereas Ms. Wheeler has a strong background with charter schools. Of the three, I have only encountered Nadeau walking the streets of Park View seeking signatures on her nomination petitions.

Interestingly, incumbent Councilmember Jim Graham has not yet entered the race for re-election. Nominating petitions became available on November 8th and as of the Board of Elections November 29th list of candidates Graham’s name was not listed. The deadline for filing nominating petitions is January 2, 2014, so there is still time for Graham to make his intentions known if he is running —  but I confess I find the strategy of waiting to declare one’s candidacy until late in the process to be a bit baffling.

I’m curious to hear what others think about:

  1. whether Graham will enter the race or not;
  2. if Graham doesn’t enter the race, who do you favor of the current three candidates; or
  3. if these candidates are lacking, who should we encourage to run (either now or in four years).

I’ll lead this discussion by stating that I’m a little disappointed in the “vision” of the candidates. I believe they are all on the right side of the issues they have presented, and frankly don’t find myself so far off from their positions. However, I was hoping to find a deep dive into the issues of development, transportation, and the kind of city they want the District to be as it grows and develops.

Taking Georgia Avenue as an example, I believe the DC Council needs to be more focused on development along the corridor that will provide more housing and room for new businesses — but this needs to be done in such a way that we don’t push out our existing businesses or lose our neighborhood character. The candidates also need to be talking about improved transportation (i.e. streetcars vs. bus rapid transit vs. circulator) and getting projects like Park Morton moving again. In short, there are many, many important issues critical to moving Georgia Avenue forward in a progressive way — including the Bruce Monroe property, historic preservation, affordable housing & affordable senior housing, education and public school redistricting, zoning, integrating new development into our existing communities, and the list goes on. I’m sure this is true for every corner of Ward 1  (I’ll go into more depth on some of these issues and others in follow up posts).

So, to wrap this up, please share your thoughts about the Ward 1 Council race in the comments section and take a moment to participate in the polls below.

If Councilmember Graham does not enter the race, which of the candidates are you leaning towards?

If Councilmember Graham does enter the race, which of the candidates are you leaning towards?

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10 Comments on “What Are Your Thoughts on the Ward 1 Council Race?”

  1. Dave Says:

    I have supported Jim Graham in the past. But he will be completing his 4th term in office in 2014 and he’s not free of scandal or ethical questions. I think it’s time for a new face and a fresh perspective in Ward 1.

    We also need serious campaign finance reform and ethics regulations for the council and mayor’s offices. Constituent Service Funds (CSF), which most if not all the council members maintain, need to be abolished because they are used to gain favor with council members (by those parties donating money to a council member’s CSF) and legally buy constituent votes at election time (i.e., votes from recipients of the CSF distributions).

  2. Kelly Says:

    It’s time for Jim Graham to recede and let new leadership represent our ward. As for the 3 candidates, I like Bryan Weaver and think he’s very personable but I question his work ethic (i.e. I don’t see him working all that hard at campaigning. Facebooking is not campaigning). Still, if Brianne Nadeau wasn’t running, he’d probably have my vote. Beverly Wheeler has even less of a presence than Weaver; I’m not sure who she is or where she stands and her website isn’t helpful. Nadeau is the only one out there doing the real grunt work of campaigning: knocking on doors, showing up at community events, engaging with people, etc. Whoever wants it most will win, and from what I can see, that’s only one person so far.

  3. mbk Says:

    We definitely need new leadership. I can’t believe Graham hasn’t gone to jail yet or at a minimum been kicked out of office for ethics violations. I don’t think any of the current candidates have any real grasp of land use, development or transportation issues beyond “we need affordable housing”–Kent is right, GA avenue is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. I also feel issues facing parents with young children who hope to stay in Ward 1 are not being addressed. Right now, Im not supporting Bryan or Brianne.

  4. ParkViewRican Says:

    Regarding Graham, I admire his development accomplishments, however, I don’t think our section of the Ward reflect those accomplishments. I don’t think we rank too high on his list of priorities. I’m particularly bothered by the inactivity of the Park Morton project. The ethics issues are also a big concern. Leaders need to be trustworthy…period!

    As far as Weaver is concerned, I think he might be a little too focused on social issues. Granted, I would hope that all councilmembers keep issues like poverty, education and other social issues high on the priority list. My wife and I are products of a low-income NYC upbringing and we are very familiar with the benefits of quality social services and a good public school system. I am worried, however, that Weaver might be a little too one-sided when it comes to these issues. I am concerned that we may miss out on opportunities to enhance quality of life, safety and economy for everyone in our ward, because of too much focus on one issue.

    I know nothing about the other candidates, so I’d like to request a debate/forum be held to learn more. Is there anything like that in the works?

  5. Ward1United Says:

    We need a new representative who plays by the rules, has an actual vision for transforming Georgia Ave and who can figure out how to get the most out of city services. It’s easy to call in a pot hole to get filled or a for a new trash can but I want someone who will figure the reason “why” a particular pot hole keeps appearing in the same place and “why” I have been refused a trash can…the city does a good job in their responding but we need to have someone figure out the systemic problems and get them fixed…Graham does not do that and I am hoping the Brianne will.

  6. parkviewres Says:

    It would be nice to have a wider field. I don’t see anything standoutish about the current candidates. I think you hit on the key issues right now in the post. How can we get development and stalled projects moving along Georgia Ave while also paying strong attention to affordable housing, holistic economic development and practical solutions to the transportation system. I do not think there has been much attention paid to our side of the Ward in the past but I think it is the place that is in some ways where the important things are going on in terms of future development, transportation and economic development/revitalization.

    How about someone from Park View step forward to run for this seat?

  7. NHAve Says:

    I don’t think a new candidate is the solution, but rather getting the current candidates to respond in a meaningful way to the issues Kent is raising. Fund raising alone would be a big challenge with only 5 months to go to the primary, let alone garnering enough name recognition and distinguishing yourself outside the neighborhood.

    I support Brianne Nadeau and know she recognizes that Park View is an area of Ward 1 often neglected by City Council representation. So let’s challenge the candidates to go beyond their current plank statements in their platforms and see who returns the most responsive, thoughtful, and actionable ideas.

  8. PlP Says:

    Don’t discount Beverley Wheeler (please note correct spelling) She’s a formidable candidate with significant municipal experience and an Ivy League education. I’m definitely leaning her way.

  9. […] At the beginning of December, one of the questions I asked was if residents thought Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham would be running for re-election. Yesterday morning, CM Graham answered that question on Newstalk with Bruce Depuyt on NewsChannel 8 with a definitive yes! […]

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