Endorsement for Jim Graham in the Ward 1 Council Race

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In the Ward 1 Council race, I have decided to endorse the incumbent, Councilmember Jim Graham.  In making this decision it boiled down to one thing – in the race between Jim Graham and Brianne Nadeau, I believe Jim Graham’s experience and understanding of both the Ward and Georgia Avenue’s dynamics makes him the better candidate when it comes to representing the issues of our community and the future of lower Georgia Avenue.

As I often have had to do in my role as a community leader, I have given this decision much thought knowing full well that some in the community will disagree with it. Yet, above all I feel it is my duty to advocate in the best interests of the community. I believe this decision does that.

It has been my experience during my years of service that Councilmember Graham has provided much needed support to community priorities when it mattered most. A few of the many issues in our community I credit him with are:

  • The opening of the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center, a project that could have died or been built elsewhere in the Ward were it not for CM Graham’s advocacy;
  • Bringing development and a new CVS to the corner of Georgia and New Hampshire avenues;
  • His work on the land swap with the Gales School and the Central Union Mission, which led to the construction of The Avenue. Now, a building with 83 affordable units (27 set aside for public housing) exists where once a 150- to 175-bed men’s shelter was planned;
  • His support for increasing the 2012 phase one modernization of the Park View School building from $5.5M to $8.4M, which allowed for far more of the building to be modernized than typically occurs during a normal phase one project;
  • Continued support for improvements to the Park View Recreation Center. Due to Graham’s involvement, all of the outdoor spaces have been redone, and the main facility has had a renovation making it far more flexible and usable. His support for renovating the historic field house – which will begin this year – was also crucial;
  • Graham’s support in creating a temporary park at the former Bruce-Monroe school site rather than allowing it to be converted to a parking lot. His work on this site is ongoing;
  • The enhanced parking program, which reserves parking on one side of the street for the residents who actually live in the neighborhood; and,
  • His outstanding constituent services and responsiveness to the many issues – large and small – that confront residents on a daily basis.

Against a backdrop where development has begun to take hold on Georgia Avenue, it is essential that our Councilmember for the next four year be someone who knows the dynamics of the corridor, be a proven and knowledgeable community advocate, and be someone who is truly interested in working with residents and community leaders on issues that directly impact them.

Washington is a city with many talented and intelligent people. I would count both candidates among them. However, in reviewing Ms. Nadeau’s record I find it slim at best, even when compared to others who have had similar opportunities. As a community activist and leader who served on ANC 1B from 2007-2010, I expect more of her record than an ability to “bring people together around tough issues.”

Within this context, I find Councilmember Graham to be the only real choice in the 2014 democratic primary race for Ward 1. I urge those who desire genuine, positive, and inclusive progress in our community to consider this when they vote on April 1st.

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9 Comments on “Endorsement for Jim Graham in the Ward 1 Council Race”

  1. Keefer is king Says:

    I have been very unhappy with Jim Graham for several years. I would’ve never imagined that I would vote for him again. But given current choices, I agree with you that he is the best candidate. Notice the lack of excitement in my view.

  2. Quebec Says:

    Sorry, but it’s time we give someone else a chance, and I will be voting for Nadeau. Most of Graham’s accomplishments you listed occurred several years ago. This term he has been largely absent from the community. And we can’t neglect his complete lack of effort on Park Morton, his poor stewardship of Metro during his time on the board, and the allegations of corruption that keep following him.

    For a dissenting opinion please read:

  3. David Do Says:

    Jim Graham Has Shunned Park View

    I am a resident of Park View and I live on Lamont Street. I am strongly and enthusiastically supporting Brianne Nadeau for Ward 1 Council because she brings new energy to our neighborhood and understands our neighborhood.

    Many of you may recognize me for the work I do in the community; most recently a series of meet and greet with mayoral candidates including Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells. I also invited both Brianne Nadeau and Jim Graham to come to our neighborhood. Only Brianne Nadeau came to meet our neighbors at DC Reynolds. She cares about our neighborhood and she cares about where we are going.

    Why did Jim Graham not come to our neighborhood for a meet and greet? He sent me an email asking how many people came to his ‘opponents’ event. I told him honestly that only about seven folks came. After I sent him that email there was silence from him and his campaign staff. I attempted to follow up to see if I could set up a date in late February… nothing. This is not the type of leader we need in our Ward. We need someone who is willing to come to a meet-and-greet if only one Park View resident shows up.

    Jim Graham is not the leader we deserve. We deserve Brianne Nadeau, someone who cares and visits our neighborhood every time she gets invited. Let’s support her on April 1st.

    *Full Disclosure*: I hosted a fundraiser for Brianne this last weekend in Park View and joined her committee as a Park View resident on Sunday.

  4. PVR Says:

    I too am not pleased with the lack of support that we’ve seen recently, as well as the scandal that has surrounded Jim Graham in recent years. However, I can’t help but be concerned with Nadeau’s lack of experience. I do not feel confident that she will wield the power necessary to get things done in Park View.

    Neither candidate makes me feel confident that they will provide good representation for us. I kind of wish Bryan Weaver was running, but now it is too late.

    I have yet to make up my mind on who to vote for, but I hope the discussion continues and that we try to focus on who will be the best advocate for us. Who will be able to pull the weight needed to get things done in Park View within a council immersed in scandal and self-interest?

    • Quebec Says:

      Your concerns are legitimate, and Graham certainly has “power”. But if he’s not using that power for the benefit of PV, what good is it?

      From another perspective, new Councilmembers have to start somewhere. A good person can learn quickly on the job, and start having a major impact. Remember that Adrian Fenty went from a little-known ANC rep to Mayor in just six years.

  5. DCDave Says:

    I’m on board with Greater Greater Washington’s endorsement. I think it’s time for a change and Nadeau has my vote.

  6. parkviewres Says:

    Many of you are upset at the pace of Park Morton, but as Kent notes, Graham helped ensure the Avenue project happened and not a homeless shelter. We should also note the park at Bruce Monroe. Many good things have happened in the neighborhood. I have had some concern that Graham’s dispute with Landex helped bring down the Park Morton next phase, but to be honest, I think he was right in that the project has not proceeded because of the strict standards placed by the community on not allowing more density, as well as the need for 2-3 bedroom units. Ms. Nadeau did not seem to have any better option to get the project moving. Both are good candidates and I think good people who want to serve our community, but having someone with some experience and record of improving the community is certainly needed.

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