Jauhar Abraham, a co-founder of the anti-gang organization, Peaceoholics, has made it clear that he intends to run for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat in the November 6, general election. Abraham, 44, will launch a write-in campaign for the seat currently held by D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8).
However, Abraham, who lives in the Congress Heights section of the ward, said that his campaign will not "necessarily be against Barry" rather it will focus on quality of life issues in Ward 8.
"We made a decision to run for the ward," he said. "We want the ward to reach its fullest potential."
Abraham and Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten – the Republican Party nominee for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat – gained the favor of then-D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and received exorbitant amounts of grant money from the city during the Fenty administration to fight gang activity and resolve youth conflicts. Abraham and Moten were cleared by the D.C. Auditor last summer in a report requested by Ward 7 D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D) that suggested criminal misuse of city funds. The auditor's report cited problems with a lack of internal management of public funds. Nonetheless, it credited the nonprofit for making "significant contributions" to the city.
Abraham said education, public safety and opening the lines of communications between new and longtime residents of Ward 8 will be issues addressed during his campaign. "We need parents to get more involved in education."
He said that parents should monitor their children's academic progress and not limit visits to their respective schools only when a disciplinary problem arises.
Abraham said he will stress the need for more civic engagement from Ward 8 residents.
"There are others outside of our ward [who are] making decisions for us who do not have our best interest," he said. "We have given our authority to others and we need to get involved in our civic associations, block organizations and PTAs. I am uniquely qualified to address these issues."
Shelton Gets 30 Days
Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., isn't the only Ward 5 elected official who will be incarcerated in the near future.
William Shelton, a former chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B, was sentenced to a 30-day jail term on Friday, April 27, for stealing more than $28,000 of taxpayer dollars. He will have to repay the money and will be confined to his home for 150 days after his release from prison. Shelton, who pleaded guilty in January, will also be placed on probation for two years.
According to published reports Shelton used the 5B commission's debit card for personal purchases and cash withdrawals.
Shelton resigned from his position in August 2011. Ron Machen, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, made it clear that his office will be tough on public officials who commit fraud.
"William Shelton is a serial embezzler," Machen said.
"He took cash out of a taxpayer-funded account for his personal use more than 100 times. Other public officials who are thinking of exploiting their positions of trust should take a hard look at Mr. Shelton's conviction and sentence."