Forums Slated for Council Candidates

10/23/2012, 12:57 p.m.

A consortium of public education advocacy groups, including the Ward Five Council on Education, Empower DC, and DC VOICE, are hosting two "Fork in the Road" candidate forums. A meeting on the At-Large Council member takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge St. in Northwest. Among the candidates are incumbents Michael Brown and Vincent Orange. Their challengers include Mary Brooks Beatty and David Grosso.

The forum regarding the Council chairperson is slated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29 at Metropolitan Community Church. Phil Mendelson, who holds the interim post, is a candidate.

According to a statement issued by forum organizers, for five years the District of Columbia has engaged in an experiment that involved risky reform strategies, an unparalleled level of unilateral control at the top, a lack of transparency and accountability, and suspension of democratic checks and balances for which District residents have historically fought.

"When the School Reform Act of 2007 was passed, it called for a five-year evaluation in 2012, which never took place," organizers contend. "We need [and] demand a close look at what those reforms have accomplished, a clear decision to continue reforms that are working and consideration of a different road for those that are not."