Race to Wilson Building Begins
10/31/2012, 1:13 p.m.
While at least two incumbent Council members in the District of Columbia are running uncontested for this Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election, there are several ward races that are hotly contested. Beyond the At-Large race, here's a look at the other races and the candidates for the D.C. Council.
Ward 7 Race
Council member Yvette Alexander [D] versus Ron Moten [R]
The Ward 7 incumbent Democrat Council member Yvette Alexander is running against Republican candidate Ron Moten after she bested a crowded field in the Democratic primaries in April. In what should be an easy victory for Alexander, who has the backing of Mayor Vincent C. Gray, political watchers aren't sure, especially since Moten was recently endorsed by The Washington Post, which stated he "offers refreshing energy, community insights and an appealing independence."
Alexander was voted Ward 7 Council member for the east of the river neighborhoods in 2007 after then-Council member Gray left an opening to pursue the chairmanship after Chair Linda Cropp sought to become mayor. A native Washingtonian who grew up in Ward 7, Alexander has a bachelor's from Howard University and has done graduate work at Trinity College. Before becoming a council member, she was a District insurance regulator.
"My vision for Ward 7 is to make it a destination community, which comprises model communities to live, work, shop, eat and enjoy arts and entertainment," said Alexander, 51. "Progress has taken place from Northeast to Southeast and I'm ensuring that these projects are completed." Alexander said major revitalization plans started during her tenure include Skyland, Parkside, Penn Branch, East Capitol Gateway, and Reservation 13. "It takes continuity of leadership to complete these plans." Alexander said education, affordable housing, homeownership, declining crime, accessible health care options and a growing sector of business owners are among the areas she sees improvement in her ward.
At least two Ward 7 residents agree with the direction Alexander is taking the ward.
"I think she has done a pretty good job and I'm a strong supporter of hers and I wish her well," said Jerome Brocks, 63, a longtime Hillcrest resident and retired Anne Beers Elementary School teacher. "She hasn't done everything I'd like done, but she was a strong supporter for education and her leadership is strong."
Arrelle Anderson, a five-year resident who's also a small business owner, said she supported Alexander because she found her to be "accessible as she constantly stays in touch with me and encourages me."
Moten, who calls himself a "Civil Rights Republican," is a fifth generation Washingtonian. He attended Roosevelt Senior High School and majored in history at Park Community College in Allenwood, Pa. He's a co-founder of the nonprofit, Peaceoholics, which provides prevention and intervention for at-risk youth and their families.
"In a recent debate, Ms. Alexander was asked to identify or brag about one thing she has started in nearly six years as a council member representing Ward 7 and she could not," said Moten, 42. "I would talk about the more than 160 children I helped send to college, and supported while in college. Most of those students our community had given up hope [on] and were in gangs and crews. I could talk about ... the work of the Peaceoholics in the schools, and my work in Ward 7 communities like Benning Terrace." Moten said he'll tackle abusive taxes and fees, education, job creation, incorporating Ward 7 residents into positive economic development and lift the ban on vending licenses east of the river.