Council Members Discuss Hot-Button Issues with Residents

James Wright | 9/13/2012, 2:58 p.m.

Evans, 58, said that tools such as tax incentives and grants can be used to develop eastern Washington "the same way other parts of the city have been developed."

The advent of Walmart in the city also emerged as another hot topic of discussion. Bowser and Alexander made it clear that they were "not cheerleaders" for the nation's largest retailer.

Orange said that Walmart has given the nod to a community benefits agreement "so that people can be paid good wages and women cannot be discriminated against."

However, tensions surfaced on several issues. Some members of the audience expressed displeasure when all D.C. Council members except Wells expressed support for corporate donations in city campaigns.

Alexander, 50, responded harshly when an audience member accused her of lying when she said that she "was not a cheerleader" for Walmart.

"That's someone with an asinine opinion," she shot back.

Randall Brown, 36 who lives in Northeast said that the forum "was a good start."

"We need to follow this up and where is the accountability for this dialogue?"

McCoy encouraged members of the audience to follow him on social media and to get involved in the city's civic life.

"Take what you heard tonight back to your communities," he said. "Teach a neighbor and teach a youth about getting involved. We are stronger when we have numbers and we are able to do things."