Politics

D.C. ELECTION ROUNDUP: Holcomb Seeks Ward 7 School Board Seat

Tyrell M. Holcomb, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for 7F01 and chairman of the 7F commission, recently announced his candidacy for the Ward 7 seat on the D.C. Board of Education.

“I am a product of the D.C. public schools,” Holcomb said. “I believe that the young people who live in Ward 7 should go to Ward 7 schools. A good education is the cornerstone of a quality life and many opportunities. I think that if a student learns in Ward 7 and grows up in Ward 7, they should or [should] want to come back to Ward 7 to live.”

Holcomb graduated from H.D. Woodson High School and has attended the University of the District of Columbia. He has participated in the Marion S. Barry Youth Leadership Institute that has produced such politicians as D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Ward 8 Board of Education member Markus Batchelor, an independent candidate for an at-large council seat in 2020.

Holcomb works in the nonprofit sector in management and serves on the pastoral staff at Antioch Baptist Church in the Deanwood section of Ward 7.

The election for the Ward 7 board of education race will take place during the next general election on Nov. 3, 2020.

Holcomb said if elected to the board of education, he will stress the teaching of such fields as entrepreneurship and the arts to students. He said he wants Ward 7 students to “succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Holcomb said he aims to disrupt the school-to-prison and trauma-to-prison pipelines, so that young people in Ward 7 can live productive lives. He said he will work with board colleagues to see that his ward’s schools get the financial support they deserve.

“I want to make sure that Ward 7 schools have equity, in that they get resources fairly and evenly distributed throughout the ward,” he said.

George Hires Whittaker as Campaign Manager

Michelle Whittaker (Courtesy photo)
Michelle Whittaker (Courtesy photo)

Janesse Lewis George, a challenger to D.C. Council member Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) in the upcoming Democratic primary on June 2, has hired veteran organizer and strategist Michelle Whittaker, to be her campaign manager.

“Michelle has run incredibly inspiring campaigns for progressive Democratic women in the region and I am excited to welcome her as our campaign manager,” George said. “She understands the shift that is happening in so many communities right now, where changes to campaign funding is motivating new voters to get to the polls in new ways. Between her strategic expertise, her skills in grassroots mobilization and her calm focus, I can’t wait to get started together.”

Whittaker has more than 15 years of campaign and communications strategy. In 2018, she ran Brandy Brooks’ campaign in Montgomery County, Md., for an at-large seat on the county council and currently leads Virginia Olney’s campaign for mayor of Rockville.

Whittaker expressed excitement about working with George.

“Janesse is approaching the role of D.C. Council member the way so many of us wish our elected leaders would,” Whittaker said. “She sees big money has too much influence on our leaders right now, and she sees that working families are being left behind in a changing city. It is a lived experience for many, including my family, and I know that Ward 4 is ready for change. I am incredibly excited to join this campaign.”

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