Community

Elections 2020: Wards 7, 8 Incumbents Face New Challengers

Ward 7 resident Kelvin E. Brown feels that his ward may be headed in the wrong direction and thinks D.C. Council member Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) may be the reason why.

“It is time for a drastic change in the ward’s leadership, and that is why I am running for the Ward 7 council seat,” Brown said. “For the past several years, there has been a decline in education, a decline in public health care, and a decline in public safety. I am running because we need visionary leadership that is actionable.”

Brown joins a growing list of Ward 7 residents challenging Gray in the D.C. Democratic primary scheduled to take place on June 2, 2020.

Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He has worked for such entities as Fannie Mae and Capital One.

His volunteer work includes the District’s Habitat for Humanity, the D.C. Central Kitchen, and KaBoom of Alexandria, Va. His time served in the U.S. Army, along with his professional and volunteer experiences, makes him sufficiently qualified to represent his neighbors in the John A. Wilson Building, he said.

“I give credit to Vincent Gray for serving as the mayor of D.C., chairman of the council and on the council representing the ward,” Brown said. “However, my skill set is what Ward 7 needs. My years in the military where I learned about leadership and my years in the business world managing millions of dollars will be a benefit not only for Ward 7 but the District of Columbia.”

If elected, Brown said he would bring back vocational education in Ward 7 schools and utilize such devices as opportunity zones to stimulate business growth and small businesses in the ward. He understands that serving as Ward 7’s legislator won’t be easy, but he will be up to the challenge.

“We have had 10-15 years of stagnation in Ward 7 whether it is regarding access to health care, two functioning grocery stores that offer products and food of low quality and housing prices that are rising so much that people who want to live in the ward can’t afford to do so,” Brown said. “If elected to the council, I pledge to serve the people and to be an accountable leader.”

Anderson Wants White Out

Longtime community activist Stuart Anderson has been friends with D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8) for several years but now believes Ward 8 residents need a better legislator representing them at the Wilson Building in Northwest.

“The ward needs a more proficient leader,” Anderson said. “There have been a number of circumstances and situations that I felt he [White] could have performed better as a leader. We need leadership that can produce better results.”

In addition to Anderson, Ward 8 resident and former union leader Richard Campbell also decided to take on White in the June 2, 2020, Democratic party primary.

Anderson, a returning citizen, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of the District of Columbia that he earned while incarcerated. A well-known spokesman for returning citizens, he works with the Anacostia Coordinating Council and for an organization that advocates for toddlers from ages 2-6 and their families.

As the Ward 8 council member, Anderson said he would focus on helping his neighbors get good-paying jobs and get rid of the violence that plagues the ward.

“Violence and the lack of jobs are really specific to Ward 8 residents,” he said. “If we create good jobs in this ward, people can take their lives to another level and live well here.”

Anderson has launched a campaign to curtail the availability of sugary drinks to young people in particular.

“I have read studies that show that sugary drinks have the same addictive qualities as cocaine, and those sugary drinks can cause people to become more prone to violence and of course, bad health care,” Anderson said. “As a member of the council, I will tackle those issues and work hard for Ward 8 residents and be a mature leader.”

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