Georgetown candidate forum today at Safeway

Photo by Composite
Clockwise from top left, Sekou Biddle, Josh Lopez, Vincent Orange and Jacque Patterson are running for the At-large Council seat
Clockwise from top left, Sekou Biddle, Josh Lopez, Vincent Orange and Jacque Patterson are running for the At-large Council seat

The Special Election scheduled for April 26 to fill the seat vacated due to Kwame Brown’s election as Council Chair may have more than usual importance. With serious tax and city budget issues, the Georgetown University Campus Plan, Hardy Middle School and other critical matters at stake for Georgetown, these candidates' votes will affect our community.

Ask questions and join a lively public discussion when The Georgetown Dish and The Georgetown Current co-host a candidate forum Today, at 7:00 pm at the Social Safeway at 34th and Wisconsin Ave. NW moderated by Current publisher Davis Kennedy and Dish publisher Beth Solomon.

What would you like to know about the candidates and their views?  Submit questions here and join us Today.

0 Comments For This Article

Peter Rosenstein

I hope this forum is well attended.

I think the candidates should be asked specific questions on their views on how to balance the budget. If they say they want to cut expenses they need to be pinned down on what exactly they want to cut. What programs should be cut specifically and who will be potentially hurt by those cuts.

I think that any candidate that tells people that tax cuts are off the table shouldn't be considered for support.

In these difficult times we need everything on the table. I think if we need to raise taxes at this time to balance our budget we should consider them and the reality is we shouldn't be saying too only tax the rich. We need to consider them progressively across the board if we need them.

I also think that any tax increase needs to have a sunset clause. We need to say we are in a crisis. But we need to recognize that the economy will slowly improve over the next couple of years. The real estate market in DC is already picking up.

So I am in favor of any tax increase having a two year sunset clause and then it would have to be voted on again if anyone thinks it needs to be continued. At the same time if the Council believes there needs to be a tax increase the public has to see how they are cutting the budget and the seriousness in which they are taking this situation. Tax increases are last resorts not first options but taking them off the table is political pandering at its worst.

I also think that candidates need to be asked what they have actually accomplished in their careers. Running for office isn't a career, it is what you do prior to and once you are elected that counts.

Calvin H. Gurely

Are you inviting and exposing the names of all At-Large Candidates to your forum? Currently, you are revealing the names and faces of just 4 of your selected candidates.

The February 16th deadline for the submission of petition signatures will officially declare the true candidates for the At-Large race. Lets not be prejudice in giving your public and the voting population a full view of names and faces of those candidates who the D.C. Board of Election and Ethics has officially declared candidates.

I am quite sure you would feel offended if you were wrongly and intentionally left out of a field in which you were qualified to be in.

Chg. (202) 722-6126

John Fanning

The City Council defenatley needs to raise taxes, A Tax Parity Act would change the percentage's of what individuals would pay based on their earned income levels. An increase for those in the higher income levels would be imposed as a tax increase fairness, the individauls who are in the lower earned income levels are already paying the same percentage of income taxes.

John Boffa

There will be more candidates emerging for the special election. And, washington does not need more taxes. We need spending control. The city's taxes are the highest in the region -- meaning higher than neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

Steve Allman

Why didn't anyone ask the candidates questions about this. Isn't this more relevant to our current political situation than almost anything we now face??

Gray defends controversial hires and salaries
By Nikita R Stewart
Mayor Vincent C. Gray denied cronyism in hiring a former mayoral candidate and children of two top aides and a confidant.Gray (D), whose successful campaign against predecessor Adrian M. Fenty (D) included advertising charging cronyism, said everyone hired was qualified to do their jobs.In recent days, The Washington Post and other media have revealed that children of adviser Lorraine Green, communications director Linda Wharton Boyd and chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall have landed jobs in the administration. They are all making between $55,000 and $85,000 annually."How do you give young people an opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow?" Gray asked Wednesday during his weekly news conference.Sulaimon Brown, a minor candidate in the mayor's race, is now a special assistant in the Department of Health Care Finance. Brown, who has said he is an auditor, became a sort of tag team wrestler with Gray in debates with Fenty. Brown would tell voters to cast their ballots for Gray.Gray said Brown's help during the election was unsolicited. He said Brown "sought this out himself.""We actually connected him to the Department of Health Care Finance," Gray said.Many staffers are making more than their counterparts in the Fenty administration. Gray defended the payroll boosts, saying that salaries were based on a "person's experience, the responsibilities they will assume."He added later that the government is full of "excepted service" positions. Wilson Building insiders refer to them as political hires.Gray explained that they are hired at will. "And frankly, (excepted service) allows them to go out the door in the same manner," he said.