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On April 26th, voters in the District of Columbia will have the opportunity to fill a seat on the District's council. With your help, we can get a true progressive elected to this seat. His name is Bryan Weaver, and you can donate to his ActBlue page here.


(That's Bryan on the right!)

Here's Bryan's campaign video from last year:

The Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch of our government - the equivalent of the House of Representatives and Senate combined for any state. There are only 13 members of the council (the chairperson, 8 members elected from wards, and 4 at-large members), so a coalition of 7 councilmembers is all it takes to push through legislation that affects over 600,000 people, and arguably many more, as laws passed in the District of Columbia tend to draw national attention due to the enhanced visibility of being in the shadow of the federal government.

In the 2010 elections, Kwame Brown, a former at-large councilmember, ascended to become the chairman of of the council, leaving his seat vacant. Through a non-democratic rule, a temporary appointment was made by the DC Democratic State Committee to fill this seat until a special election could be held. That appointment was given to Sekou Biddle. Weaver, Biddle, and others are running for the at-large seat, and Biddle has the support and endorsement of the mayor, council chair, and the rest of the DC establishment.

The problem is that the Democratic establishment in DC isn't reliably progressive. Bryan is. Bryan worked for the late Senator Paul Wellstone, is in favor of a progressive tax structure for the city, taking care of the city's youth (from education, to services for those who have been incarcerated, to job training and mentoring for all kids), and the strengthening of housing and transportation opportunities for all.

The council chair and the new mayor, meanwhile, are embroiled in scandal after scandal. DC needs politicians who are independent of this morass.

Please, take the time to pitch in a few dollars to help Bryan get the word out during this short election period. It's a short campaign season, and buying ads and mailings will really help get the word out to the voters in DC.

Originally posted to IMGoph on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by DC Local Politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden, JamesGG, David Kaib

    I am supporting Bryan Weaver for D.C. Council, he's a true progressive who can help us make D.C. a city we can all be proud of.

  •  DC resident here - Bryan would (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden, JamesGG, David Kaib

    be terrific - a breath of fresh air in our corrupt DC government. Please support him in whatever way you can.

  •  GREAT video.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden, meralda, JamesGG

    Obvious tip to Wellstone in the video, but really hits on a lot of concerns of DC residents (tho clearly focused on a Ward One race, not district-wide as it is now)

    Thanks for sharing, IMGoph!

    •  His primary run against Jim Graham... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alba

      ...was truly the definition of an uphill battle. A shame, really... I don't particularly dislike CM Graham (with the exception of the sweetheart tax deals he gives those giant condo complexes in CH/PW), it would have been nice to see some fresh blood in the City Council to shake things up a bit.

      What I really don't want is for the pro-charterization, pro-ed-deform Republican Patrick Mara to exploit a split in the Democrats and win the council seat. I don't think he's got a snowball's chance in hell, but I still don't want him to come anywhere close.

      •  Mara fear (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jake McIntyre

        I think that's a reasonable concern, but I think in the current environment things may work out to be more about splitting the anti-establishment vote than splitting the Democratic vote. I've heard a number of people say they're deciding between Weaver and Mara -- something I find amazing.

        If you're having trouble deciding between a Wellstone progressive and a guy who launched his political career in 2008 by knocking out Carol Schwartz in the Republican primary for the unforgivable sin of supporting legislation to require businesses to provide sick leave for their workers, then I hope you'll do a little more research on your choices.

        Also, with a low-turnout special election, winning is more about getting your supporters to the polls than persuading voters in general. The vast majority of people who are registered will not be voting.

  •  He's got my vote. (4+ / 0-)

    Though I'm glad I voted for Vince Gray last year - particularly this week, as Fenty came out in support of Scott Walker's union-busting - I really don't like a lot of what I see going on in the DC Democratic Party.

    Incidentally, I'd been meaning to start a DC Kossacks group once I got TU, so that we could bring up the issues faced by the actual people who live in that city so many here love to trash (to say nothing of our continued disenfranchisement)... would there be any interest in that here?

    •  Re a DC Kossacks group (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malharden, JamesGG

      I'd be interested (as a reader and commenter rather than  diarist, probably). Have you searched to see whether there's already such a group? I've been meaning to.

    •  DC local government group (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nolan, malharden, JamesGG

      I'd love to be involved as well. Can't say that I would have much to write, but I'd definitely jump in where I can!

    •  I really didn't like Fenty at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jake McIntyre

      Very early on I decided that he wasn't my kind of Dem when he reversed himself on the baseball stadium and then when he suggested that the surplus of money from property taxes be allocated to "small businesses" which didn't look at all small to me.  As time wore on, it was clear that he was not all that interested in the little guy - nor did he seem to have the ability to really understand what the challenges of life might be if you weren't healthy, fairly well off and in your mid-30s.  

      So, in that context, I'd sort of want to know what Weaver's sensibilities are compared to Fenty.  

      All the stuff coming out about Gray as bad as it may prove to be isn't all that different from what I felt I saw Fenty doing during his tenure - it was just that Fenty was playing with a more polished set of hucksters, imo.  But we'll see.

      •  I kinda knew when I voted for Gray... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jake McIntyre, inclusiveheart

        ...that I'd just be getting a different set of corrupt people.

        But it was worth it to me to get Michelle Rhee out. Kaya Henderson isn't much better, but being forced out in DC meant that Rhee now is buddying up with a bunch of pretty nasty Republican governors (Scott, Christie, etc.), making it crystal clear to anyone who's paying attention who's really behind her and her education "reform" agenda. That alone, I think, made my vote worth it.

        Adrian Fenty's pro-Walker comments this week only reassured me that I made the right decision, even if I know I'm going to have to support someone else to "clean up DC government" (by replacing Gray's cronies with his/her own cronies) in 2014.

        •  That's sort of how I feel about it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jake McIntyre

          I think - lol - also that I am sort of more comfortable with the old-style DC corruption than the slick kids that Fenty brought into the mix.  Because it is more familiar to most voters, it seems more manageable than the game that the more polished crowd that Fenty was running in was.

          I was actually surprised that Fenty went down so hard and so fast, though.

          A close friend was a big Rhee supporter, and even though that opinion was difficult to discount, there was such a deviation away from basic Democratic Party principles that I saw in the Fenty Administration that I really couldn't believe that Rhee would have a positive impact in the long run - and now that both are sort of "out of the closet" as it were - I think that my instincts were right.

        •  Gray was against the streetcars and (0+ / 0-)

          came from Ward 7, and I was afraid he would bring in Ward 7 and 8 politics back to DC that Williams and Fenty had moved the city away from

          I liked some of what Rhee was trying to do, but agreed she had to leave. I think Rhee was too dismissive of lower income parents.

        •  I felt the same! n/t (0+ / 0-)

          We must believe in free will. We’ve got no choice. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

          by Ruthtopia on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:14:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I liked Fenty (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Red Sox

        I didn't like how Fenty tried to stop the baseball stadium, but I liked him in office. But Fenty projected the image of DC that I wanted the major to have--not Gray, who just seems to represent the worst of Wards 7 and 8.

        •  I was unhappy that he relented (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cville townie

          on the stadium; embraced the rightwing baseball movement and made us pay for it on top of it all.

          I think Fenty was exactly what I didn't want to see in a mayor.  I think that he got caught up in the bling and lost site of the people he was supposed to serve - if he ever really had that vision to begin with.  I supported him in the first round, but my impression of him then was that he was a hard working guy who cared.  That impression changed - whether or not he changed - I'll never know and sort of don't care.

          •  The baseball stadium was good for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alba

            DC. That area was blighted and it has helped transform it.  I am glad he didn't listen to people like you.

            •  Yeah. (1+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie
              Hidden by:
              Red Sox

              "People like me."  nice.

              I am a native.  I expect you're a transplant with little regard for the history of this town.  Or an understanding of why we hang together.  Very nice.

              If your deal is gentrification, the semi-black slick Fenty was your guy.  If you weren't into that gig, he wasn't.  And he was never based on my observation going to give a shit about people of whatever color who live here which is particularly sad.  He is and was about money and influence.  But he looked good.  Not as good as I would, but pretty good for "people like you" - lol.  Sheesh.

              Go home and incorporate your own home town and leave us to manage ours - and send in your extra cash to pay for Major League Baseball's welfare program.  Thanks and please f*ck off - sincerely, a native.

              •  I am a native to the area (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alba

                I grew up in Montgomery County and have listed in the city for the last 10 out of the previous 11 years.

                Would you rather have that stretch of M Street SE at South Capitol Street be the ghetto that it was up until the late 1990s?

                I like the fact that neighborhoods that were once unlivable and crime-filled ghettos are cleaner, have nicer developments, and are attracting people.

                Do you want the city to be like it was in the 1980s? I don't.

              •  Vile (0+ / 0-)
                If your deal is gentrification, the semi-black slick Fenty was your guy.

                These are the demands and sayings of Lee!

                by Red Sox on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:08:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I used to live in Ward 1 in the mid-80's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    Hope Bryan does well.

  •  How does Weaver feel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    about public transportation and building streetcars in DC? Also, how does he feel about Wal-Mart coming to DC? I am a Ward 4 resident and there is a Wal-Mart coming in here.

    •  Weaver is pretty strongly pro-public-transit... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nolan

      ...and though I haven't seen him take a specific position on streetcars, I'd be surprised if he wasn't for them.

      As for Wal-Mart, I haven't seen Weaver take a position on it, but I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it's Wal-Mart and it's loathsome in every imaginable way, but on the other hand (as a friend of mine who lives near there pointed out) the people in that area right now live in a food desert, and the Wal-Mart will have fresh produce.

      All told, I'd rather see a Safeway or a Giant, but if it gives folks in Ward 4 more access to nutrition and puts some otherwise-jobless service sector workers into jobs, I find it hard to tell them they shouldn't have that.

  •  When is the election? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    I had to vote absentee in November 2010 because I was out of the US but am back in DC now. Will I be able to vote at my precinct or do I have to tell the BOE that I am back in the US again?

  •  What experience does he have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    and what does he bring to the table?

  •  Ward 1 has more robbies than Ward 3 (0+ / 0-)

    and 8? That surprises me. Ward 1 seems kind of trendy. A lot of that development in Columbia Heights has seemed to move up to Kansas and New Hampshire Avenues.

  •  There is no greater issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KCinDC

    than making the tax structure for DC more progressive.  We have had multiple waves of cuts to deal with a  budget deficit created by the recession, which meant greatly reduced revenues.  These cuts have made the recession and unemployment in the city worse (it presently stands at 9.2%, only slightly better than the national number), which of course means less revenue and therefore more cuts, which will make most other problems we face even worse.

    Many states have raised taxes in order to prevent these counterproductive austerity measures.  Here in DC, our top income tax bracket starts at a mere $40,000 dollars.  We need candidates who will talk about this issue (most studiously avoid the question of whether they are open to tax increases) and we need people to press the existing members of the Council as well.  The people of DC would choose making the system more progressive over more cuts.  The question is whether they learn about what is going on and mobilize.  We need a little Madison here in DC.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:59:25 AM PST

    •  Bryan is out front on progressive taxation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib

      Check out his website. Bryan has proposed a very progressive taxation structure for DC.

      •  Do they still need signatures? (0+ / 0-)

        Do you know how can I sign?

        Also, I couldn't find anything about his tax views.

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

        by David Kaib on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:22:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  OK here is his plan for taxes (0+ / 0-)
        Under Weaver's plan, new brackets would be created starting at $130,000, $250,000 and $1.5 million. The new top bracket for those who earn $1.5 million or more would be 9.5 percent, Weaver said.

        See here.

        Given that the existing top rate is 8.5%, this is a rather slow slope.  Still, it is still the best plan out there among the candidates by far.  Personally, I would lower rates slightly in the lower brackets, and make things more progressive at each of these steps.  

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

        by David Kaib on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:46:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  DC tax reform (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Kaib

          With the current budget troubles it's hard to find money to lower any tax brackets, and with the top bracket at 8.5% it's hard to make new rates for higher incomes much higher than that. Certainly we should work toward a more progressive rate structure, which would mean lowering the rates for some of the middle or lower brackets, but that may have to wait.

          •  That's a fair point (0+ / 0-)

            At least one candidate has suggested sunsetting any increase at the top end.  I don't think that makes sense (the $40,000 top tax bracket is indefensible) but I wonder if you could enact decreases at the bottom end tied to a lower unemployment rate.

            I hope Weaver puts something out to tell us how much his plan would net.  

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

            by David Kaib on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:10:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Weaver on taxes (0+ / 0-)

        Has he put his tax plan on his site? I can't find it. I asked a while back and he said he was going to.

  •  Say what you will about D.C. government (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alba

    but the DC mayor and council showed more cojones than many governors and state legislatures when they voted for marriage equality in the district.  I believe only a couple of council members voted against the measure, including the corrupt Marion Barry.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:17:53 AM PST

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