Monday, May 07, 2012

Why I'm Voting Kenyan McDuffie for Ward 5

Here's why I'm supporting Kenyan McDuffie, and why I think you should too. Kenyan McDuffie is the best choice to lead Ward 5 forward. He's a former prosecutor and civil rights attorney who has dedicated his life to public service. I respect him, and because I feel strongly about his candidacy, I have been volunteering with his campaign. That has been a great experience because I've been able to see the diversity of the people supporting him. Kenyan's supporters are diverse not just in age, and race, but also in class, candidates they have supported in other races, and life experience.

Kenyan McDuffie was born and raised in Ward 5's Stronghold neighborhood, but he is well versed in issues throughout Ward 5. I know this because I've had the opportunity to speak with him at length about some of  those issues. Jobs and economic development are key issues in Ward 5 and Kenyan understands that streets like Bladensburg Road present opportunities, as will as challenges. One thing that always irked me about Harry Thomas was that he never seemed very focused on the opportunities present on Bladensburg Road. It's very close to the development on H Street, and we should attempt to capitalize on on it. There's been talk of creating a mini-arts corridor on Bladensburg Road, and that is not an impossible goal. If you think it is, remember what H Street looked like ten years ago.

I'm not saying that this will happen on Bladensburg Road, I'm just using it as an example. I want a Councilmember who can look at the overall picture, and help to nourish opportunities like that when they present themselves. In our tiny section of Ward 5 we have Bladensburg Road, Benning Road, and the Florida Ave Market. Those are two commercial strips and one large area that will likely see tremendous changes over the next ten years (much sooner for the Florida Ave Market).  The streetcar could help spur development along both strips. All of this means construction jobs for DC residents, small businesses that might need help getting off the ground, and a potential payoff in property taxes. We need a Councilmember who is engaged, and one who is knowledgeable about smart growth best practices. This is how we as a Ward can move forward with positive economic development.

To get there we are also going to need to improve the education available to our children. Kenyan is the father of two young girls, and acutely aware of the concerns parents face when choosing to the right school for their children. He has pledged to bring a middle school to Ward 5, and has ambitious plans for expanded specialized high school curricula, as well as expanded adult education programs.

Kenyan is strong on public safety issues as well. Before leaving his job to campaign full time, Kenyan was a policy and legislative advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice. He assisted in crafting and tailoring the policies and legislation to improve public safety in the District. As a former prosecutor, he has worked closely with law enforcement officers, and also understands the challenges and realities of our criminal justice system.

I believe that Kenyan is the clear choice for the next Ward 5 Councilmember. He's honest, hardworking, and ready to help Ward 5 heal and fulfill its potential.

This has been a tough campaign season. There are many candidates for this seat, and the danger of vote splitting is very real. That's why it's so vitally important that people make it to the polls, and cast educated votes. Early voting started today up at Turkey Thicket. If you know you can't make it May 15th, make a commitment to cast your ballot early.

I consider Kenyan McDuffie to be the front runner, but Delano Hunter is a very real threat (especially with vote splitting). I have written about Mr. Hunter before. Last time around he strongly supported putting marriage equality to a popular vote. He maintained this position even after a court ruled that allowing such a vote would violate the District of Columbia's Human Rights Act. He received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign assistance from the National Organization for Marriage (that group was formed entirely to opposed gay marriage). Kenyan, on the other hand, believes in civil rights for all people.

I also have serious concerns about Mr. Hunter's honesty/integrity, and his ability to manage his own finances. I'll try to put more info up here about that shortly, but I do not want to see someone like that in office. We need a strong and ethical leader to help us recover from the mess left behind by Harry Thomas Jr. We need someone with vision. That person is Kenyan McDuffie.

It is vitally important that everyone go vote. Vote early, or vote on May 15th. Remind your friends and neighbors about the election. Many people are undecided, and may not even vote without a little encouragement. Anyone who needs a free ride to the polls can get one by calling 202-595-7775. Ask your neighbors if they need a ride. Get your friends to go vote with you.


Michele Bachmann said...

We need to see Kenyan's birth certificate!

a concerned voter said...

Why do you state that Michele??? That has nothing to do with him running and being what is needed for Ward 5..that was truly a dumb response.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that was a serious comment (you think Michele Bachmann really reads this blog? even the name was spelled right, hmmm....)

I think it was just an observation that his name is Kenyan, and the poster saw the opportunity to make fun of Bachmann and the Tea Party for questioning Obama's birth certificate.

Anyway, he sounds like a great candidate and I plan on voting for him. Thanks for the info.

Marcus Bachmann said...

LMFAO at 'a concerned voter'

Did you really think 'Michele Bachmann' was being serious?!

LOL ... no my friend, you are the one with a "dumb response." LMFAO!

Randy Bachmann said...

Um, Anonymous & cousing Marcus, bear in mind that it's entirely possible that "a concerned voter" was actually being tongue in cheek as well...I took it as a parody response, not a genuine concern. Now, I could be wrong and "concerned" just didn't GET Michele's comment. Lord, I hope not.

Brooklander said...

inked, what do you think of Kathy Henderson? I'm inclined to support McDuffie, but I am really intrigued by Henderson's success in Trinidad. Any thoughts on this?

inked said...

I have known Kathy Henderson for many years. She does not play well with others at all. She's disruptive and vindictive, and would not make a good councilmember.

Anonymous Bachmann said...

I'm not criticizing concerned, and I could have taken it as a parody response except for the "that was truly a dumb response" addition at the end.

This and the Henderson thing is great info to pass on to people. I know the constituency should make up our own minds, but your insight really helps.

Anonymous said...

I'm really intrigued that someone would think that Henderson is a success.

She can't seem to hold a job (was unemployed as far as I knew, but she recently started saying she's a Realtor) and her record of divisive, ludicrous actions speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

KH= Bat stuff crazy

ward5resident said...

I'm curious as to why you're not considering Tim Day as a candidate? Or, in general, why more Ward 5 residents are not talking about him. I found the Washington Post's endorsement of Day really compelling.

inked said...

The Post hated Harry Thomas (it did turn out that he did some pretty horrible stuff), and they seem to really like Tim Day in large part because he helped expose Harry Thomas. If you go back and read last year's Post endorsement of Delano Hunter you will see what I mean. It's less pro Delano, than it is anti-Harry.

I've already said that I think Kenyan is the best candidate, and explained why. Why aren't people taking Tim Day seriously as a candidate? Because he doesn't even have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

Even if he had a more established record of public service, Tim Day is a republican, and that's the kiss of death for many Ward 5 voters. He's also gay. It's sad, but I don't see Ward 5 electing a gay Councilmember anytime soon.

There are three outcomes that I considering as possibilites when the election results roll in:

1. Kenyan McDuffie wins
2. Delano Hunter wins
3. Frank Wilds wins

It's a matter of who can get the most voters to the polls. Vote splitting is going to play a major roll in the race. I believe those three candidates to be the only viable ones in the race.

Allan Riggs Park said...

Minutes ago Kenyan Mcduffie got the endorsement of the Fightfiters and the WASHINGTON TEACHER UNION.
I was there and I can see he is the right one for the position.
I voted already Kenyan Mcduffie.

IMGoph said...

ward5resident: I would consider voting for a Republican to be our representative on the council. I have no fealty to party labels - at the level of our city's legislature, party labels are silly anyway.

I wouldn't vote for Tim Day because I just don't see him as a capable legislator. He helped bring down HTJ. That should get him a key to the city, as far as I'm concerned. But I've watched him campaign, and he's uninspiring. He really doesn't have any ideas outside of boilerplate "let's eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse." That's a legit base to work off of, but he brings nothing else to the table.

He's a nice guy. I don't want just a nice guy to represent me on the council. I don't want competent, either. I want someone who excels. Kenyan McDuffie is the only person running who has a chance to be that councilmember.

Anonymous said...

I would welcome a Republican elected, that would be a wake up call that people aren't happy with the way things are and are taking things seriously. I mean what a shock that would be.

Apparently that's not going to happen though, and I don't want to vote split and end up with a bad candidate so I think I'll support McDuffie.

Anonymous said...

I was going to vote for McDuffie until i read in the post that he does not support funding to finish the streetcar line. I can't vote for Wilds - same old DC politics. Hunter's financial woes resulting from his 2010 run worry me. I will not elect a person that can't run their own budget - too many chances for "Harry Thomas" type of corruption.

I guess I will vote for Tim Day even though I am democrat. That may even get the attention of the rest of the corrupt DC council.

Remeber it was Tim Day's efforts that resulted in the Thomas investigation.

IMGoph said...

Wait a minute, Anonymous, you're disappointed with McDuffie's answer to the streetcar question, where he said he supports it, but believes that funding for affordable housing should take priority, so you'd vote instead for Day, who says the plan should be scrapped in favor of an entirely new transportation plan for the city?

Your logic has me tied in knots.

Your initial premise is false. Everything that follows it is built on an odd house of cards.

inked said...

That's not really what the Post article said. It said that McDuffie and Hubbard would fund the streetcar, but view affordable housing as more of a priority. It was Tim Day who said he would scrap the streetcar. Wilds' conditions would basically result in no streetcar. Only Hunter said he would fund it without making any other comment, but I have a hard time trusting anything that comes out of Hunter's mouth. See the excerpt from the article below:

"Q: Do you agree with the city’s plan to build a 37-mile, $1 billion streetcar network? If so, how would you pay for it?

A: Day wants the streetcar plan “scrapped” until a new, comprehensive transportation plan for the city is developed. McDuffie and Hubbard support streetcars but wouldn’t make it a priority until other programs, such as affordable housing, are better funded.

Wilds would support streetcars only if all the money comes from the federal government or through a regional partnership with Maryland and Virginia. Hunter said the streetcars are a “good investment” and require continued funding."

Anonymous said...

Day's idea to have an integrated street car system is solid. Maybe DC should plan for more than just the H st area. I thought that was the plan when Fenty and his DOT guy (i forget his name) was running the show.

Either way it sounds like McDuffie would not make a street car system a priority. Maybe i just won't vote for anybody. Save the 45 minutes it would take to go vote and go for a jog...