With DC’s September 14 primary elections coming up in eight weeks, we asked Borderstan readers to select the three issues they believe are most crucial for the city. With 154 responses, the top issues were crime (49%), schools (39%), and economic/business development and transportation tied for third place (34% each).
Next were city services (23%), taxes (18%), transparency/honesty (18%), social safety net (12%), city recreational facilities (5%). Other issues received 6%.
The percentage next to each issue shows the percentage of all voters who listed that issue as one of their top three issues.
About the Results
- Quality of life issues were the big winners overall, taking three of the top spots: crime (1st place), sch.ools (2nd place), transportation (3rd place tie), city services (5th place) and recreational facilities (9th place).
- Crime has certainly been in the news more in the past few months, with high profile crimes that were connected to problems at the city’s Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services.
- As for schools, it would be hard to miss one of the central issues of the campaign between mayoral candidates Fenty and Gray–and the role of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in implementing school reform programs.
- With the DC government facing budget shortfalls and program cuts, preservation of the social safety net is a big concern for many DC voters. However, considering the reality that the Dupont-Logan-U Street area is a wealthy part of DC, it is probably not surprising that this issue came in at number 8 with 12% of voters listing it as one of their top three issues.
- The mayoral campaign of Vincent Gray has often attacked Mayor Fenty on tansparency and honesy issues. But, that issue was in 7th place with only 12% of voters selecting it as a top issue.
- In a high-tax jurisdiction such as DC, one might have thought that local taxes would be a concern. But taxes came in at 6th place with 18% of voters choosing it. DC residents are, by and large, liberal and supportive of government. This would probably explain why taxes did not score higher.
- The issue of DC’s new same-sex marriage law may be in an issue in some parts of the city (or not). This issue was not listed and no one said it was one of their issues when given the option of putting it under “Other.”
On the Ballot
We have what appears to be a tight race in the Democratic Primary for for DC mayor between incumbent Adrian Fenty and Council Chairman Vincent Gray who is trying to unseat him. With Gray giving up his seat, there is contest for Council Chairman between Vincent Orange and Kwame Brown. Orange is a former Council member from Ward 5 and Brown is currently an At-Large Council member.
Phil Mendelson is getting a serious challenge from Clark Ray in the Democratic Party, and Independent David Catania is up for re-election. Catainia holds one of the two seats reserved for the non-majority party on the DC Council. In addition, four of the eight ward seats are up this year, including the seat held by Jim Graham (D-Ward 1). Almost all of the Dupont-Logan area is in Ward 2, which is represented by Democrat Jack Evans. The northern part of Logan Circle and the U Street are are represented by Graham.
- Crime: 49%
- Schools/Education: 39%
- Economic/Business Development: 34%
- Transportation (bike lanes, streetcars, Metro): 34%
- Services (trash, DMV, DCRA, etc.): 23%
- Taxes (income, sales, property): 18%
- Transparency/Honesty: 17%
- Social Services/Safety Net: 12%
- Other: 6%
- Recreational Facilities (rec centers, dog parks): 5%
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