What’s a DC election without a bit of drama?
Last Wednesday Logan Circle resident John Settles kicked off his campaign for DC Council at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street NW. Settles is one of eight candidates running for the seat in a special election on April 23. The seat is temporarily being held by Anita Bonds; it opened up when At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson was elected Council chair in November and had to resign the seat.
Michael Brown, Anita Bonds, Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman, Paul Zukerberg, Perry Redd for the Green Party and Republican Patrick Mara are the other candidates. There are no primary elections; all candidates go on the ballot.
At noon some 70 supporters and neighbors of the area gathered at the back room of Ben’s to hear Settles talk about his campaign.
Settles’ speech hit on essential themes, such as ethics and education.
“I wasn’t going to wait until I heard about another self serving career politician prioritizing fully loaded luxuries over fully realized solutions before I decided to take action,” he said. “I am running for the DC Council because I want to be a public servant focusing on fully realized plans for affordable housing, education, labor, public safety and senior services. We need to turn the page on the corrupt politics of the past and let DC realize its potential as a world class model city. I am running because I’d like to prove that people with integrity, compassion, and vision can still make a difference in a political system that is brimming with waste, fraud and abuse. If I am elected I will be the Councilmember for all eight wards so I am campaigning in all eight wards.”
However, shortly after Settles’ launch, Washington City Paper published an article stating that Settles filed for bankruptcy in 2011, with court records listing $3.4 million in unpaid liabilities, including several years of federal tax liens. Settles replied that his filing for bankruptcy won’t hurt his chances in the race.
In a long statement, Settles explained that the bankruptcy came after a development company he built took a hit.
“The effort I put into building my businesses and rebuilding my financial situation after the great recession hit me directly, has strengthened my resolve to serve the public because I have such empathy for people who are struggling financially, and I understand first-hand the struggles of small businesses who are trying to keep their corner of the economy alive,” Settles explained in a statement to Borderstan.
Then, on Monday, February 4, NBC 4 published details about a three-ring fight in the campaign. According to the article, candidate Elissa Silverman, is challenging the candidacies of two opponents, Paul Zukerberg and John Settles. Silverman’s issue is with the signatures required by candidates in the election.
NBC 4 says Zukerberg and Settles have 10 days to appeal Silverman’s challenge.
I’m going to miss a lot as I traipse around Italy, but I’ll miss you the very most of all. Tell me about it @MichLancaster.
Happy Emancipation Day, D.C.!
I love that most DC workers have today off for D.C. Emancipation Day (officially the day is tomorrow), yet we are still filing our taxes without representation today. Alert Alanis Morissette, we have actual irony for your comeback song, Irony (I mean it this time). Oh well, at least your taxes aren’t due until April 18!
Why do we celebrate April 16 in D.C.? In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln freed about 3,100 slaves in the District. Lincoln’s more famous Emancipation Proclamation — which freed slaves in the Confederate States — was signed January 1, 1863.
Emancipation Day Ceremonies on U Street
Each year there are Emancipation Day ceremonies at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum at 10th and U Streets NW. The museum just moved to 1925 Vermont Avenue NW, directly across from the memorial (the grand opening of the new location is Monday). Celebrations begin today at the museum at noon and then move to the memorial. There is a wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday at 10 am at the memorial. Museum hours are Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm.
From Matty Rhoades
The seemingly endless long march toward the April 26 special election for an At-Large City Council seat continued Tuesday evening with yet another candidate forum. If this is Tuesday, we must be at… the Black Cat. (Okay, this was only my second forum, but the media coverage alone is wearing me down.) The difference between the candidates on a number of issues is minimal (Corruption Bad! Education Good!) and anyone would be hard pressed to compete with the antics coming from the Wilson Building right now.
But onward the candidates march and last night’s forum was sponsored by The Washington City Paper — the paper’s Loose Lips column to be more specific. The requirement for an invitation was that a candidate had to have 10% support in a poll or have raised at least $10,000 in campaign contributions.
The five candidates out of the nine in the race who passed the test were Joshua Lopez, Patrick Mara, Vincent Orange, Sekou Biddle and Bryan Weaver. The questions came from CP’s Alan Suderman (the current Loose Lips), NBC Channel 4’s Tom Sherwood and “DC Politics” host Chuck Thies.
By Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed on Twitter @MichLancaster.
Holy Crazy Weather, Batman!
Our area got pounded by early morning storms after a glorious spring day on Monday. Reagan National experienced a 33 degree swing in temperature in less than 24 hours, reports the Capital Weather Gang over at the The Washington Post. It should calm down out there tomorrow leading to a nice weekend, but in the meantime check out some awesome images from Sunday’s storm shot by Maxwell Kruger.
What Does Your Neighborhood Have to Do with Your Dating Life?
DCist has a very cool map that overlays the local neighborhoods in DC with the most frequently used words in residents dating profiles. Our area includes some that make sense (‘political’, ‘culture’ and ‘book’) and then some that give me pause (‘astrology’, ‘lunatic’ and ‘Kazakhstan’). It’s worth a peek.