The Hotel Association's Political Action Committee may have endorsed Ward 7 Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, a Democrat, for the April 3 primary. I won't. She's on my list of legislators who should be shown the door.
Councilman Marion Barry is part of that hit parade. He's running for re-election in Ward 8. I've endorsed challenger Jacque Patterson.
In Ward 7 residents may want to take a closer look at challenger Tom Brown.
Alexander certainly hasn't provided solid or strong leadership. She has allowed continued marginalization of the ward. During redistricting last year she permitted the D.C. General Hospital campus -- also known as Reservation 13 -- to be moved into Ward 7. The government has used the site as a dumping grounds for social services programs including for the homeless and drug abusers.
A decade-old plan for the development included housing, retail, and recreation facilities. Last year, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Victor Hoskins told me the city didn't have the estimated $40 million for infrastructure improvements to implement that plan. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans must have found some money; now they want to build a training facility for the Redskins on the site.
Throughout all of this, Alexander sat on the sidelines, failing to fight for her ward.
In 2004, Ward 7 residents kicked out then-Councilman Kevin P. Chavous when he couldn't produce the stores and other businesses they sought. They voted in Vincent C. Gray, who promised to deliver. He left without fulfilling that pledge, opting to advance his political career. He anointed Alexander as his successor. Residents' concerns remained unaddressed. (Please don't point to plans for a Walmart; they didn't ask for that.)
Alexander faces several challengers including the Rev. William Bennett, Dorothy Douglas and Monica Johnson. Forget about them.
Kevin B. Chavous, son of the former councilman, had been perceived as an option. But after he was charged with soliciting a prostitute (who was actually a police officer), hopes were dashed -- even after he was given the wrist slap of community service in exchange for the charges going away. The last thing the council needs is another politician with a penchant for trouble.
Brown brings an impressive record of community service, including operating Training Ground Inc. He was the founding board member and a teacher at Knowledge Is Power Program, one of the more successful public charter schools. He has been roundly praised for his yeoman work in creating a dynamic Workforce Development Council, a diverse collection of organizations and businesses attempting to plot the future for communities east of the Anacostia River.
"The first thing I tell voters is to check out my DNA before I decided to run," Brown told me. He said, if elected, he wants to serve only "eight great years." He has promised to focus on education, crime and economic development. He said he has operated his business for seven years, without applying for any government grants and raising about $1 million in the private sector. That demonstrates his abilities.
"I've never been a sit back and chill kind of guy, "Brown continued. "I've always produced."
Jonetta RoseBarras can be reached at email@example.com.
Jonetta Rose Barras's column appears on Monday and Wednesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.