Beatty: Honest-to-goodness change on the DC Council
My name is Mary Brooks Beatty and I am running as a Republican for the at-large DC Council seat currently held by Michael A. Brown.
I'm one of those people who believe that, rather than complaining, you should get busy fixing whatever is bothering you. In line with that philosophy, my deep concern about the lack of transparency in DC government, together with my vision of a city that offers the best quality of life in the nation has motivated me to seek the at-large seat.
This same philosophy inspired me to embark on efforts that helped reduce crime in my own neighborhood. A liquor store at the end of my block was considered one of the worst "hot spots" for drug dealing and street drinking in my NE Capitol Hill neighborhood.
I helped lead a group of neighbors who, through the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control Board process protested the license, ultimately resulting in closure of the store. The positive quality of life impacts were huge and immediate. The neighborhood was cleaner. Residents had less fear of walking the streets. And gradually, rather than moving to the suburbs, neighbors began choosing to stay in their DC homes to raise their families.
The experience convinced me just how many lives could be improved by community initiative. I ran for ANC Commissioner and served 6 years (2004-2010). During this time, I continued to focus on the problems created by the over-abundance of liquor stores along the H Street corridor as Chair of ANC 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee.
Despite being told that "it couldn't be done," I led a successful campaign to limit the sale of singles along the H Street corridor. Making the streets more pedestrian-friendly and curbing illegal street drinking opened the door to the current development of the arts and entertainment section of the H Street corridor.
This is the type of initiative and energy that I will bring to the DC Council. I have worked within the legislative process throughout my career, and have served in executive management roles for over 15 years. I began my career as legislative staff for a state legislature. Within a few years I began working in state legislative relations on issues relating to energy, utilities, eminent domain, and state-federal jurisdiction.
My focus in the last few years has been on transportation alternatives and environmental regulation, particularly related to the Clean Air Act. I have served as Executive Director of the National Environmental Policy Institute and President of Women in Government. Each of these positions required consensus building skills in order to bring about positive change.
I have a deep commitment to democratic principles, and a strong belief that those in public service should truly serve and answer to their constituents.
The current DC Council is in need of reform in both categories. The extreme lack of transparency that has characterized the Council has led to a culture of corruption, cost taxpayers millions through "pay to play" contracts, and silenced the voice of the average citizen.
One of the most egregious examples of this is Councilmember Michael A. Brown's insertion of online gambling legislation into an appropriations bill without Committee or public hearing. As the non-majority member of the Council, I will serve as a check on this type of activity, and I pledge to be a strong proponent of greater ethics reform, contracting reform, and campaign reform.
I love Washington, DC and I firmly believe that, with the necessary reforms within our government, this could be the best place to live in the nation. We can use the wonderful diversity and bright minds of our citizenry to create a city that offers a top-notch education system, a world-class transportation system, and crime-free streets.
The transformation won't come easily, but I'm willing to work as your champion to make it happen.
Mary Brooks Beatty is an at-large candidate for the DC Council. The views in this article are hers and do not necessarily represent those of Greater Greater Washington. We invite all candidates running for the DC Council to share their views with our community, but reserve the right to edit posts to fit our content and format rules. If you are a candidate and would like to submit an article, please contact email@example.com.
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