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For Ward 7 Council: Tom Brown

Many new projects have improved Ward 7 in recent years, but much remains to be done. Councilmember Yvette Alexander has had little to do with Ward 7's successes and done little about its challenges. Residents of Ward 7 have looked hard for a replacement, and we support Tom Brown in the Democratic primary on April 3.

Image from Tom Brown.

Brown stands on a solid record of accomplish­ments in education and workforce development. He is the founder and current Executive Director of Training Grounds, a workforce development non­profit. Through this, he has developed relation­ships with corporations and linked young people to jobs. A former "National Teacher of the Year," he helped establish and taught at the KIPP KEY Academy in Ward 7.

Ward 7 is one of DC's last frontiers for economic development. Brown is committed to implementing small area plans that the Council has approved but which are currently collecting dust on the shelves.

The incumbent, Yvette Alexander, has few accomplishments during her 5-year term as councilmember. She is touting the ward's new libraries (Anacostia, Dorothy Irene Height/Benning, and Deanwood), the Deanwood Recreation Center, and the new H.D. Woodson High School. However, these projects were already planned and funded prior to Alexander's tenure. Ward 7 residents struggle to identify any ways she specifically aided these projects.

Ward 7 enjoys recent transportation improvements, such as the Great Street projects on Pennsylvania Avenue, Benning Road, and Nannie Helen Boroughs Avenue; the DC Circulator; Capital Bikeshare stations; and a study for Metro's W4 route. Alexander had very little to do with these either. In fact, transportation advocates credit other councilmembers for expediting the Circulator east of the river and ensuring the ward is an integral part of the bike sharing program.

Alexander has also been absent on education, redistricting, and more.

Brown has won endorsements from a wide range of groups that do not always agree, including the DC Chamber of Commerce PAC, the Washington Post, DC for Democracy, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Washington Metro Labor, AFL-CIO, and the Washington Examiner. We add our name to this list and encourage Ward 7 voters to chose Tom Brown during early voting or at the polls on April 3.

This is the official endorsement of Greater Greater Washington, written by one or more contributors. Active contributors and editors voted on endorsements, and any endorsement reflects a strong majority or greater in favor of endorsing the candidate.


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Couldn't agree more. This is definitely one of the incumbents I am most anxiously hoping gets sent packing. Seems like another do nothing, much like Barry, happy to see the status quo.

by Kyle W on Mar 21, 2012 6:03 pm • linkreport

may I suggest your put the author line in the usual place? (although the extra explanation is welcome)

by charlie on Mar 21, 2012 6:14 pm • linkreport

Did everyone submit their own paragraphs here? I'm having a hard time understanding the rationale.

Obviously I ask these same questions a lot, but I would like to read about what sort of projects/development Alexander's "inaction" caused. To me, that seems like a very reasonable thing to ask. I've asked the same question to her W7 critics and they too can't come up with anything beyond, "I don't like her." And believe it or not, that's the answer I do understand. Sometimes you just don't like people.

Ironically, many of those I've spoken to w/in the "she's not responsible for [insert project]" crew did a complete reversal during the mayoral election. In our debates, they often credited Fenty with many things that had little to do w/him but occurred under his watch. Even his decision to take over the schools wasn't his idea. But reason is often clouded when emotions are on the table.

Personally, I think Alexander is moreso a victim of the ABY's than she is at being an ineffective politician like our W8 rep.

On another note, the 2nd paragraph?

by HogWash on Mar 21, 2012 7:45 pm • linkreport

Hogwash, I agree with your sentiment about Fenty's & Aalexander's "continuation" of projects. The difference for Alexander is that she's had five years to take on any number of initiatives & make them her own, whether transportation, economic development, or quality of life, & hasn't done it.

The fy10 Auditor's report about monies spent on economic development revealed her ineffectiveness on that front. Day in & day out residents voice concern about cleanliness, she sees it herself. Despite this she has not encouraged community clean-ups, supported programs/projects from the Anac. Watershed Society or Alice Ferguson, or offered substantive legislation to address sign blight, litter, & personal responsibility.

There are plenty of reasons for not voting for her. The only reason I've heard to vote for her is going with the devil you know, which hasn't gotten us much.

by SCBrown, ANC7C04 on Mar 21, 2012 10:19 pm • linkreport

Yvette is one of my neighbors (a few house up the street) and she is quick to respond to emails. She at least tried to get the DPW to give me a trash can by emailing the director who did nothing about it. I will most likely vote for her..unless this guy lives closer.

by mp on Mar 21, 2012 11:30 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash - What's an ABY?

by Kolohe on Mar 22, 2012 6:43 am • linkreport

The fact that you are voting for someone because they live by you is ridiculous. DId you ever think the reason she responded to you quickly is BECAUSE you live close to her? Who wants to have to duck your neighbors? Really? You're voting for her because she got you a trash can? SMH
Also, in regards to no one being able to list what she hasn't you go:
She lost/didn't fight for Benning Station. (Look it up).
Phase 2 of Minn/Benning is on the verge of being lost.
City Interest brough East River Shopping Ctr with the intention of redeveloping. She has yet to make that happen. (And yes that is part of her job)When I called her office last year, they informed me that was on hold because there was a government office lease that wasn't up. WHy can't she solve that problem? Clearly, that was an 'untruth'.
SHe has yet to bring any retail development to the ward. NONE. Ray's the Steaks is barely open because she can't improve the ward enough to make it attractive to people with substantial income to live there.
If she wins, Ward 7 will really suffer because many of the young middle class people will move out. The old guard will stay because they own and have been there, but the rest of the ward will go to pot. Read a listserve, people are fed up.

by WhoSaidWhat on Mar 22, 2012 9:35 am • linkreport

@SCBRown, sounds like you all are experiencing the some of the same issues we're finding in W8 and as I've realized there are some things politicians can do and those we can do. There isn't a fund sitting dedicated to the constant clean up needed in places like W7 and W8. It's the same in every other part of the city. What you find is that the community becomes engaged and start their own cleanups. That in no way absolves the CM from doing whatever they can.

At least your arguments seem convincing enough. That's separate from much of anything else I've heard in the news.

BTW, what sort of "personal responsibility" legislation could a politician offer? I don't get that.

@Kohloe ABY = Anybody But You
In other words, some crap I came up w/.

by HogWash on Mar 22, 2012 10:44 am • linkreport

@WhoSaidWhat, if Alexander wins and the "young middle class" residents flee W7, they should because it means they shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Go west I say.

by HogWash on Mar 22, 2012 10:46 am • linkreport


Actually your response does show that location is a valid reason to vote for someone. Because of the increased chance of a response and resolution of any given problem.

Also i believe that young middle class would not move just for the reason she is reelected as they probably moved to this ward in her tenure.

But keep in mind i don't prescribe to any particular politician and am allways open to change in that field.

by nmp on Mar 22, 2012 1:14 pm • linkreport

Actually your response does show that location is a valid reason to vote for someone. Because of the increased chance of a response and resolution of any given problem.

Very civic-minded of you.

by dcd on Mar 22, 2012 3:49 pm • linkreport

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