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Learn about the at-large race: Announcing Let's Choose DC

I'm pleased to announce a new site to help DC voters get to know the candidates for the upcoming April 23 special election for DC council at-large: Let's Choose DC, presented by Greater Greater Washington, DCist, and PoPville (formerly Prince of Petworth).

Let's Choose DC's goal is to dig into the candidates, and their stances on the issues that matter most. It will help you decide, and also help you better understand how other people view the candidates.

Each week we'll send each of the declared candidates a question on an issue of importance to DC, like education, crime, affordable housing, and so on. We'll post their responses on the site. You'll not only get to read them, but also vote on them. If you think a candidate is too vague, say so! If their answer is detailed and precise, even if you don't agree with it, you'll get to tell them—and other readers—as much.

As the weeks go by, we hope to build more detailed profiles on each of the candidates, and challenge them all to think beyond traditional sound bites and talking points. And by the time the election rolls around, you'll have a single place to come to see where the candidates stand.

We asked all of the candidates the first question during the holiday break, and almost all of them have responded to the question:

The District has changed a lot since 1993, and will likely change much more by 2033. What are 2-3 changes you hope to see by 2033, and how will electing you to the DC Council help bring them about?
See their responses and give your votes at Let's Choose DC.
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Great service! I've already learned a lot about the candidates from just this. Lots of anodyne and bland statements, even from candidates I like and am likely to vote for. Never even heard of John Settles, but have to say his answer is the most interesting.

Looking forward to following this. Particularly the inevitable "which of these doors is truly 'of the day'?"

by TM on Jan 8, 2013 11:19 am • linkreport

You're not going to let PoPville pick the questions, are you?

CM Bonds: If I suspect that my neighbor is a loony NIMBY who hates renters, hipsters, and CaBis (in that order), should I call 911, 311, or Congressman Issa's office?

by Dizzy on Jan 8, 2013 11:30 am • linkreport

This is a great idea, please make sure to ask where they stand on raising income, sales, and property taxes.

by Bruce on Jan 8, 2013 11:41 am • linkreport

Any chance Let's Choose could conduct some polling for this race?

There are probably a number of ways to do this, but if you set up some donation link and had a fundraising goal (how much does it cost to do a statistically significant poll of DC likely voters?) I'd be happy to kick in.

In the 2012 Dem primary, I was a little shocked by how little support Peter Shapiro had generated and how close Sekou Biddle was to defeating Orange.

Where a candidate stands on various issues is important, of course, but so is their ability to build an organization and convince others to join them. I want a candidate who agrees with me, but more than that, I want a candidate who will be effective.

by thm on Jan 8, 2013 11:48 am • linkreport

I can't say I find too many helpful answers among the candidates' statements on this first question. Oh, you think schools should be better and better prepare students for the real world? Bold position!

It is nice to see many candidates jumping on the ethics bandwagon; if the reports from this morning's Council inauguration briefing are accurate, everyone on the council needs a swift kick in the pants to tell them they work for US, not for their own graft.

It's pathetic though that neither Michael Brown nor Anita Brooks have responded to your request. Don't give up on getting responses from them.

by MLD on Jan 8, 2013 12:12 pm • linkreport

Michael Brown said he would try to join in for question 2.

In some fairness to him, he jumped in late, and at first I didn't have his email address. I first really connected with him over the weekend, which could have allowed him to submit an answer, but he didn't have the whole week that the others did.

by David Alpert on Jan 8, 2013 12:14 pm • linkreport

And by "jumped in" I mean jumped into the race. He waited until last week to pick up petitions, versus almost all others who did so before Christmas. I didn't contact him before he was a candidate because he wasn't a candidate and nobody was entirely sure if he would be.

by David Alpert on Jan 8, 2013 12:15 pm • linkreport

This is pretty cool. But is it possible to have bios attached to each person's response. I have no idea who a few of the people the Diablo guy. Never heard of him but really liked his answers. In fact, he and the other lady (can't remember her name) gave the best answers.

What did A.J Cooper say again? I forgot just that quickly. Mara proves again why he doesn't have my support.

Who is the marijuana guy?

@MLD, Anita BONDS...not Brooks.

by HogWash on Jan 8, 2013 12:31 pm • linkreport

Great idea and great work.

by Gavin on Jan 8, 2013 12:32 pm • linkreport


My mistake on the name, mistype. You can click on any of the candidates' portraits in the top right to see their response again. And yes I agree there should be bios.

by MLD on Jan 8, 2013 12:37 pm • linkreport

@No problem. And thanks for the suggestion because I couldn't figure out how to go back and reread the posts.

Now I know the brotha's name is Diallo..not Diablo! But what a great response. The most appealing part is that he didn't attempt the "soapbox" approach. That is, say something negative about some aspect of the city because you know it will have larger appeal. It's similar to the republican's "anti-govt"'s always easy to criticize.

by HogWash on Jan 8, 2013 12:50 pm • linkreport

Great idea--I like being able to rate the candidates for evasiveness.

by Dan Miller on Jan 8, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

It's kind of annoying to click on the face logo of a candidate (which, by the way, are hard to discern - labels would be helpful - something other than hovering my cursor over the image to see a name) to see their response, and wanting to move on to the next candidate in the list - but the face logos have now shuffled their order.

I understand the desire to not list one candidate first over others, but doing so at the expense of easy navigation around the site is a drawback.

by Alex B. on Jan 8, 2013 1:27 pm • linkreport

We just want to re-endorse Vincent Gray like last time! He's for street cars -- except for when he isn't....

by Tom M on Jan 8, 2013 1:31 pm • linkreport

We just want to re-endorse Vincent Gray like last time!

Hey I would cosign that endorsement!

by HogWash on Jan 8, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

I can't get the site to email the confirmation, ergo I can't vote.

by John on Jan 8, 2013 3:33 pm • linkreport

@John, you can have one of the 3 confirmations it sent me. :)

by HogWash on Jan 8, 2013 4:52 pm • linkreport

Gann, Rubio, and Silverman response were great and look forward to hearing more. I really liked Pedro Rubio's response, he gave a clear unpolitical response and I liked his focus. Who is this guy, please add candidate bios?

by John on Jan 9, 2013 9:04 pm • linkreport

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