Greater Greater Washington

For DC Council in Ward 5: Kenyan McDuffie

When councilmember Kenyan McDuffie was elected two years ago, DC's Ward 5 swung from having one of the city's most corrupt councilmembers to having a widely-respected one. We encourage voters to renominate McDuffie in the April 1 Democratic primary, or in early voting starting March 17.


Image from the candidate website.

McDuffie won the 2012 special election to replace former Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. Thomas resigned and pled guilty to multiple felonies, including diverting public funding for youth baseball to personal expenses such as vacations and an SUV. McDuffie is now seeking his first full 4-year term.

Here's what our contributors wrote about McDuffie:

"Kenyan is easily one of the most progressive-thinking members of the council, in a ward that can often be quite conservative. He has to toe the line between pulling the ward with him and meeting the voters where they currently are sometimes, but he generally threads this needle with aplomb."
"He is a nice guy who has humble beginnings. He can related to young black teens as well as he can developers. He seems to be one of the few councilmembers that wants to do his best to improve DC. He is able to balance the needs of his diverse constituents."

"Kenyan has delivered on his promise in the last electionhe's been a CM with integrity, thoughtfulness, and even in the sort time he's had in office so far, has made a lot of positive moves, both for the ward and for the city."

"Kenyan has done a fine job. He's a champion of ethics and election reform, he has been successful without taking corporate funding, and he's been supportive of redevelopment in Ward 5 that is walkable and transit-accessible and includes affordable housing, including the McMillan Site development."

"I have the utmost respect for McDuffie."

Some contributors expressed concern with some of his stances, like opposing the streetcar maintenance facility at Spingarn High School, as seeming to react to strong sentiment in the ward rather than formulating the best conclusion based on his own analysis and beliefs. On the other hand, on McMillan development, McDuffie has not gone along with the angry hordes.

McDuffie's two challengers have not been consensus-builders in their own communities, and have often been hostile to new residents participating in community dialogue about the future. Steptoe was one of the leading opponents of any development around Brookland Metro, for instance.

We hope voters in Ward 5 (whose neighborhoods include Truxton Circle, Bloomingdale, Stronghold, Edgewood, Eckington, Brentwood, Ivy City, Trinidad, Carver-Langston, Arboretum, Langdon, Gateway, Fort Lincoln, Woodridge, Brookland, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park, and Fort Totten) will renominate Kenyan McDuffie in the Democratic primary on April 1, or in early voting beginning March 17.

This is the official endorsement of Greater Greater Washington. To determine endorsements, we invite regular contributors and editors to participate in a survey about their preferences and opinions about upcoming races. The editorial board then decides whether to make an endorsement based on the responses in the survey and whether there is a clear consensus.

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Comments

I think Kenyon McDuffie is doing a great job, and I find Carolyn Steptoe to be so abrasive in her style and divisive in her tactics that she tends to be counterproductive on most issues.

That said, it is both untrue and unfair to claim that Ms. Steptoe opposed "all development around Brookland Metro." In consonance with the Brookland/CUA Small Area Plan, Ms Steptoe energetically supported a mixed-use development no taller than 50 ft at 901 Monroe St, NE, formerly the site of Colonel Brooks Tavern, its parking lot, and several homes. The developer wanted a bigger building and -- shockingly, in this city -- the developer prevailed. The result will be a building taller than and with more massive facades than any existing building in Brookland. Existing two-story row houses on the east side of the block and freestanding bungalows across the street on Lawrence will be dwarfed.

The community was split enough about what size the building should be that Ms. Steptoe's stance may have prevailed had she not been quite so confrontational in the critical ANC meeting. The result was an unfortunate precedent for balancing smart growth and neighborhood conservation in Brookland.

by Fearing Dysphoria on Mar 11, 2014 5:57 pm • linkreport

McDuffie/McDud (but likely better than the rest): http://youtu.be/6begLt0I-3E [See 22 sec mark.]

A Ward Councilmember and Deputy Council Chair with some input on the Council agenda (with access to Phil's ear) should be able to use his muscle get the Dunbar Pool open 7days/week for his constituents, senior neighbors, young people, youth in need of positive supervised activities, and families — and follow through and act on his convictions. Local candidates talk about the Kennedy Crime/Rec Center, but Dunbar has a fantastic aquatic facility that should also serve neighbors, not just 10hrs (TOTAL) on weekends. (Dislike Jack Evans all you want, I do, but when he eventually gets behind an issue in his ward, it gets done, albeit you have to be able to pay up in advance.)

McDuffie has also failed to engage with all local residents regarding the McMillan development according to Bloomingdale residents.
https://twitter.com/ElectMendelson/status/439847243538235392

How hard is it to reach out and listen?

by @ShawingtonTimes on Mar 12, 2014 11:11 am • linkreport

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