Greater Greater Washington

Live chat with Joshua Lopez

Today we welcome Council candidate Joshua Lopez for a live chat. Lopez is a former Fenty campaign aide, and seems to be following a similar campaign strategy to that which got Fenty elected and taking strongly pro-Fenty (and anti-Gray) policy stances.

 Live chat with Josh Lopez(02/11/2011) 
12:06
David Alpert: 
Welcome to our live chat with Joshua Lopez. Mr. Lopez will join us momentarily. Please start entering any questions you'd like to ask and we'll try to get to as many as we can!
Friday February 11, 2011 12:06 David Alpert
12:11
Joshua Lopez: 
Good afternoon. Thanks David and the Greater Greater Washington Community for having me on today.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:11 Joshua Lopez
12:12
David Alpert: 
Welcome! Many readers don't know much about you. Can you briefly fill them in on what your background is and what brought you to be interested in elective office?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:12 David Alpert
12:18
Joshua Lopez: 
I am a Native Washingtonian, graduate of DC public schools, and proud UDC alum. I have been active in the local political arena dating back to my years as a youth activist. I served on a Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Safety and was a member of the Youth Advisory Council.

After the murder of a close friend due to gun violence, my eyes were opened to the importance of public policy and the impact it has on the community.

I reached out to my local council member, Adrian Fenty, and landed a job in his office doing constituent services and later became a legislative analyst. I have also served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and first Vice President of the Ward 4 Democrats.

I love DC and I want to see the city continue to move forward.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:18 Joshua Lopez
12:20
David Alpert: 
Thanks. What are the top three policies you would like to change, if you are successful in getting elected?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:20 David Alpert
12:20
Joshua Lopez: 
Implementing the progressive tax increase to assist with the budget shortfall
Friday February 11, 2011 12:20 Joshua Lopez
12:21
Joshua Lopez: 
More parental involvement in our public school system
Friday February 11, 2011 12:21 Joshua Lopez
12:22
Joshua Lopez: 
Implementing effective strategies to create jobs for DC residents
Friday February 11, 2011 12:22 Joshua Lopez
12:23
David Alpert: 
Let's get to some of the reader questions.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:23 David Alpert
12:23
[Comment From David SpettDavid Spett: ] 
What's your opinion on the proposal by the group Save Our Safety Net (saveoursafetynet.com) to generate additional revenue by adding a new tax bracket for income above $200,000 a year? Right now, all income beyond $40,001/year is taxed at the same rate, 8.5%.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:23 David Spett
12:24
Joshua Lopez: 
I am fully supporting the proposal. The added revenue could help with budget deficit we are currently facing.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:24 Joshua Lopez
12:26
David Alpert: 
Even that will not do nearly everything necessary to close the budget gap.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:26 David Alpert
12:26
[Comment From Ward 6 ResidentWard 6 Resident: ] 
What programs will you cut if you are elected?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:26 Ward 6 Resident
12:27
Joshua Lopez: 
The reality is we will have to make cuts in every agency in the city. However, whatever cuts are made I will make sure they do not reduce the quality of programs and services provided for district residents.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:27 Joshua Lopez
12:29
David Alpert: 
It seems that no matter what is cut someone experiences a decrease in quality of services. Do you have any specific thoughts about what might be able to be cut without decreasing quality of service?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:29 David Alpert
12:30
Joshua Lopez: 
We can start out with cutting city council's pay.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:30 Joshua Lopez
12:33
Joshua Lopez: 
With special education we could reduce the budget by providing the necessary resources inside of DC, instead of wasting millions of dollars transporting them outside of the city.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:33 Joshua Lopez
12:35
David Alpert: 
You mentioned more parental involvement in schools. Let me bring back a question that came up in one of the other candidate chats:
Friday February 11, 2011 12:35 David Alpert
12:35
[Comment From SusieSusie: ] 
Much has been made of improving parenting across the board as a way to improve school success and child and youth outcomes generally. Do you have any thoughts about how schools and others might do this?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:35 Susie
12:38
Joshua Lopez: 
A new program that would email parents with information regarding their child's homework assignments and progress would be a low-cost, efficient way to encourage parental involvement.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:38 Joshua Lopez
12:38
Joshua Lopez: 
Bringing in ANC's to assist with PTA's and parental outreach.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:38 Joshua Lopez
12:39
Joshua Lopez: 
If there is a more specific need with illiteracy and parental empowerment we should identify them and address them accordingly.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:39 Joshua Lopez
12:40
[Comment From EricEric: ] 
Is DC economically competitive with surrounding jurisdictions? If not, what would you do to change that?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:40 Eric
12:43
Joshua Lopez: 
Yes, DC is competitive with surrounding jurisdictions. However, we could cut some of the red tape and bureaucracy that prohibits potential small business owners from getting their licenses in a timely manner.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:43 Joshua Lopez
12:45
[Comment From CarenCaren: ] 
Would you have voted for the Adams Morgan hotel tax break?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:45 Caren
12:49
Joshua Lopez: 
No, I am against all tax break until we pass legislation that effectively evaluates whether these breaks will help us in the long run
Friday February 11, 2011 12:49 Joshua Lopez
12:49
David Alpert: 
Yesterday, the WMATA Board discussed whether to cut back late-night service. This might be necessary if DC and other jurisdictions don't come up with more money. DC's share would be $23.5 million more. Do you think DC should add that money for WMATA to its budget, or consider service cuts or fare increases?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:49 David Alpert
12:50
Joshua Lopez: 
We have done a poor job going to the federal government and encouraging stronger investment on their end. Thousands of their workers use the system everyday and do not pay taxes to the city.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:50 Joshua Lopez
12:51
Joshua Lopez: 
I am against cutting back late night service. It would have a negative impact on local business owners who offer services during those hours.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:51 Joshua Lopez
12:52
David Alpert: 
Can you elaborate on what we've done poorly to go to the federal government? I agree that the feds should do more, but it also can be too easy to just say we should get more from the feds. How would you do more to encourage investment from them?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:52 David Alpert
12:53
Joshua Lopez: 
Our current Mayor has met with the President and the Speaker of the House.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:53 Joshua Lopez
12:55
Joshua Lopez: 
During the meeting with the House Speaker, Gray failed to speak on a House GOP proposal to cut federal aid to DC for housing the country's government. I see these as missed opportunities to encourage the federal government to pay their fair share.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:55 Joshua Lopez
12:56
[Comment From JoshJosh: ] 
Can you talk to us about your approach to crime in the district besides saying you are opposed to it and hope to help the MPD fight it. What programs do you see that are working? What isn't working?
Friday February 11, 2011 12:56 Josh
12:56
Joshua Lopez: 
The traditional approach to fighting crime in this city only goes so far.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:56 Joshua Lopez
12:59
Joshua Lopez: 
We need to actively engage ex-offenders in this city. We should do more around job placement and ending the cycle that creates repeat offenders that increases crime.
Friday February 11, 2011 12:59 Joshua Lopez
1:01
Joshua Lopez: 
They should play a role in mentoring at risk youth. We also need to take a serious look at the relationship between the police department and certain communities.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:01 Joshua Lopez
1:02
Joshua Lopez: 
There are still issues with trust that we need to bridge in order to build a collaborative relationship.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:02 Joshua Lopez
1:03
David Alpert: 
Thanks. In the last few chats, people have asked, how to do you get to and from work? Do you ride transit, walk, bike, drive?
Friday February 11, 2011 1:03 David Alpert
1:03
Joshua Lopez: 
BMW
Friday February 11, 2011 1:03 Joshua Lopez
1:03
Joshua Lopez: 
Bus, Metro, Walk
Friday February 11, 2011 1:03 Joshua Lopez
1:03
Joshua Lopez: 
and carpool
Friday February 11, 2011 1:03 Joshua Lopez
1:05
David Alpert: 
What neighborhood do you live in? How would you like to see your neighborhood change over the next 10-20 years?
Friday February 11, 2011 1:05 David Alpert
1:05
Joshua Lopez: 
Kennedy St corridor off of Georgia Ave
Friday February 11, 2011 1:05 Joshua Lopez
1:06
Joshua Lopez: 
I would like to see more sit-down restaurants, cafes, bookstores, and family friendly establishments.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:06 Joshua Lopez
1:08
David Alpert: 
One debate on Georgia Avenue has often been about how much to build. For example, some people didn't want mixed use housing and retail both on the site that is now likely to be the Walmart, and opposed buildings more than 2-3 stories at Walter Reed. What do you think is appropriate?
Friday February 11, 2011 1:08 David Alpert
1:09
Joshua Lopez: 
I am all for the development that would retailing and housing.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:09 Joshua Lopez
1:09
Joshua Lopez: 
*bring more retailing and housing
Friday February 11, 2011 1:09 Joshua Lopez
1:11
Joshua Lopez: 
You can strike a balance that does not significantly alter the look of the neighborhood and maximize the full potential of the land.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:11 Joshua Lopez
1:12
David Alpert: 
Well, that's all the time we have. Thanks so much Josh for joining us.
Friday February 11, 2011 1:12 David Alpert
1:12
Joshua Lopez: 
Thanks David and Greater Greater Washington
Friday February 11, 2011 1:12 Joshua Lopez
1:14
David Alpert: 
Please post your thoughts on this chat in the comments. What did you like or dislike about what Josh said? Are you considering voting for him? What else would you like to know to make up your mind?
Friday February 11, 2011 1:14 David Alpert
1:14
David Alpert: 
We'll have 2 more candidates on next week: Jacque Patterson on Monday, and Vincent Orange on Thursday. Stay tuned!
Friday February 11, 2011 1:14 David Alpert
1:14
Joshua Lopez: 
Also feel free to reach me directly at 202-631-9072 or email me at josh@joshualopez2011.com
Friday February 11, 2011 1:14 Joshua Lopez
1:14
 

 
 
 
David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. 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 daughter in Dupont Circle. 

Comments

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So other than being a Fenty supporter and great at vapid platitudes, Lopez really has no positions on anything. He's pro-DC jobs, pro-closing a budget gap, anti-crime, and pro-more residents. Is he also pro-cute puppies and anti-rainy days?

I heard absolutely nothing in his answers that would make me inclined to even think about voting for him.

by Fritz on Feb 11, 2011 2:04 pm • linkreport

I agree with Fritz. His one big idea - bringing DC Special education back to DC is actually something that Vince Gray ran on, something Fenty never addressed.

The rest of his comments seemed like platitudes. I got more out the Biddle and Mara (or was it Weaver?) discussions.

by William on Feb 11, 2011 2:51 pm • linkreport

@Fritz I dunno, he came out
- for increasing taxes on incomes >$200K
- willing to reduce Council Members' (his own) pay
- for preserving late-night Metrorail service
- against height restrictions in the Walter Reed redevelopment
- against the tax abatement for the Adams Morgan hotel project

These are specific positions and they differentiate him from the other candidates. This puts him even further left/more progressive than Bryan Weaver.

I don't know what the commenters above looking for in terms of specificity but they should read more carefully or ease up on the Chat participants.

by Ward 1 Guy on Feb 11, 2011 3:59 pm • linkreport

Mr. Lopez ran Fenty's Ward 4 campaign for re-election, and it was POORLY run. I had to ask five times - in person and online - for a yard sign, and when it finally arrived, they stuck it in my neighbors yard. Might seem like a small gripe, but keeping up with details matter in a campaign and as a councilmember. Had Mr. Lopez done his job better, Fenty might not have lost quite as badly on his home territory. Mr. Lopez is not ready for the job of At-Large Councilmember.

by swededc on Feb 12, 2011 5:30 pm • linkreport

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