Former Post reporter to seek vacant post on D.C. Council

Elissa Silverman filed papers Thursday to become a candidate in the April 23 special election to fill an at-large D.C. Council seat. The post was vacated by Phil Mendelson (D) when he was elected council chairman.

Silverman is a former reporter for The Washington Post and Washington City Paper. Recently, she helped the D.C. Public Trust in its effort to ban direct corporate contributions in local politics, an issue before the D.C. Superior Court. She has been a policy analyst and communications director at the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute since April 2009.

Silverman is running for the seat that is now being held on an interim basis by D.C. Democratic State Committee leader Anita Bonds, who is seeking the permanent post.

Another potential candidate in that race is soon-to-be-former D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, who has been noncommittal on whether he would seek to reclaim an at-large seat. Brown (I-At Large) lost his race for a second term on Nov. 6, falling nearly 20,000 votes behind independent David Grosso in his bid for one of two at-large council seats.

In a statement Thursday, Silverman said her experience as a reporter and analyst has taught her “how to ask the hard questions.”

“Our city’s budget is a statement of our priorities,”Silverman said. “I want to serve on the Council to make sure our government is more responsive, more effective and more strategic in helping improve the lives of all District residents.”

As a reporter, Silverman covered District government and politics. According to the statement, Silverman owns a house in Northeast Capitol Hill near the H Street corridor. Raised in Baltimore, she attended Baltimore City Public Schools. She is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and history.

During her campaign, Silverman is taking unpaid leave from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.

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