Former council member Vincent Orange issued his manifesto Monday for leading the council. Dubbed the "Orange Plan," the 12-page document is less of a plan than a vision for the city and a recitation of his résumé and accomplishments during two terms on the council.
Orange's five-point plan calls for expanding pre-K programs for toddlers and vocational and employment training for young adults, reducing energy costs for residents and enforcing employment measures designed to ensure better wages and more jobs for District residents.
But much of the document -- replete with attractive photos and pull quotes -- is repetitive, listing the elements of a sustainable energy initiative three times; the 13 highlights from his tenure on the council twice; and his compelling personal story several times. Orange draws on a theme from his unsuccessful 2006 mayoral bid, pointing to what he calls the "connection between education, employment and economic development."
Throughout the "Orange Plan," the candidate seeks to position himself in contrast to rival Council member Kwame Brown (D-At Large), who leads the council's economic development committee. Four times in the dozen pages, Orange faults the council for failing to enforce the city's "living wage" law and a second measure meant to guarantee that the majority of jobs generated by taxpayer-funded development are awarded to District residents.
Brown has pointed out that it was his legislation that compelled the District's independent auditor to investigate whether the employment measure had been implemented, and that the projects the auditor examined were underway before he was a member of the council.
Orange also highlights what has become the campaign's signature line, saying he would provide the council with the necessary "leadership, maturity and accountability."