Bonds is being challenged by Republican Patrick Mara, DC Statehood Green Party candidate Perry Redd and Democrats Elissa Silverman, Matthew Frumin and Paul Zukerberg.
The Washington Post posed a series of questions to the candidates on some major issues.
Only about a quarter of D.C. students attend their assigned neighborhood school. Is that a strength of the city or a problem, and why?
Frumin, Zukerberg, Redd and Silverman think it’s a problem, saying they would like more resources devoted to building strong neighborhood schools. Bonds said it’s both good and bad; she is happy students have a choice, she said, but would prefer that more choose their neighborhood schools. Mara said “it’s important to encourage” choice and would like to see parents have more “neighborhood options.”
Should there be more standardized testing in public schools, less, or about the same amount?
Zukerberg, Redd and Silverman would like to see much less. “The amount of testing is overtaking curriculum,” Frumin said. Bonds and Mara favor the current number, saying the focus should be on the integrity of the exams instead of the amount. “I would just like to see the testing be fair, and the strain on the educators to be less, so no one is inclined to cheat,” Bonds said.
Would you support a new bicycle lane on Connecticut Avenue NW, even if it resulted in fewer on-street parking spots or altered traffic patterns?
Frumin and Zukerberg would need more information about the lane’s design before giving an opinion. Bonds, Redd and Mara are inclined to oppose it, worried about a loss of on-street parking. Silverman is inclined to support it. “If we are to promote cycling, we need to promote cycling on our major thoroughfares,” she said.
Do you think the city has too many or not enough bars and restaurants. If not, where should more be located?
Zukerberg thinks the city has the right amount of bars and restaurants. All the other candidates think the city needs more bars and restaurants in communities east of the Anacostia River. Bonds and Silverman would also like to see more bars and restaurants in Northeast. “There is not one answer for the city as a whole,” Frumin said.
Would you support allowing taller buildings in the city?
Redd is opposed to relaxing the federal Heights of Buildings Act. Mara, Silverman, Frumin, Zukerberg and Bonds would support allowing taller buildings in certain areas, away from the Mall and historical areas.
Should the District legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana?
Redd supports legalizing and taxing marijuana. Mara said he could support the idea but would like a referendum on the matter. Zukerberg, Frumin and Silverman would support decriminalizing marijuana, but worry about federal intervention if it is formally regulated. Bonds said she’s still grappling with the issue: “I’m not against it all, as a plant or a product, and decriminalization, if it becomes law, then, yes, there should be taxes, most definitely.”