Jim Graham for Ward 1 . . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

WARD 1 VOTERS sent Jim Graham to the D.C. Council in 1999 and reelected him to a second term in 2002. Now Ward 1 Democrats have every reason to enthusiastically nominate him for a third term in the Sept. 12 party primary. On every major count -- as a legislator, provider of constituent services and monitor of D.C. government performance -- Jim Graham has continued to receive high marks.

Whether the category is public safety, good government, economic revitalization, housing and the preservation of diversity, public health, or local and regional transit, Mr. Graham has established a solid record of achievement. Most notably, he has managed to establish and sustain this level of performance in a unique and challenging ward. Unlike other jurisdictions in the city, Ward 1 does not have a majority made up of any particular population group. In many respects, the ward, which includes Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan in the west and LeDroit Park in the east, is ground zero in the District's "gentrification" struggles. It is an area that calls for a special kind of leader. Mr. Graham fills that bill. In a ward with changing demographics, he has made a strong effort, largely successful, to maintain and expand affordable housing while retaining the ward's rich diversity.

From arriving on the scene of violent deaths, to directing a leasing investigation that led to criminal indictments and convictions, to drafting reforms of rent-control laws, Jim Graham has become a fixture on the public safety scene and a leader in open, effective and responsive government.

His detractors, including his Ward 1 opponent, Chad Williams, a D.C.-born housing and economic development expert, try to suggest that Mr. Graham isn't an honest broker. His record suggests exactly the opposite. Democrats of Ward 1 have a real winner in Jim Graham. They should keep him.

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