The Washington Post asked:
1. What do you believe must be done by the mayor to improve the city?
2. What qualifications do you have that would make you the most effective person as mayor? Marion Berry
1. The next mayor of the District of Columbia must bring to office a sense of purpose and direction, and through hold and dynamic leadership, set the tone for making our city the model or urban excellence it can and should be.
As mayor, my first step would be to eliminate duplication, waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in the government. The mayor should attract the most capable, competent and committed persons for managing and administrating the departments responsible for the delivery of city services and for the general welfare and safety of our people.
Through creative leadership, the mayor must find ways to draw upon one of the city's potential strengths - its neighborhood diversity - to build a sense of community and create a bulwark of civic pride.
As mayor, I would seek to involve the total community in common goals, thus building bridges between neighborhoods and people all over the city - from Anacostia to Georgetown, from Brightwood to Capitol Hill, from Minnesota-Benning Road to LeDroit.
The mayor must, with spirit and vitality, reach out to all of the people and promote plans, programs and activities that will help the people in all of our neighborhoods realize that they have a stake in the city.
This citywide atmosphere and attitude can only be attained by solving some of the grave priority problems that now face us: the housing crisis; the high employment rate, particularly among black youth, and the low state of public education.
The mayor must act vigorously to support neighborhood stabilization, rehabilitation and improvement programs on an as-needed scale throughout the city.
A Barry adminstration would devise and implement the kind of housing programs needed to increase the housing stock for low and moderate-income homowners and renters. This action would ameliorate some of the serious problems and tensions currently being caused by the massive and cruel displacement of too many citizens - the elderly, black and Hispanic, people on fixed incomes and others.
As a beginning step, the next mayor must move rapidly to take the boards off the approximately 3,000 houses owned by the city and get people into them.
To deal with the increasingly crucial problem of tenants, I have also proposed an office of co-op and condominium conversion to assist multi-family units. In addition, this office would encourage landlords who are considering conversion to work with the District government to increase opportunities for tenants to become owners.
In the capitol of the wealthiest nation in the world, it is criminal to an unemployment rate that hovers at 70 percent of a sector of the population - black youth.
The next mayor must form an economic partnership with business, government and the people, in an aggressive economic development program designed to create and attract new businesses and light industries, keep the present ones and expand the tourist industry, thus creating more jobs for District residents. Jobs would be one of the highest priorities in a Barry administration.
I fully recognize the limited authority of the mayor in the area of education, but by virtue of the fact that he is responsible for the general welfare of the city, the mayor has a moral obligation to assume some responsibility for the general state of education in the District.
A Barry adminstration would lend the power and prestige of the mayor's office to a community drive for excellence in our public school system.
As mayor, I would work with the school system in a wholehearted attempt to actively involve parents, students, adminstrators, teachers, churches and neighborhood organizations in a cooperative effort to provide a quality education school system for our young people. Emphasis must also be put on early childhood education and adult education programs and full support for the University of the District of Columbia.
Finally, there are a host of other things that a mayor must be or do to improve the quality of life in our city; remain vigilant in pursuit of civil, human and economic rights for all; encourage and support our talented arts community; show concern for the special needs of our elderly; be attuned to environmental and ecological concerns; encourage more active political participation, and to be open, direct, accessible, decisive and never afraid to "take a stand."
2. I have consistently demonstrated leadership, initiative and management strengths: during the civil rights movement as first national director of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee; as cofounder of PRIDE, Inc., which success fully provided job training for 15,000 youth; as a leader of the "Free D.C." movement; as prime organizer of the bus boycott to keep fares low; as president of the Board of Education in introducing modern management techiques to the school system, and as chairman of the council's Finance and Revenue Committee, spearheading local tax reform and tax relief measures.
In all of these roles, I have demonstrated time and again my ability to build bridges between diverse groups of people and to unite them in a drive toward a common goal.
As an elected official, I have shown an enthusiasm for honest and dedicated public service, and my council staff is widely recognized as one of the most competent, capable and efficient ones in local government.
I have been always open, forthright and accessible to all of our citizens, and I believe that my leadership can inspire our total community to work together to make Washington, D.C., a place we're all proud to call "home."
These are the things that make me the most effective person for mayor.
The Washington Post asked:
1. What do you believe must be done by the mayor to improve the city?
2. What qualifications do you have that would make you the most effective person as mayor? Dorothy Maultsby
1. Government efficiency and accountability: Sound program planning and control and the effective use of tax dollars are among the city's top needs. Workable management techniques, such as zero-base budgeting, should be installed. Identifiable program goals and objectives and the proper allocation of budget dollars to meet those objectives are mandatory. Accountability and control of resources must be assured through the proper monitoring and evaluation of activities. A management team of highly trained analysts and program and research officers, at the executive level, is necessary to track program operations.
Housing: There is a need for greater measures to assist city residents in purchasing rehabilitated homes at low interest rates and at affordable prices. Use the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Program to help the low and moderate-income families, including the elderly, disabled and handicapped. Home ownership-neighborhood stabilization programs will be used to decrease public housing. Federal and private grants will be channeled to provide assistance to a broader range of D.C. residents. The use of tax delinquent properties, will be made to bring more housing on the market. The Rental Accommodations Office will be restructured or expanded to assist in supplying housing information. Additionally, policies and procedures for establishing rental allowances, utility allowances and accurate documentation of all rental activities are necessary. I will also review the rental levels at which condominium conversion takes place. A Citizens Housing Body, representative of tenants, property owners, savings and loan associations, banks and D.C. representatives, will be established to review and evaluate all D.C. housing activities.
Employment: There is an urgent need for a comprehensive profile on the employment activities in the District. Such statistics would afford our government the opportunity to review the status of all the unemployed, employables and the employed. As major, I will recruit light industries to build in our city and provide tax incentives to employers who employ and train the unemployed. I will establish meaningful training programs designed to assist our youths and adults in acquiring and holding stable jobs. Particular emphasis will be placed on youth entrepreneurship, where youths are encouraged and taught to own businesses. Greater use of the federal sector in acquiring employment for District residents will be made.
A balanced budget: A professional billing system and the establishment of workable management information are organizational necessities. A management team, referred to earlier, . . . will serve effectively in controlling budget allocations and expenditures. Under my direction, spending needs to be aligned with revenue intake and strict budget operations will be implemented.
D.C. property taxes: Property tax collections should be based on the economic needs of the city. To determine those needs, all outstanding revenue should be collected and utilized efficiently in meeting our debt obligations. I favor and would push for a periodic moratorium plan for the collection of property taxes. The lift on such a moratorium would be triggered by a clear demonstration of financial needs which exceed planned objectives.
Education: As major, one of my highest priorities will be to provide the resources necessary for a sound, productive educational program for children and adults. To ensure the proper resources are channeled to identified educational activities, it is important that the allocation and implementation process be monitored and evaluated on a definite time basis. Educational resources for the handicapped, the mentally retarded and other special needs categories will also reign among the top priorities in my administration.
Senior citizens: Fear of red tape, inadequate income, increased taxes and utilities and crime attacks are listed as major concerns of our senior citizens. I will correct these inadequacies through more effective implementation of the Older Americans Act and other private and federally funded programs . . . Nutrition programs, legal services, counseling services and other social and economic needs will be given priority. The proper use of Medicare and Medicaid programs, including home health care, institutional care and hospitalization, are major concerns . . . A periodic review of policies and procedures, along with full administrative support, are needed to ensure effectiveness in programs for the elderly.
Other remedies for the improvement of D.C. operations include a comprehensive health program; the establishment of an office of grants administration and management, to streamline the D.C. grants operation; and increased support for the Office of the Peoples Counsel and the Public Services Commission. A complete revamping of the water and sewer system is also necessary to improve the overall revenue operations. The elimination of crime is imperative.
2. My demonstrated performance as a community leader and achiever; my ability to communicate, coordinate and implement programs based on identified needs; my concern for the betterment of community and governmental affairs. Specifically, I draw upon my professional background as executive representative for administration (UPO); administrative officer (DHEW); chief, internal management (DHEW); senior management analyst (DHEW); special assistant to the director of operations (DHEW); coordinator of volunteers (D.C. government); Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner; president, Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association; contract coordinator (UPO Community Centers) and an educator. Finally, honesty, a keen sense of moral values, and a high degree of integrity, are among my basic ingredients for good, clean government. Sterling Tucker
1. The next mayor must establish strong leadership. It isn't enough to be merely ceremonious or to exude street charisma. Executive competence will determine the strength of our claim on Capitol Hill to full home rule, the quality of services for our citizens, the extent of new investment in our city, the equity of our relations with the neighboring jurisdictions, the degree of the council's cooperation and, most importantly, how we look at ourselves as a self-governing community.
The moments demands a solid leadership team. Vigorous leadership can reasonably expect to implement a $200-million-a-year commuter tax in the near future. But the District government must be prepared to stand on its own feet now.
We can swing it. Our money problems aren't prohibitive, our population is stable, our people are talented. Leadership must be launched from the mayor's desk. Only the mayor can see to it that the Office of Economic Development creates needed jobs, that the boards come down from habitable housing and that people move in, that assessors stop skyrocketing property taxes and that sensible land-use planning is instituted now. Only the mayor can guarantee both enactment and enforcement of the city's long-overdue comprehensive plan. And only the mayor can get for D.C. every federal dollar available for education, housing, job training, health services, arts programs, crime prevention - the long list of grants and entitlements we've forfeited lately.
Municipal competence means city servants must perform or be removed. The mayor must attract a team of the best planners and administrators to fill key posts. If a new mayor creates a sense of mission, vigor and quality now, the vast majority of city employes will respond eagerly.
Challenges abound. Today's D.C. school system is a crime against children. Today's mayor shrugs off the problem on grounds of separation of powers. But the schools' deficiencies are a community problems; it calls for a community solution. Parents, students, teachers, school board and all the city agencies which affect families could form a working alliance to implement an exacting plan for improved education - with leadership by the mayor.
To lead is to listen. A taut chain of command must be a two-way instrument - the very goal of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, established to keep the mayor's door open to every neighborhood and to balance the needs of the individual and the duties of citywide agencies. The housing crisis, for example - a universal affliction - can only be solved in the neighborhoods. People must have options: the opportunity to stay in their homes and the ability to choose their neighborhoods, to find affordable homes to rent or buy there. Local options are grassroots decisions by definition. The mayor must know and heed them.
There is no mystery to leadership. It is the product of experience, hard work, a knack for selecting able people, caring - and vision. It is needed now.
2. Innovation and administrative experience are my strengths. For 25 years - as a leader in the Urban League, both locally and nationally, as an appointed and elected District official and in many special projects - I have, in effect been schooled for the mayor's office. Programs I developed have opened up jobs, education and housing opportunities for minority citizens - thousands of them in D.C. My work throughout the civil rights days was an invaluable lesson in the crucial importance of planning and accountability. Then, as now, the key was to bring diverse interests together to forge new goals and implement novel strategies for change.
Time after time I have made new programs work by mobilizing coalitions for action. These range from assembling funds to enable 12th Place tenants to buy their homes to rallying private organizations, local governments and individual citizens in the "Greater Neighbor" concept of a coordinated approach to urban improvement to the National Urban League's "New Thrust" program, which built up the economic and political power of black ghettos in 102 cities.
With the Urban League and as a board member of both the National League of Cities and the National Association of Regional Councils, I have studied the problems and successes of cities across the nation. And as a civil rights lobbyist I learned the byways of Congress - an experience especially valuable for the District's mayor in our continuing partnership with the federal legislature.
I have a winning record as the first elected D.C. council chairman. Under my stewardship, the council passed more than 1,500 bills and resolutions; not one was vetoed by Congress. My own legislative initiatives include such victories as separating D.C. General Hospital from DHR's mismanagement, establishing the ANCs and amending the rent control law to provide rent subsidies for the working poor, the elderly and the handicapped.
Chairing the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments gave me important knowledge of our region's issues. By careful planning, I helped develop the area's Fair Share Housing Plan to provide 2,400 additional low and moderate-income homes - the kind of program essential for balanced regional growth. As chairman of WMATA, I selected a new general manager for Metro, reorganized the administration and got the first trains rolling - all with full participation by minority contractors and workers. The District clearly needs more such region-wide programs.
For 22 years our family has lived in Washington. With my wife, Alloyce, and our daughters, Michelle and Lauren, I have a personal stake in our community's progress. This is home. Locally, nationally and personally, I have demonstrated repeatedly the competence, concern and experience our city needs in its next mayor. I am ready to lead as mayor of the District now. Walter E. Washington
1. During the past 11 years, while I was first the appointed and then the elected mayor, great changes have come about in the District of Columbia. The city has moved into the era of home rule, accomplishing a smooth and effective transition to better, more responsive government.
Self-government brought with it widened-horizons of equal opportunity for men and women of all races, services to all sections of the city and new public facilities, including new schools, libraries, recreation centers, swimming pools, police stations and fire houses.City services are now delivered from modernized and improved facilities, not from outmoded, hand-me-down buildings that were vestiges of an old segregated system.
An important forward step in the era of home rule has been the creation of the network of elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions which has brought government close to our people at the grass-roots level. That activity has produced a new involvement of our people in better government, which fully support.
We must now move the government of the District of Columbia into the next stage of development. Among my goals for the next four years are full representation for the citizens of the District of Columbia in the Congress of the United States, effective control over the city's budget, an assured and predictable federal payment and the power to tax all income earned within our city's limits. Congress has denied us these basic American rights, but we will achieve them before long.As mayor, I intend to see us close ranks behind these objectives.
These measures are needed to enable the city government to continue our progress in improving the delivery of services and to enable our people to participate fully in the making of national decisions affecting our well-being. What is at stake is the right to make decisions for ourselves.
We have made substantial progress in providing adequate housing, economic development to create jobs, better transportation and strengthened strategies to clean our air and water.My commitment is to continue this progress and add to our successes in these fields.
In housing, during the past 10 years we have 12,000 new and rehabilitated units completed or under construction - including about 5,000 in the past three years - which provide housing for 36,000 residents. We must increase this production at a pace of at least 2,000 a year with a goal of 20,000 additional units within 10 years. Additional financing tools to make this production possible are required and must be provided.
In economic development, we must continue to strengthen the economic climate in retaining businesses and jobs and in developing new employment opportunties. The city's economic uptown has drawn national attention in leading business publications. That progress is making Washington, D.C., the nation's leading trade association center and an important new focus of international finance activity.
Additional attention also must be given to the development of jobs to support purely local commercial activities. Local development goals include the revitalization of many of our neighborhoods and our downtown. We must assure readily accessible neighborhood food shopping and commercial facilities needed to serve residents. These development efforts must be directed toward creating more opportunities for training and employment for our young people as well as to assure the continued overall economic vitality of the city.
Meanwhile, we must continue programs to find jobs for our unemployed. Last year, 7,000 new, permanent jobs were made available to residents; more than 23,000 persons have been served through local training programs; and 2,500 will take part in Job Corps Center training providing skills for unemployed young men and women.
In transportation, we have shifted more than $800 million of our freeway entitlements to the building of Metro. Thereby, we have ended the freeway program and assured the continued construction of Metro. Completion of the full 100-mile metropolitan system is essential to provide our residents a modern and efficient transportation system. Completion of Metro also enables us to meet our goals for cleaning up our atmosphere and easing auto-traffic congestion on our streets. We have made good progress in doing so with reserved bus lanes and other strategies which we must continue to employ.
The city is operating one of the nation's largest waste-water treatment plants at Blue Plains in support of the major joint local and regional effort to clean up the Potomac River. This effort must continue to improve water quality and meet our expanding requirements for sanitary sewer treatment services.
I have just touched on a few of the ingredients of civic well-being, including strengthened self-government, increased housing, further job development, better transportation and continued improvement of the environment.
Another area that requires concentrated attention in the next four years is tax relief. Such relief has been provided homeowners with my program for a 29-cent reduction in the real estate tax rate combined with a homestead exemption increased to $9,000. Other measures of tax relief to protect our citizens from the continued impact of inflation must be provided.
Basic municipal services, including improved educational services and adequate health care, must be maintained and enhanced, and special services must be provided to meet the needs of the elderly, the Spanish-speaking community and the handicapped. Again, we must build on what we have done and go forward to achieve even higher levels of attainment.
As mayor, I pledge to continue to identify the resources to maintain these services and improve them. The past few years have seen substantial progress in all these areas. That progress must continue in the next four years. I ask you, the voters of this city, to return me to office to assure this continued progress. We must keep a good thing going.
2. For 36 years, I have served the people of this city. A graduate of Howard University, I also hold a doctor of jurisprudence degree in law from that institution. Starting in 1941 as an administrative intern and junior housing assistant, I moved upward to become executive director of the National Capital Housing Authority. When the city government was reorganized in 1967, I was appointed mayor, and under home rule, I was picked by the people of the District of Columbia to become their first elected mayor in more than a century.
As mayor, I have provided experienced leadership to build a stable, responsible and responsive new government that is financially sound but yet sensitive to citizens' needs. As mayor, I have established a new, local government that has been built upon honesty and integrity and that is dedicated to service to all citizens in all sections of our city.
I believe that my experience and record as mayor makes me the most qualified candidate to serve you as mayor of this city during the coming four years.