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? Jackson R. Champion
1. and 2. I believe in the philosophy of the Republican Party, free enterprise and economic development for all people. I believe the residents of the District can develop and obtain self-determination and that this will provide a better economic base for the city.
Government functions as a patron, and that favors, and contracts are acquired through political involvement. These are the capitalistic rules of the game.
Free enterprise is the basis of democracy, and I am convinced that power lies in free enterprise. Social reforms can take you only so far in our system. What reasoning do we use when we fight for right to public assistance, because we cannot obtain jobs well-paying enough to prove needing that assistance? We have strugged for equal job opportunities, but achieving this, are they really equal? A man with an unequal education and limited exposure (to the machinations of the power structure and community as a whole) can he compete for job opportunities that are equal?
Here in the District, which has a billion dollars in its budget. Most of its contracts should go to residents of the District, who would hire District residents, who would help to cut down on unemployment.
We must have a two-party system in the District. This would prevent the fiasco that is now in the District government. Our city administration is so bad that it will take a political revolution to correct this chaos. Our forefathers gave us a vehicle, which is our political system, whereby changes can occur without bloodshed.
I urge all residents of the District who are 18 years and over to participate in our political system. Register and vote. People in Africa and other parts of the world are dying for this priviledge. What about you? If you don't register and don't vote, how can you complain about not having a better life? Voting brings about changes in economic development. Voting brings about changes in housing. Voting brings about changes in employment. Voting is a better way of life.
If the Republican Party was actually committed to building its image and membership, the place to begin should have been in the District of Columbia. Though the Republicans professed an "Open Door Policy," the opposite was the actuality. And this I am determined to see eradicated. The Republican Party in the District shouldn't be ruled by a small amount of Republicans, who march by the beat of Ronald Reagan and Bob Dole, and the D.C. Republican Centeral Committee, who are saying that the District should be denied representation, because (if) they (had) two senators and two congressmen, they would vote to increase taxes and therefore get more of the tax dollars. The true picture about taxes is that the residents of the District pay into the federal treasurer more than $1 billion a year in taxes. I am calling for a revolution to make the District a model city for all citizens, so we truly will be representative of being the capital of the United States.
You as a District resident can bring us out of this chaos by creating this political revolution. Wards 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 should participate in all activities of this city.
I call for light industries and education that would provide the skills for those industries, surrounded by housing.
I believe the Booker T. Washington concept on education is important to the survival of our youth. Every child should be taught a skill. There should be a requirement that all city employes be residents of the District. Such as fire and police personnel, educators and other District employes.
Everyone talks about unemployment, housing, crime and lack of revenue. My solutions are:
Legalize gambling. (Lottery, off-track betting and casinos). We must put this question before the citizens of the District and let them decide through a referendum. This money could be used for better education and free transportation.
Enforcement of present equal employment opportunity. Legislation to aid unemployment and under-employment in addition to creation of new regulations that would provide incentives to business to upgrade present employes and return economic development monies to the Washington community.
The releasing of housing and land left by the Redevelopment and Land Agency to homesteading by residents of the city so the city tax base would be improved.
We should expand and promote tourism throughout the city, longer hours for tourism, therefore creating employment. Establish a Convention and Visitor Bureau of the city.
Establishing municipally owned parking facilities in the city.
Utilizing RFK Stadium and the Armory for more revenue producing sports and entertainment events.
The taking over by the city of all public utilities through the establishment of a quasi-public corporation. Which means the profits go back to residents in the form of low rate. Art Fletcher
1. In order to improve the city, the next mayor must have a clear, tangible working understanding of the District of Columbia as the nation's capital.
The next mayor must also have an equally clear understanding of the traditional role of local government as a provider of basic quality of life services in our government system. In establishing and carrying out his policies, he must be able to balance and manage the challenges, opportunities, conflicts, dilemmas, etc., involved in being the mayor of this most unique of all American cities.
The nation's capital city is a billion-dollar plus corporation. Like other cities, its management requirements are much like those of a successful private business. Thus, like a successful private corporation, giant or otherwise, the District needs a decisive experienced leader in the mayor's office; a mayor who not only has the desire to lead, but more important, the determined "will to manage." The latter is a must if there are to be any improvements in District governments affairs.
In addition to his own skills, technincal and professional abilites, the next mayor must recognize the need to have able, experienced individuals, with proven track records join his administration. In other words, the next mayor must have the contacts and ability to secure the services of some of the best minds and most able practitioners, administrations, managers, staffers, etc., in the area to join his administration. Besides attracting them, he must be able to work them and keep them in his administration if the District is to be lifted to the next level of maturity and a bright new future as our nation's capital and the residence of some 700,000-plus citizens.
The experiences that I have gained as a management consultants to some of the top "Fortune 500" companies plus my work as the assistants secretary for Employment Standards has convinced me that improving District government affairs will be no better than the city's chief executive officer, namely the mayor's ability to organize, develop and lead an administration capable of doing the job. Therefore, my first priority as mayor would be that of hiring top-notch managers and administrators with proven track records as my cabinet officers and agency directors.
In addition, I would create an organization development unit and place it in the mayor's office and charge it with the responsibility of training and developing the human capability, throughout the District government, to implement legislation passed by the City Council and/or manage federal programs passed by the Congress.
2. My government background includes the following: In the mid-50s, I served as assistant director for public information at the Kansas State Highway Commission and as an advisor to the late Gov. Fred Hall, of Kansas. In the late 60s, besides serving as an elected city official, I was, for a short time special assistant to Gov. Daniel Evans in the State of Washington.
In March 1969, I was given a presidential appointment and served as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor. In September 1971, I served as a member of the United States Delegation to the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
InJanuary 1976, I served as deputy assistant to President Ford for Urban Affairs. In that position I monitored urban policies and programs and made recommendations for the president's consideration.
My leadership and management experiences include the following: During the mid-60s I organized, launched and served as director of one of the most successful manpower training projects in the country, the Higher Horizons Project of Pasco, Washington.
My most important adminstrative and management assignment to date involving serving as the assistant secretary for Employment Standards at the U.S. Department of Labor. The Labor Standards Administration had a work force of 3,400 workers, in 10 regional officers and numerous local district offices, in everystate in the union, plus U.S. territories. I held this position from March 1969 to September 1971. The budget for this operation was $60 million. I supervised its preparation, presented it to the Office of Management and Budget, and then appeared before the House and Senate budget and appropriation subcommittees to explain, justify and defend my budget request. The point here is that I know from first-hand experience something about budgeting and managing resources, as well as the separation of powers, the checks and balances system and the duties, roles and responsibilities of each brand of our government. This working knowledge of government operations would be a major asset as mayor of the city.
In 1972; I served as the executive director of the United Negro Follege Fund, where I managed the affairs of a sizable nationwide fundraising organization. In that capacity, I organized a drive that raised $11.5 million for the nation's predominantly black colleges. Thus, I know something about fundraising.
TFinally, I am a businessman, I own and operate Arthur A. Fletcher and Associates, a modestly successful management consultant business.
The firm provides consultation on government relations and compliance management problems. To be specific, we provide management assistance for complying with federal rules, regulations and guidelines and help negotiate violation settlements with federal agencies. Our clients are listed among the Fortune Top 500 corporations.