Candidates for the D.C. Council were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Problem: What is the most pressing problem facing residents of your ward, and what would you do as a member of the D.C. Council to solve it?
Qualifications: What is the most important reason you should be elected instead of one of your opponents?
Charles B. Fisher (R), 57, of 212 T St. NW, is a marketing and public relations consultant to government and private business. He has served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, as head of the D.C. Board of Elections and as a consultant to the national and D.C. Republican Committees.
Problem: The most pressing problem facing Ward 1 is the lack of jobs. As a member of the D.C. City Council, I would press for the establishment of enterprise zones -- most urgently needed along the 14th Street corridor. These enterprise zones and the jobs that will be developed from them will help alleviate many of the other problems that my campaign is bringing to the attention of voters -- safety in the streets for the elderly and children, overt drug peddling and the lack of an intensified rodent (rat) control program.
Qualifications: I should be elected because of the experiences I have had as a third-generation Ward 1 resident. I have made significant contributions in getting our young people employed. Skills training is the key to finding a job and through programs like the Opportunities Industialization Center (OIC), D.C. residents get that training. I have been OIC's major fund developer in the private sector to keep OIC in business serving Washingtonians. Remember when D.C. elections ran right? I was in charge then as chairman of the Board of Elections. I set up the system and made sure that our crucial first elections for school board, congressional representative and then mayor and city council ran efficiently. Surprisingly, this was not so long ago, but the recent election snafu shows the price for bad management.
Jacob Sherrill Jr. (R), 32, of 1575 Spring Place NW, is an accountant and management consultant. A graduate of Howard University, he has worked in recent years in minority business development and budget analysis. He has lived in the District 14 years and has been a resident of Ward 1 for most of that time.
Problem: The most pressing problem facing Ward 1 residents is unemployment due to the lack of jobs. Democratic leadership in the City Council chair for Ward 1 has failed to stimulate and foster the growth of small business in our ward. "America works for small business," and in light of austere federal funding the alternatives for our jobless residents have narrowed. Small business has been allowed to deteriorate since the late '60's, as is evidenced by desolate Georgia Avenue, U Street and 14th Street corridors. Joblessness impacts crime and family problems, and promotes destructive attitudes. Small business will create jobs in our ward and should receive favorable legislation for grants and development. Jacob Sherrill supports enterprise zone development and long-term career training programs.
Qualifications: I am sensitive to, experienced in and pledged to the needs of the residents of Ward 1. My background in finance, budget and construction management and small business development eminently prepare me to deal with the immediate problems of our residents in the areas of jobs, small business, housing and crime.
Nancy Lou Shia (R), 35, of 1736 Columbia Rd. NW, a freelance photographer, is secretary of the Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commission and chairs its housing committee and arts and recreation subcommittee. She has a master's degree in social work and a law degree from the Antioch School of Law.
Problem: Budget cuts in basic necessities. Low-income people experiencing cutbacks in government subsidies for basic necessities must find other means of income. Cutbacks have resulted in an increase in the street crime and auto burglaries. This city needs to survive the impact of social service cutbacks. Criminals should be made accountable to their victims for monetary restitution. The criminal justice system should be made accountable to the taxpayers with the delivery of effective programs. We must eliminate the high recidivist rate and every incident of racial and economic injustice within the criminal justice system. We pay enough now to demand the best. Jobs, especially small businesses, should replace the D.C. prison population. As the most diverse ward, rich, poor and middle-class as well as blacks, whites, Asians and Latins, side by side, Ward 1 should be a testing ground for treating people as equals and ensuring all of us the opportunity to fulfill our maximum potential. An elected representative should have everyone's basic needs as a primary responsibility. To solve the problem of budget cuts, I would investigate alternative means of assuring basic necessities and encourage (through appropriate legislative enactment) cooperation in creating alternative means of survival and growth.
Qualifications: I believe I should be elected because of my grassroots experience in dealing with all kinds of people. I believe I should be elected because of my vision for a better community for my two children to grow up in and for a more peaceful world for us all to feel safe and secure in. I have been struggling and organizing in Ward 1 for nearly a decade in the issues of decent, affordable housing for low- to moderate-income people, decent, affordable nutritious food, community communications, expansion of the arts and community news dissemination. I have shown with my camera a visible dedication and commitment to the struggles of true Justice (through the exposure of the Truth), Peace, Freedom and Love between all people.