Candidates for the D.C. City Council were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Problems: What are the three most pressing legislative problems in your ward and how do you propose to address them?
Employment: What would you do as a City Council member to increase employment opportunities in the District?
Charlotte Holmes (Ind.), 55, of 1321 E St. NE, a budget analyst with the Small Business Administration, has been president of Ward 6's Advisory Neighborhood Commission. She chaired the Preconvention Rules Committee and is a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. She is treasurer of the SBA's Blacks in Government group.
Problems: Currently, condo conversions are overtaking established apartment-type and townhouse dwellings and displacing many native, long-lived D.C. residents. I am in favor of a limited number of conversions with provisions made for the relocation of displaced tenants or special financing packages enabling tenants to purchase their residences. Currently, senior citizens are crippled economically by increasing food prices, real estate taxes, rent, etc. I am in favor of a benefit package that provides for reduced real estate taxes, increased food stamp/Medicare eligibility/services, rent ceilings or subsidies and increased senior citizen social functions. The D.C. educational system has been continually criticized as ineffective, unresponsive, undisciplined and of poor quality. I am for improving the current system, including an upgrading of the teaching staff through higher salaries, stricter attendance and disciplinary measures, and a more interesting, varied curriculum provided to enhance the basic fundamental subject areas, such as reading, writing and math, that must be mastered by all students to ensure their survival in today's highly competitive environment.
Employment: To increase employment opportunities in the District, I feel that we should concentrate on bringing more businesses into the District and keeping the businesses that we have. This would include the lowering of taxes to businesses coupled with other incentives aimed at increasing the profitability and decreasing the risks of doing business in the District. There are many dilapidated, uninhabited parcels of real estate located in prime residential, governmental and business centers. These properties, with the right rehabilitation/renovation incentives, could be locations of future businesses in the District. This would spread the businesses of D.C. into the surrounding Northeast, Southeast and Southwest corridors, where they are desperately desired. If we could target our efforts on increasing businesses in the District, we can reduce the unemployment. To ensure that these endeavors benefit District residents, we should expressly provide for the hiring of residents of D.C. in these newly established and existing businesses, where the business takes advantage of D.C. government-induced business incentives.
Walter M. Lee (Statehood), 35, of 3610 Minn. Ave. SE, is a chauffeur and real estate salesman. An Air Force veteran, he served four years in Vietnam and later studied philosophy and computer science at Federal City College. He is active in the Greenway Apartments tenants organization.
Problems: 1) Available and affordable rental units. I will introduce legislation that would sharply increase the number of affordable and available rental units. I would achieve that by encouraging developers, through incentives, to build on already vacant lots and restore abandoned buildings. 2) Anti-crime proposal. More police protection, better security by having increased lighting on streets and entrances to apartment buildings. 3) Free child care for dependent mothers. Set up more day care programs for mothers who want to work but have problems with babysitters and their rising costs.
Employment: 1) I would set up a task force to gather all the jobs that are available in the District for the people who are seriously looking for work regardless of their skill. 2) Mandate a youth program that would work by offering a job to each youth in the city who wants to work. I feel that there are plenty of jobs for youth but they don't have the experience to look for or locate them. 3) Set up job-training programs specifically to aid veterans.
Julie M. Servaites (R), 41, of 1001 15th St. SE, a part-time office manager, has served on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B for three years.She is a member of St. Peter's Interparish School Board and is secretary of Soccer-on-the-Hill, a youth athletic club.She has been family page editor of the Plattsburgh (N.Y.) Press Republican.
Problems: Crime, community services and housing are problems I see in Ward 6 that can be legislatively cured. Contrary to the latest statistics from the police department, the pockets of crime in Ward 6 are expanding and our citizens are alarmed. "Neighborhood
watch" programs are helping, but the fear of crime still persists with regard to the criminal's ability to "walk" after being arrested. Legislative solution: stricter enforcement of repeat offenders. Financial cutbacks for community services have severely crippled many
programs. These programs must be saved by legislatively combining them and making them effective and efficient as if they were still a single entity. Housing still is the greatest concern in Ward 6. The availability of low-cost housing has decreased, as has
low-interest loans for purchase and/or rehab. The right of first refusal for tenants should not be deterred by an inflated purchase price. The city should reinitiate its program on providing housing to qualified applicants along with a low-interest rehab loan.
Employment: To increase employment opportunities in D.C. I would propose three new items: 1) Encourage part-time work or job sharing in the private and government sectors.2) Extend the summer youth employment program to cover the whole year, with particular emphasis on coordinating school studies with job placement. 3) Encourage light industry to locate in the District through tax incentives and/or tax deferments.
Nadine Winter (D), Incumbent, of 1100 K St. NE, has been a member of the City Council since 1974. A noted community activist, she founded Hospitality House, a nonprofit social action agency; initiated urban homesteading; and helped organize the National Welfare Rights Organization. She has been honored for her work with the elderly and handicapped.
Problems: The three most pressing problems in my ward are crime, unemployment and unsanitary conditions. I have worked with my constituents in the area by working to keep Substation 1-D-1 open. I have established an ad hoc committee on crime, which is working to identify characteristics of crime and deterrents to crime in Ward 6. I have developed a legislative package on crime which was recently introduced and is now in committee (Bill 4-489, the District of Columbia Criminal Code Revision Act of 1982). I have held several job fairs and have established an ad hoc committee on unemployment. I will continue to work to reduce unemployment. To improve unsanitary conditions, I work with residents by organizing clean-up/fix-up campaigns throughout the ward and by answering constituent complaints (1,000-1,500).
Employment: I will continue to push for expansion and creation of business opportunities. I will continue to push for local jobs for local residents, a change of procedures for awarding contracts, creative approaches to increase operating capital and an increase of the housing stock through innovative financing.