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?
Lois DeVecchio (R), of 4841 Rodman St. NW, is vice chairman of the D.C. Republican Central Committee and president of the Potomac Republican Club.She has been an ANC chairman and is active in civic groups. She runs her own interior design firm and has had 10 years experience in property management.
Problem: Taxes: The city's property tax and property assessment system must be thoroughly reviewed and taxes cut to reflect the ability of the citizens of Ward 3 to pay. This can be done by cutting the waste in the city government. As an example, we should institute a modern cash management system, where revenues waiting to be spent are placed in money market accounts to collect daily interest. Crime: The city just isn't providing the protection we as citizens of Ward 3 are entitled to, and the problem is in the approach of the City Council. First, we need to scrap the Bail Reform Act -- it just isn't working. Second, we need to get help from the federal government to build a new jail. Finally, we need to make our parole board enforce the sentences the courts pass down, and not allow them to release prisoners at the earliest possible date. Improved city services: Our streets are a disaster. Our elderly fear walking to the corner store. Our police, while an excellent group of men and women, are drastically understaffed. And perhaps most important, the citizens of the city must be able to vote and know their vote will count
Employment: The future of our city lies in its youth, and our City Council just hasn't done its job for our young people. The school system has become a diploma mill -- right up through our city university. We need to graduate high school and college students who can walk right into the businesses of this city. We need to encourage more action between the business people and the educators to provide hands-on vocational training with the proper inducements to make the programs successful. To spur corporate investment and jobs, we must create a better business climate. This includes quick action and participation in the president's enterprise zone program. When elected, I will work to create a Business/Industrial Authority which will work to bring business to Washington and will have the power to issue tax-eempt bonds to provide low-interest power to issue tax-exempt bonds to provide low-interest we insure that the convention center will be used for all purposes which will credit the city and not be arbitrarily limited by federal pressure.
Polly Shackleton (D), Incumbent, 72, of 3232 Reservoir Rd. NW, is completing her second elected term on the City Council. She has served on many city advisory commissions and is active in local and national Democratic politics. She worked 11 years for the American Institute of Architects and has been a writer, editor and researcher.
Problems: As the elected representative of Ward 3 during the past eighty years, my experience of working with thousands of constituents indicates that the most important issues facing our ward include taxes, housing, land use and crime. Major crime legislation which I strongly supported was enacted by the council in the most recent session, including laws that increase sentencing of crimes against senior citizens, expand the use of pre-trial detention and enable greater police presence in the community. Therefore, the most pressing legislation before us concerns the other three issues. On taxes, I will continue to support property tax relief and initiate changes to make property assessments more accurate. I also will make every effort to ensure adequate and affordable housing and keep condominium conversion legislation that fully protects the rights of tenants and the elderly. On land use, the council will be required to approve the Comprehensive Plan, the guidepost for all future decisions concerning zoning, development and transportation. I will work closely with citizens to make sure that the concern for protecting Ward 3's residential neighborhoods is properly addressed. Clear standards need to be established so that our neighborhoods are not overburdened with traffic, noise and related problems.
Employment: One of the best ways of increasing employment opportunities in the district is by providing the necessary funding of the public school system and university so that our young people are trained in those fields where they are most needed, such as health care services and computer engineering. I have actively supported full funding of our schools and the summer youth jobs program, and I strongly endorse Superintendent Floretta McKenzie's efforts to form alliances with the private sector to create quality programs in vocational education. It also is crucial that through tax credits and other investment incentives we establish a more favorable climate for small businesses, supermarkets and light industry. In this regard, I support prompt enactment of the mayor's proposed "Business Incentive Zone Act of 1982," which will authorize geographic zones within the District where special benefits will be available to encourage the development of business and creation of jobs within D.C. Finally, it is necessary that the entire licensing, permit and inspection process be further consolidated and streamlined to facilitate conducting business with the city.