Meredith L. Gilbert, who says 10 years on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has prepared him for public office, annouced his candidacy this week for the Ward 6 seat on the D.C. City Council.

Gilbert said he will challenge incumbent Nadine P. Winter in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary. He is the third challenger to announce for the seat.

Winter's intentions have been good, he told reporters at the District Building, but her performance has been disappointing. Gilbert said "housing is second only to unemployment" as an issue the council must deal with.

Gilbert criticized the present council members for an inability to get together and adopt a coherent policy "to relieve the pain, suffering and anguish experienced by members of low-in-come and fixed-income groups," most notably in the housing field.

A native of Missouri, GIlbert is a licensed practical nurse and a senior student in urban socialogy at the University of the District of Columbia.

A resident of the District for one year, Gilbert said he frequently visited the city over the years and was qualified for the council seat by his SCLC service, notably as head of its tenants' rights project inChicago.