D.C. Democratic mayoral candidate John L. Ray proposed yesterday that the often overlooked and poverty-ridden area of Anacostia in Southeast Washington become the site of a "pilot program in economic development and revitalization in the city."
Ray, a candidate in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary, said that small and minority-owned businesses in the area should be given assistance, neighbourhoold institutions should be aided in creating more jobs, and that commercial areas in that southern tip of the city should be stabilized.
"The demonstration will not be conducted to the exclusion of other areas of the city, but we intend to show in one of the largest population centersin the city that remedial action to improve conditions is possible," Ray said.
Ray proposed the pilot project in Anacostia as part of more than 50 policy-points unveiled during a press conference at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St. NW. He said that all of the points outlined in hprogram could be realized without any increases in local taxes.
As has been his practice since announcing his candidacy last October, Ray again chided the three major mayoral candidates -- Mayor Walter E. Washington, City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker and Council member Marion Barry -- as outdated and ineffective city leaders.
"Look at their record. Look at what has happened to our city while they have been in power," the 35-year-old lawyer said. 'It's a long, sad story of inefficiency, mind-boggling red tape, petty corruption, missed opportunities."
He said that private employers should be given better incentives to hire minority youths, more work-study programs should be created in the public schools and more incentives should be developed to encourage welfare recipients to get jobs.
Ray proposed that circuit breaker tax and rent relief be expanded, along with more housing subsidies for low-and moderate-income families. He also said that the city's housing counseling and home ownership efforts on behalf of poorer families had to be increased.
In addition to Ray, Washington, Tucker and Barry, the other candidates in the Sept. 12 Democratic mayoral primary include Charles S. (Trummie) Cain, Dorothy Maultsby, Richard A. Jackson and James Clark.