JePhunneh (Jay) Lawrence, a native Washingtonian who practices law in the far Southeast section of the city, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for an at-large seat on the D.C. City Council.
Lawrence is one of at least a dozen aspirants seeking the seat being vacated by Douglas E. Moore, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for council chairman.
Lawrence initially had joined in trying through a lawsuit to create another council vacancy which he hoped to fill. He participated in an attempt to require Marion Barry to resign from the council while running for mayor, as the city's home rule charter appeared to require.
U.S. District Judge Gerhard E. Gesell struck down that provision of the charter. Just this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals turned down Lawrence's attempt to get Gesell's decision reversed. That means Barry can continue to hold his council seat while making the race for higher office.
Lawrence announced his candidacy at the Frederick Douglas home in Anacostia, and released a packet of position papers calling for improved police protection for black neighborhoods, better schools and housing, increased access by senior citizens to the mainstream of city life, tightened restrictions on public utility rate increases and improved public transportation. He also urged public financing of new food stores for inner-city residents.
A graduate of Ballou High School, Lawrence was graduated from Fayetteville, N.C., State University and the Indianapolis Law School of Indiana University. Formerly employed by the U.S. General Accounting Office, he now is in private law practice.
His campaign headquarters is at 3010 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, and his campaign manager is Stanley Jackson.