Candidates for D.C. delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives were asked the following question by The Washington Post:
Achieve: If elected, what do you hope to achieve in Congress for the District of Columbia during the next two years?
Walter E. Fauntroy (D), Incumbent, 49, of 4105 17th St. NW, is pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church. He worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and is now board chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Active in urban renewal, he was vice chairman of the City Council from 1967 to 1969 and chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
Achieve: As a result of my experience and growing seniority on Capitol Hill, District residents will fell the effect of my work in four capacities: as the ranking member of the House District Committee; as a ranking member of Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee; as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and as convenor of the Metro Caucus. Specifically, they may expect: continued success in defending home rule government-passed legislation from disapproval by Congress (only two of 700 bills passed by the home rule government have been disapproved); relief for D.C. residents who have suffered from cuts in human needs programs, the high interest rates and the high unemployment that are the result of Reaganomics; direct and indirect relief from unnecessary and unfair RIF procedures, and increased funding for a complete Metro system.
Viola E. James (Ind.), 46, of 4849 Connecticut Ave. NW, is a lifelong resident of D.C. who was educated in the city's public schools and has attended the USDA Graduate School. A community activist, she has chaired the advisory council for D.C. Public Schools. She has proposed a D.C. Marijuana paraphernalia initiative for next year.
James, whose name will not appear on the ballot, is a "registered write-in" candidate.
Achieve: I hope to achieve in Congress the one thing that remains unachievable for the incumbent: ratification of the D.C. voting rights amendment. I have made this issue my No. 1 priority, mainly because as a lifetime D.C. resident it is my own personal desire. Being a delegate with a voice cannot, does not compare to being the representative with a vote! Preliminary study and evaluation has shown in which states concentrated effort is needed. I am not waiting to be elected to get involved. I am already active along with other members of the D.C. League of Women voters in a ratifying campaign. I will also achieve more independent voters' involvement in our city. The independent voters now number in excess of 35,000. United, we can be a vital spoke in the wheel of our governmental progression. I also hope to achieve more freedom for the people of D.C. by recommending necessary legislative changes, implementing the use of more initiative measures. Our initiative laws allow the people of D.C. another vehicle for "growth and change." In the next two years I will involve more Washingtonians in their own policy-making. There is a distinct difference in policy-making and administration. I will give D.C.'ers full-time professional representation right here at home.
John West (R), 49, of 237 57th Place NE, a business executive and social worker, was the Ward 7 Republican candidate for the City Council in 1974 and 1980. He has served on the D.C. Republican Central Committee and has been an alternate to the Republican National Convention. He is studying lobbying and legislative affairs at Catholic University.
Achieve: John West hopes to achieve a full employment and economic and business assistance program for the residents of the District of Columbia. I will ask the president for 10,000 job training slots under the federal Job Training Partnership Act. In addition, I will ask for the 70,000 jobs I anticipate through the enterprise zones in urban areas of our city. Mr. Fauntroy has said he opposed enterprise zones because they create only technical jobs. John West will improve the relations between the Congress and the City Council, and achieve a full partnership in Congress and ask the voters to cast a protest vote against the embarassing behavior of Mr. Fauntroy, who has in many ways turned his back on those who elected him by placing his priorities on national and faraway causes, rather than serving the needs of the residents here at home. As delegate to Congress, I pledge to close the gap by being in unity with all voters, whether Democrat, Republican or any other person, regardless of race or creed. I will work diligently to see that all D.C. residents are gainfully employed and receiving city services.