Benoit Brookens (D), 36, of 1330 Quincy St. NW, is an international lawyer and economist who has been active in church, tenant and union groups. The treasurer of Howard University's Council on International Programs, he is director of the Washington Planning and Housing Association.
Needs and solutions: District residents need strong political and economic leadership that understands the vision of the Jesse Jackson campaign and its quest for social, economic and racial justice. The District needs leadership with compassion for people -- particularly people who are unemployed and underemployed as well as those working poor who hold down two jobs while paying 40 to 60 percent of their income for rent, with fading hope for an affordable house of their own. The District needs public officials who fully understand the human suffering and deprivation of the past four years and the need to change the course of this city now. Washington needs leadership that can work with citizens on every block, tenants in every building, workers in every union and the small business on every corner. Washington needs leaders who can help people solve problems with their own resources and fulfill their aspirations for a fair share of the bounty of this city as a national and international center of political power, commerce and influence. I can tell D.C. tenants: "We can do it, together," fight for better housing, fight Saturday evictions, fight economic injustice. When elected, I will assist domestic industry, helping it to grow and expand. I also pledge to curb the current abuses of emergency legislation for non-emergency situations. I would seek to extend rent control (which expires in 1985) another five to 10 years, strengthening tenant protections while helping landlords to take advantage of provisions in the law that guarantee them return on their capital. I would seek to make lifetime condo protection for senior citizens actually last a lifetime. I will not wait until 30 days before the election to address much needed legislation on elevators, mailboxes and front door locks. I will strive for judicial reform and jobs, not jail for our people, and I will seek to humanize the courts, particularly Landlord and Tenant Court. I pledge to be a fighter for the people and not claim slogans of working for the already powerful who can bankroll their special interests and causes. John Ray (D), Incumbent, 41, of 5142 Seventh St. NE, an attorney, has served as an at-large City Council member since January 1979. He chairs the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and serves on the boards of Stoddard Baptist Home for seniors and the Green Door, a mental health facility.
Needs and solutions: We must expand the supply of habitable and affordable housing for poor and middle-income families; end the drug epidemic; develop more jobs suited to the skills of our work force and continue to improve the public schools. I support tax abatements and other financial incentives to encourage housing construction and renovation. I am pressing for strict enforcement of the housing code to protect tenants, while also working for reasonable and balanced regulations so that builders are encouraged to expand construction. To combat drug use, I am sponsoring bills to require health insurance coverage of treatment for drug addiction and to earmark 30 percent of lottery profits for drug prevention and treatment programs. To develop jobs, I am pushing for aggressive use of industrial revenue bonds and other financial and technical assistance to attract businesses that will provide jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers and entry-level jobs for young people. We must develop a variety of jobs, rather than only white-collar jobs that are unsuited for many in our work force. In education, I am strongly committed to providing adequate funds and other resources to enable the public schools to speed the pace of the improvements of the past few years.