Brian Moore, an independent at-large candidate for the D.C. City Council, has left voters no doubt where he stands.
Moore's campaign has produced position papers on jobs, on housing, on energy, on the special concerns of blacks, women, homosexuals -- 16 position papers in all. With little campaign money and few endorsements, Moore says, his strategy is to base his appeal on the issues.
"I knew it would be a risk, but I believe in myself," said Moore, a 41-year old community activitist who gave up a $40,000-a-year job as head of a fund-raising organization to run for the council. "I can contribute to improving society and I thought it was worth the chance because the incumbents were vulnerable. I thought it was time for me to do it."
At Moore's modest apartment in Southwest Washington recently, computerized lists of District voters lay on the floor behind a sofa, names and addresses of potential volunteers were on cards filed in a shoe box and position papers were scattered over the dining room table.
In the race for two at-large council seats, Moore's opposition includes incumbent John Ray (D-At Large), incumbent Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At Large) as a write-in candidate, Republican nominee Carol Schwartz, Statehood Party candidate Josephine Butler and Communist Party candidate Maurice Jackson.
Ray is favored to win one of the seats. Most observers see Brian Moore in an uphill battle against opponents that are better known and have more money to spend.
Moore, however, shakes his head at such predictions and notes that his name appears first on the ballot in the at-large race. He reminds voters during political forums that he is the only Moore on the ballot -- a reference to the fact that voters would have to write in council member Jerry Moore's name -- and said in an interview that he is counting on getting a substantial number of votes from people who mistake him for the incumbent.
Moore is a rebel of sorts. After five years in the Franciscan Theological Seminary, Moore -- who fought against praying in Latin and in favor of wearing Levis and T-shirts instead of brown robes -- was asked to be quiet or leave. He left.
Moore claims to be more independent than the other candidates. He maintains that the council is weak and appears to be intimidated by a "heavy-handed" mayor. He insists that Jerry Moore has not been a strong council member and said he plans to ask him to drop out of the race before Tuesday.
"I can make a difference," said Moore. "I am a maverick and I think that is my greatest strength. I have a record for speaking out in my community and of registering my complaints with the council in letters and calls."
Locally, Moore is the vice chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2D, a member of a executive committee of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations and a former delegate to the D.C. Statehood Constitutional Convention.
He resigned as director of the D.C. Combined Health Appeal, an organization that raised funds for nonprofit health organization, to run for City Council because he was dissatisfied with the council's response to residents' objections to a proposed international trade center in Southwest Washington.
As a council member, Moore said one of his first actions would be to push for the reduction of taxes by backing a 5 percent across-the-board cut for city agencies because a "lack of proper supervision and a lack of accountability" in the city government are costing taxpayers money.
At the same time, Moore advocates increasing the funding and staffing for agencies that promote business opportunities in the District. He believes that the city should place an emphasis "on creating new blue-collar jobs rather than white-collar or unskilled positions" in an effort to put the city's unemployed residents to work.
The candidate's other priorities include giving more authority to citizens in citywide and neighborhood planning, taking strong stands for senior citizens and low-income residents and promoting a comprehensive recreational and athletic program to fight drug abuse and crime.