The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Bowser administration official will run for Ward 5 seat on D.C. Council

The John Wilson Building, where the D.C. Council meets. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
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Faith Gibson Hubbard, a longtime high-level D.C. government employee, resigned her appointed position in Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s (D) administration last week to run for the D.C. Council.

Hubbard, who most recently supervised a dozen mayoral offices that work with racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and sexual identity groups across the city, said she will run to represent Ward 5 on the council.

The race for the Ward 5 seat is shaping up to be the most competitive in June’s Democratic primary, with the president of D.C.’s Board of Education and the chair of the ward’s Democratic Party both already running for the position. Kenyan R. McDuffie (D), who represents the ward, has not yet said whether he will run for reelection, but has been rumored to be considering a run for D.C. attorney general.

Hubbard, 41, said she moved to the Woodridge neighborhood more than a decade ago and got her start in local politics leading an education advocacy organization for Ward 5 parents. She has served in a variety of appointed roles in city government, including chief student advocate, executive director of the “Thrive by Five” program that promotes mothers’ and young children’s health, and, since February, director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, which oversees the many liaison offices that work with minority and special-interest populations in the city.

In an interview, she listed some of her initial ideas for issues she might focus on if elected, including mandating more transparency from D.C. public schools and increasing the bus routes in Ward 5. She pledged to focus on street-level local issues. “Where’s a stop sign? Where’s a stop light? How can pedestrians, bikers, cars all share the same space?” she said, then mentioned the recent death of a child hit by a car while riding her bike. “The infrastructure built years ago no longer really meets the needs of the community. It shouldn’t take the death of one of our youngest residents to prioritize that again.”

A mother of two who holds a doctorate in public affairs, Hubbard described herself as different from McDuffie more on style than policy. “Our current council member has been a really great legislator. Legislation is one thing. How tangible it is in the lives of people has been another,” she said, adding that she would better communicate to residents about what their government is doing. “I’m just really ready to build on the great things that have been done.”