Press Releases and Candidate Statements


Thank You!

I’m so thankful today. First and foremost, thank you for sharing my vision for the humane, inclusive, and equitable city DC can and should be. Your energy and effort made it possible to run a campaign focused squarely and honestly on addressing the District’s economic, racial, and social inequities. I’m proud of our campaign and humbled by -- and grateful for -- your support.


Parents, students and teachers cannot afford business as usual. Without an active Council Chair, our students will continue to struggle

Our schools are struggling, leaving many of our children to suffer the consequences. Ten years into school reform, the difference in achievement between students of color and white students is vast, and too many students are not graduating. Rather than ensure that every student is able to get a high-quality education, parents are forced to gamble on their child’s future through the school lottery. And there is a troubling lack of transparency and information about what’s happening in our schools, both DCPS and public charter schools.


Tipped Workers Deserve a Fair Minimum Wage and Tips

As an advocate who has fought for nearly two decades for better jobs and higher wages for DC residents, I support Initiative 77. It will raise wages, preserve tipping and provide workers with a more reliable income.


Investing in DC Values

Today, the DC Council will vote to approve our annual budget, now $14 billion dollars. It is one of the most important votes of the year and as is often said, budgets are moral documents. Where we invest our resources says a lot about our values.


The Need for Language Access (op-ed)

Actions speak louder than words. If the DC Council is serious about supporting our non-English speaking residents and allowing the linguistic diversity of our neighborhoods to flourish, they must amend and fully fund the DC Language Access Act. That legislation remains stalled in the DC Council, held back by its current Chair.


Have you seen the DC budget?

The DC Council is voting on a $14 billion budget next week. From affordable housing, to schools and criminal justice reform, this budget is going to have a huge impact on the future of our city.

Do you know what’s in it? Probably not, because the current Council Chair hasn't released the final budget yet.


2018 GLAA Questionnaire

Note: The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance asks candidates to post responses their questions on their campaign website to help demonstrate their commitment to the issues.


Council Chair Mendelson: Holding the Council Back on Equity When DC Needs to Move Forward

Today, the DC Council took a historic step towards cutting off the “school to prison pipeline,” by passing legislation to eliminate most school suspensions. This end to a racially biased approach to discipline is to be applauded. It affirms that schools should be a place for students to learn and sends a powerful message that we cannot punish young people because of the challenges they face inside or outside of the classroom.


To Combat the Twin Evils of Anti-Semitism and Racism, We Need Increased Dialogue and Understanding

An article in The Washington Post about an elected official’s painful comments opened wounds that were beginning to heal. It is deeply unfortunate that the Post’s coverage of Councilmember Trayon White’s visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, with his entire staff, did not focus on their sincere effort to learn about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Instead, the article centered on questions asked by White and his staff with the clear intent to shame them for what they didn’t know about the Holocaust before visiting the museum.


We Need a Hearing on Amazon HQ2

The fact that the current Chair won’t commit to holding a hearing on one of the most important deals facing the city in decades is a failure of leadership and completely unacceptable.

The families that live and work here deserve to know what’s in the Mayor’s proposal. The Chair needs to hold a hearing before it’s too late. If he waits until Amazon HQ2 makes a decision, we will lose all leverage to negotiate a fair deal for residents.


The Fight for the Future of our City

The fight over DC’s Comp Plan is about the future of our city -- and about who has a say in it.

I’m running to be the next DC Council Chair because, like many DC residents, I’m concerned about DC’s widening income and racial inequities. Our leaders are not doing enough to address the impacts of gentrification, or to shape development that helps all residents. Too many Black and Brown residents are being left behind and pushed out. Too many DC residents worry about paying rent and staying in their homes. And Ward 7 and Ward 8 residents are still waiting for the most basic neighborhood-serving development: healthy and affordable grocery options.



“I add my voice to the many members of the DC Council who say it is time for Mayor Bowser to
offer an explanation of the events surrounding the resignation of former DCPS Chancellor,
including the leadership decisions she made. This reckoning is important to allowing us to move


Fair Development Includes Hiring Local Residents and Providing Good Jobs with Benefits.

“The key to building a fairer and stronger economy in DC is to make sure everyone benefits from the
city’s growth. That’s why I support Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White’s call to make sure the developer
of the Ward 8 Maple View Flats Development project hires local residents. When developers profit from
Ward 8 and other communities, they also should be expected to give back, especially through local hiring.


Current Council Chair’s Effort to Undermine Tenants’ Rights Leads Us in the Wrong Direction

“It’s March 1, which for many residents means that rent is due. For those struggling to pay DC’s rising
rents, it’s a painful reminder of how hard it is to continue to live in DC.

Unfortunately, at a time when we should be working to help more residents stay in their homes, the
current Chair of the Council is working to help real estate interests, by leading an effort to weaken DC’s
strong tenant protections. He is driving a vote for his proposal next Tuesday. It would lead DC in the
wrong direction and I urge him and the Council to strengthen tenant rights, not diminish them.


Budgets are Moral Documents

I’ve spent the last twenty years advocating for budgets that wisely use DC’s resources to serve the
needs of all DC families. Now as a candidate for DC Council Chair, I call on Mayor Bowser to advance
a budget for 2019 that will build a fairer economy, narrow our racial wealth inequities, and ensure all DC
residents can continue to afford to live here.


DCPS Chancellor Wilson Should Resign

Like many parents across DC, I am deeply disturbed by Chancellor Antwan Wilson’s abuse of
power, and I have lost confidence in his ability to lead DC Public Schools. I call on him to resign
effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year and for a search for a new chancellor to begin
immediately. I also call on Mayor Muriel Bowser to apologize to DC residents, following this third known
incident of DCPS favoritism on the part of her senior leadership.


DC for Democracy votes 76.9% to endorse Ed Lazere for Council Chair!

I’m thrilled to announce that we earned our very first endorsement last night, and it’s a big one!

DC for Democracy, a grassroots organization and progressive leader, voted overwhelmingly to
back my candidacy for Chair of the Council.


Paid Family Leave must be allowed to move forward

It's past time we end the campaign to repeal and replace paid family leave. Our campaign is calling on the current Chair to issue a statement allowing the Universal Paid Leave Act to finally move forward.

The current Chair recently indicated that he is willing to join the overwhelming majority of hard-working residents who want to see this program brought to life. The paid family and medical leave program, that
I fought for as part of a broad and diverse coalition, will help close racial health gaps and ensure that no
one must choose between the health of a loved one and their paycheck.


Ed Lazere Out-Fundraises Phil Mendelson

Washington, DC -- After a little more than one week of Ed Lazere’s campaign for DC Council Chair, the
first-time candidate has outraised Phil Mendelson.. Mr. Lazere filed to run on Wednesday, January 24,
and according to reports filed from the Office of Campaign Finance, raised a stunning $64,788.74 with
$61,048.39 cash on hand as of January 31. Chairman Mendelson has a grand total of $59,222.80 with
$54,050.00 cash on hand. The incumbent registered his committee nearly three months ago, while Ed
has had only eight days to raise funds.


Ed Lazere Declares Candidacy for Council Chair

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, Ed Lazere declared his candidacy for the Chair of the Council of
the District of Columbia. As part of his run for office, Mr. Lazere stepped down from leading the DC
Fiscal Policy Institute, an organization he directed for nearly two decades. While leading DCFPI, he
worked tirelessly to advocate for, and won, important victories that have helped promote racial and
economic equity and address issues like affordable housing, fair and adequate school funding, and
good jobs for DC residents.

He is running as a Democrat against incumbent Phil Mendelson in what is expected to be one of the
most high-profile races of the season. The Primary Election is scheduled for June 19, 2018.

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