Press Releases and Candidate Statements

1/24/2018

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.

Commenting on his candidacy, supporters had the following to say:

“In my 10 years of working with Ed Lazere, never once has he betrayed the voices and concerns of working-class people in the District, unlike so many other leaders in local politics. He is the kind of brilliant, honest, and humble champion for the people that is missing from the DC Council. I literally could not think of anyone else more perfect and qualified to chair the Council of DC.”

-Nikki Lewis, Ward 4 Resident, DC Workers Rights Organizer and Advocate, 2018 DCDSC National Democratic Committeewoman Candidate

“The city’s growing economy is not working for the benefit of Black and Brown residents, and we need a leader in the council dedicated to making it work for everyone. Ed has been a key contributor to so many important victories for DC residents, from a higher minimum wage to better school funding to protecting vulnerable children from falling into deep poverty. I’m excited to see what he will do as DC Council Chair.”

  • Ericka Taylor, Ward 6 resident and Campaign Chair.

“Ed cares for the poor and disenfranchised across the District. I have stood with him in the fight for jobs, fair wages, and the elimination of poverty in DC. Voting for Ed is voting for a problem solver who wants the best for the residents of DC.”

  • Rev. Kendrick E Curry, PhD, MDiv, Ward 7 resident, and Campaign Treasurer

In my role of CEO of the nonprofit Bread for the City, I am unable to endorse a political campaign. In response to the news that Ed Lazere is considering a run for DC City Council Chairman, I will say that it would be encouraging to see knowledgeable, progressive voices like Lazere's in the public policy making arena. Progressive voices will lead much-needed efforts to fight the affordable housing crisis, income disparities, and the many other socioeconomic imbalances that disproportionately affect people of color living in DC.

  • George Jones

I set my roots down here in DC more than 30 years ago, proud to call this city my home. Over those years, I married my wonderful wife, raised two great sons who went through DC Public Schools, and dedicated myself to serving our community.

I’m proud that DC is a progressive community that stands up for its values, from LGBTQ rights to universal pre-kindergarten to a $15 minimum wage. Those are my values, too.

But I’m deeply concerned that we’re not rising to the very real challenges posed by gentrification and development. In the midst of the city’s tremendous prosperity, life is getting harder for many residents, particularly Black and Latinx families, who have shaped DC’s economy, history, and culture. Too many of our neighbors are shut out from the dream of buying a home or starting a business, a result of the vast racial inequity in wealth. The median net worth for Black DC households is just $3,500, compared with $284,000 for white households, one of the widest differences in the nation. That’s unacceptable.

I’m running for DC Council Chair because the time has come to intervene. We’re not doing enough as a city to ensure that DC’s growing economy doesn’t come at the cost of growing inequality. I’m ready to tackle DC’s major challenges, from ending homelessness to strengthening our schools for all students to re-building Metro.

I’ve spent decades working alongside community leaders to make life better for DC residents. That’s why I’ve decided to step down from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute to run for office so I can do even more for our communities. I’ve fought for investments in affordable housing, a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave for working families, property tax aid to help families stay in their homes, and policies to protect the economic security of our youngest residents. I was honored to lead a DC commission to reform school financing and to serve with former Mayor Williams on a commission that secured the lowest tax rates in the country for our lowest-income residents.

Through it all, I’ve seen how incredible our city can be when we work together to hold our government accountable and close the gaps that divide us. That is the city I want for us.

I want DC to be a great home for both minimum-wage workers and law firm partners. I want DC to be a home where moms eager to find a good job can support their kids and seniors can retire in hard-earned comfort and peace. I want DC to be home to both new and long-term residents, particularly Black families who have called DC home for generations.

I believe all of DC will be stronger when everyone is able to live up to their potential. Together, let’s make DC a stronger, fairer city we can all be proud to call our home.

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