I’m Ed Lazere, an experienced leader who has led successful budget and policy fights to make DC more economically and racially equitable.
Fighting for a More Fair DC
For the last two decades I served as the founding Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. There I dedicated my work to making sure the mayor and DC Council use our city’s resources on the things most important to DC residents, from schools to housing to health care.
In a city with shocking income inequality, I pushed city leaders to invest in ways that address our deep racial and economic inequities.
My commitment to these issues began with my parents. My mom was a social worker and my dad ran a bakery in Sioux City, Iowa, where I grew up. Together they taught me to work hard for change, and the value of community.
Ed and his wife Suzanne have lived in Ward 5 for nearly 30 years.
They have two sons, Adam and David.
In college, an inspiring professor showed me how to use data analysis to document racial and economic inequity in the U.S. This taught me the unfairness built into our democracy and economy but also that we have the tools to fix it — if we choose to use them.
These experiences set me on the path to anti-poverty policy work. I moved to DC in the 1980s and it didn’t take long for the city to become home. I worked as an educator for Black and brown youth, many of them immigrants, through the Higher Achievement Program housed at Sacred Heart School before joining the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), where I helped advocates and policymakers across the country understand the social implications of their budgets. When CBPP began discussing a new organization focused specifically on the District I knew that this was work I was called to do.
Ed moved to DC in 1986 to start a service year at Higher Achievement, an educational program for students in Mount Pleasant, Shaw, and Columbia Heights.
Ed and Suzanne’s sons, Adam and David, attended DCPS. Ed served as PTA vice-president and Scout Leader of Pack & Troop 98.
Ed and Suzanne bought their first and only home in 1992. At the time, Brookland was a community where two people early in their careers could buy a house.
That was how the DC Fiscal Policy Institute began and over the two decades since I’ve led successful fights for fair wages, paid family leave, early childhood education, access to health care, and dozens of other policies that families in DC now enjoy. Along the way I built partnerships and coalitions with some of DC’s leading community organizations. I’m incredibly proud of everything we have already accomplished to make DC more equitable.
Time and again, however, I have been disappointed by how often our own policymakers opposed progress on policies that I knew would help DC residents and build a stronger, fairer city. In fight after fight, the mayor or councilmembers pushed back against new proposals and initiatives — even as our income divide worsened, even as gentrification led to tent encampments and widespread displacement of long-time Black residents. When our leaders don’t address these problems boldy and at the scale needed, it sends a message that they don’t care. I’ve had enough with being disappointed. I’m ready to fight for progress on the Council in a new way.
I’m running for DC Council At-Large to put racial and economic justice at the center of DC’s policy agenda. There is no question that DC has the resources we need to stop displacement, be a leader on housing affordability, health care, education, and economic growth. We need new leadership on the Council to show that our prosperous and progressive city can move forward without leaving anyone behind or pushing anyone out.
(Current and prior)
Join the Movement for a More Progressive Council
Ed has the experience, the broad coalition of partners, and the commitment to justice that DC needs to become the more equitable city we all want and deserve. Join our effort to make it happen.
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Ed is taking $0 from corporations and special interests and relying on grassroots donations to power his campaign. Join our movement with any amount you can. Donations from DC residents will be matched 5 to 1 by DC’s new public financing program!