Robert White Tells ANC6A He Expects To Be Appointed to City Council Next Week
by Larry Janezich
Last night, Councilmember “Elect” Robert White introduced himself to the ANC6A community at the commission’s September meeting, and told them he expected to be appointed next week by the local Democratic Party to fill the remainder of the term of former At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange who resigned effective August 15. A staffer for the DC Board of Elections confirmed to Capitol Hill Corner this morning that there will be no special election to fill Orange’s unexpired term. For all practical purposes, the winner of the Democratic primary has a lock on the seat for the term beginning in 2017, and White defeated Orange 39.48% to 37.65% – a margin of 1796 votes. The council is currently in recess and returns to resume business on September 20.
In his remarks to the ANC, White listed his top concerns as councilmember:
- More affordable housing – He says he will press for enforcement of affordable housing regulations since “the council increasingly lets developers off the hook”, conversion of empty commercial buildings to residential, and rezoning of underperforming commercial corridors such as Georgia and MLK Avenues to permit residential construction on top of one story commercial.
- Public Safety – White pledged to make sure beat cops and “white shirts” (management) are “on the same page”, push for stricter enforcement of violent crimes while avoiding over-criminalizing, and work to establish local accountability for prosecutors who are currently answerable only to the federal government.
- Education – His first request as councilmember, he says, will be appointment to the Committee on Education. He says he will demand that the DCPS system work with neighborhoods and parents. Further, he will press for DCPS accountability and increased enforcement of efforts to prevent out of state residents from enrolling in DC’s public schools without paying tuition.
White, a newcomer to elected office, was a former aide to DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and then to DC Attorney General Karl Racine. The council comprises 13 members – each of DC’s 8 Wards elects one member of the council and five members, including the Chairman, are elected at large.
Current makeup of the council:
Phil Mendelson, Chairman, Democratic
David Grosso, At-large Independent
Elissa Silverman, At-large Independent
Anita Bonds, At-large Democratic
Vacant, At-large Democratic (primary won by Robert White)
Brianne Nadeau , Ward 1, Democratic
Jack Evans, Ward 2, Democratic
Mary Cheh, Ward 3, Democratic
Brandon Todd, Ward 4, Democratic
Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5, Democratic
Charles Allen, Ward 6, Democratic
Yvette Alexander, Ward 7, Democratic (primary won by Vincent Gray)
LaRuby May, Ward 8, Democratic (primary won by Trayon White)