DC Elections Green Voter Guide!
by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network
Report on DC Environmental Networks Open Election Forum!
The DC Environmental Network invited candidates running for office in the District of Columbia to sit down with some environmental leaders and talk about how important a green DC is to our neighborhoods and economy.
We had decent candidate participation for the At-Large DC Council race (Grosso, Wilcox, Cooper) and a spattering of candidates running for United States Senator (Schwartzman), Delegate to the House of Representatives (Stracuzzi) and United States “Shadow” Representative (Aikin) elected positions. We also had presentations from the Campaign Manager of the Mendelson for Chairman effort and allowed a candidate for Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 3DO1 (Slowinski), an active environmental activist, to present his platform.
Some of these candidates shared their endorsements by environmental organizations. You can read about the Sierra Club’s endorsements here. (This is shared for educational purposes and in no way suggests an endorsement by the DC Environmental Network.Our event was designed solely to educate.)
In the spirit of an open discussion we also allowed a supporter of the Jill Stein for President (Statehood Green party representative), to spend a little time explaining what Stein’s positions were on important issues and why we should consider this third party candidate. This was truly an open forum.
It was certainly an unwieldy and maybe not so entertaining process to listen to this diverse variety of candidates but it was an important opportunity for the green community to make the statement that these elections are very important to our efforts.
We finished our numerous presentations with an open discussion giving a number of forum participants an opportunity to share what they were thinking.
You can take a look at the quick report and overview (PDF) of the previous DCEN brown-bag and agenda for the open election forum. Click Here!
DC CANDIDATE GUIDE:
For those who have not yet made a decision or voted early we have compiled a bit of information, including a five minute video of each DCEN forum participant. Here are the videos and links for the candidates or campaign managers who participated in our discussion:
At-Large Member of the Council
David Grosso talked about his environmental roots. His campaign has had some success in getting the attention of voters and Grosso is considered a frontrunner. Voters can pick two candidates for the At-Large race. Candidates not represented at the forum included frontrunners Vincent Orange and Michael Brown who could not attend our forum. Watch David’s Video!
- A.J. Cooper (Independent)
A.J. Cooper talked about his diverse educational history and the experiences he has had working on issues of concern to District residents. His website highlights the importance of clean energy. Cooper talked about the District becoming an environmental leader. Watch A.J.’s Video!
- Ann C. Wilcox (Statehood Green)
Ann Wilcox talked about her background including holding office with the DC Board of Education. Wilcox has received the endorsement of the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club. Watch Ann’s Video!
Chairman of the Council
- Phil Mendelson (Democrat) (Represented by Campaign Manager Josh Gibson)
Josh Gibson, representing Chairman Mendelson, talked about Phil’s elective history and how his candidate spends a lot of time connecting with people in every corner of the District. He shared Mendelson’s commitment to the environment. Mendelson received the endorsement of the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club. Watch Josh’s Video!
United States Senator
David Schwartzman talked about his background including describing himself as an “environmental scientist.” Schwartzman has extensive experience as a candidate for office. He has participated in studies dealing with health issues that impact children. Watch David’s Video!
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Natale Stracuzzi very ably described his positions on numerous issues of importance to District residents. He expressed positions supportive of the challenges students face to get a degree and then find a job. He talked about environmental issues including oil spills in the U.S. and Brazil. Watch Natale’s Video!
United States “Shadow” Representative
G. Aikin talked about many of her life experiences that led to her current outlook on District issues and her campaign. She spent time describing working for a congress person during the Johnson presidency and her work on food issues. Watch Aikin’s Video!
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3DO1
Kent Slowinski focused on the issues he has worked on that impact the environment. He talked about his many experiences including growing up in the District and working as a landscape architect. He talked about his work to clean up munitions buried in Spring Valley. He also talked about his work with Global Green USA and other organizations in the District. Watch Kent’s Video!
President of the United States
Steve Seuser talked about Jill Stein’s campaign for President of the United States. He described Jill Stein as the “climate change candidate.” He shared information about Jill Stein’s green new deal and how it is an attempt to avoid business as usual on the environmental front. Watch Steve’s Video!
It is hoped that our little effort to give Americans, and candidates for public office, a chance to share their views and positions in an open discussion, pushes back a bit against Alexis de Tocqueville observation that:
“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.”
NOTE: Obviously this is not a complete guide of all the candidates running for office. All candidates running for the major offices in contention in the District were invited.