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DC Ward 5 Member of the Council

Ward 5 Member of the Council of the District of ColumbiaDuties: Represents citizens from Ward 5The Council’s central role is to make laws for D.C. It is also the chief policy-making body for the city. In addition, Councilmembers' responsibilities include oversight of multiple agencies, commissions, boards and other entities of District government and responding to constituents’ concerns. (source: https://dccouncil.us)Term: 4 yearsAnnual Salary: $140,000 (approximately)

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  • Candidate picture

    Clarence Lee, Jr.
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Zachary Parker
    (Dem)

Información Biográfica

What are your top 2 priorities and how will you accomplish them?

Should DC be admitted to the union as a state? Yes or No? *If yes, what immediate plans should be made, and actions taken, to begin preparing DC for statehood? *If no, what is your plan for achieving full voting rights for DC?

How do you propose to increase housing for our most vulnerable residents?

What do you see as the root causes of crime in DC? What policies would you propose to address the issues?

What are your ideas for improving outcomes for youth in the justice system?

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Education Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. Master of Arts in Policy and Leadership from Columbia University, Teachers College.
Qualifications Zachary Parker is a former 7th-grade math teacher and lifelong educator and public servant. He was elected in 2018 by Ward 5 neighbors to serve as their representative on the DC State Board of Education and served as President of the State Board after his colleagues unanimously selected him in January 2021.
Campaign Twitter Handle @www.twitter.com/zacharyforward5
We must stop cycles of violence and trauma. I will push to connect and fully-fund existing trauma-informed violence reduction programs. We can build safe communities by addressing the root causes of violence, holding those who break the law accountable, and developing a whole-of-government approach to public safety.

Expanding affordable housing is another priority. Generations of Washingtonians have been displaced, including many in my family. We must expand the HPAP and other ownership programs, expand permanently and deeply affordable housing models (such as land trusts and social housing), and convert accessory units to affordable housing within our current housing stock.

Learn more at ward5.us/violence and ward5.us/housing.
Yes. Preparing for statehood means transforming our political systems. I support expanding the size of the DC Council, increasing oversight, and strengthening the role of ANCs. We must also take back criminal legal functions where we can, including parole and supervision. We must lobby so DC residents are not incarcerated far from home and support them when they come home.

These changes will both reduce the impact of corruption and mass incarceration on our community, but will also awaken many young folks to the ways that our lack of Statehood affects their community. We should also strengthen institutions like the University of the District of Columbia and clarify Statehood’s impact on DC TAG.
DC’s housing programs often define “affordable” at 80% of the area median income. That’s over $100,000 for a family of four, more than twice the median Black household income. We need to be intentional about building housing for those who need it most: low-income families, seniors, LGBTQ+ youth, and returning citizens.

We must build much more affordable housing throughout DC, with binding targets for each income level and funding to match. I support expanding homeownership programs, expanding permanently affordable housing models – including using public land and vacant properties for CLTs, social housing, and limited equity co-ops, while increasing our Housing Production Trust Fund, Local Rent Supplement, and more.
We must pursue root-cause solutions that actually work, while avoiding past mistakes that led to mass incarceration in Black communities. We know that the root causes of violence stem from a lack of trauma-informed care, quality schools, recreational outlets, and good-paying jobs. The police should focus on the most violent incidents.

I will focus on making sure every part of Ward 5 has the core parts of a healthy community: consisting of affordable housing, mental health support, basic amenities (like grocery stores and childcare centers), etc.

The idea of Building Blocks is promising: coordinate across agencies and support at-risk residents. But we need accountability in the implementation to deliver actual results.
I’ve spent my career working to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

The criminal behavior of young people primarily is a result of trauma and needs that have not been met. What’s more, normal adolescent behavior is often disproportionately criminalized for Black and brown youth. I support services that are proven to work to reduce violence and build healthy communities, such as keeping our youth in school, trauma and addiction counseling, and comprehensive family support “villages”.

We must also focus on constructive accountability models in the juvenile and criminal justice systems that make people face victims. I also support expanding DC’s youth restorative justice program.