One year ago, I launched my campaign for DC Council Chairwoman. I took a leap, and every day I am thankful to those who supported, encouraged, and mentored me along the way. I’m hoping to pay it forward by supporting and highlighting first-time candidates in our upcoming general election who will bring new energy, vision, and compassion to our local government.
DC State Board of Education
The DC State Board of Education is a nonpartisan, independent agency that provides policy guidance for DC’s public schools. DC used to have a Board of Education that had greater authority, but that changed when we moved to a system of Mayoral control of our public schools. While the DC State Board of Education is limited in many ways, elected representatives play an important role in defining and exercising the scope and power of the Board’s work and using their voices to push for accountability. (You can read more about why accountability matters so much in my Plan for Public Education as a Right.) Thanks to legislation from Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen we can now elect current DC Public Schools teachers and staff to the DC State Board of Education.
I’m excited to endorse the following first-time candidates for the DC State Board of Education.
Joshua Wiley, Ward 6 Member of the State Board of Education (he/him)
Joshua exudes joy, and he builds a joyful learning environment with students and families. Joshua has deep experience as both a teacher and an Assistant Principal. He’s nurtured children, mentored other teachers, and designed successful school programs. He impressed me with his kindness and compassion, as well as his dedication to systemic changes that will support our whole education ecosystem, including students, teachers, administrators, staff, and parents. Joshua believes in public education as a right and will fight for a high-quality public education for every DC student.
Ben Williams, Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education (he/him)
Ben thinks big and puts pen to paper to tackle hurdles to improving our schools. Ben currently teaches US government, AP government, and (very importantly!) DC history and government to 12th graders at a DC public charter school. As a teacher, he understands what is needed to address our challenges retaining and supporting teachers. He does not shy away from meaningful conversations about governance and accountability for our public schools and holding DC government agencies to the highest standards, including for healthy school buildings.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are your nonpartisan, neighborhood-level elected representatives. They are true public servants. As a current Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, I know the value of a good Commissioner in building community, working as a collaborative member of a deliberative body, and advocating for neighborhood and citywide needs. Commissioners have challenged the limits of serving in an advisory role by building citywide coalitions to advocate for neighbors and push for agency accountability. Commissioners with vision both tackle small-scale challenges in their community and use their neighborhood-level knowledge to take on citywide challenges.
I’m proud to endorse the following first-time candidates for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.
Takema Keyes, ANC 8B01 (she/her)
Takema is kind, compassionate, and dedicated to bringing pride to Ward 8. She has a graduate degree in social work from Howard University and professional experience in public policy. Takema is a public servant at heart, having worked to alleviate food insecurity in Ward 8 through her service project — Nourish and Flourish. Takema plans to advocate for affordable housing to meet needs, recreational and mentorship opportunities for our youth, and environmental justice, including through access to healthy food.
Alyce McFarland, ANC 8B06 (she/her)
Donate: in progress
Alyce is a force for good and knows persistence matters to make change. She has an undergraduate degree in social work and a graduate degree in public administration from the University of the District of Columbia. Alyce has worked for the University of the District of Columbia, as well as supporting and providing resources for tenants in DC. Alyce will listen to the community and be a voice for their concerns, including advocating for safer streets via traffic calming measures to ensure a clean and safe community for all.
Amanda Beale, ANC 8C08 (she/her)
Amanda is a relationship and community builder who knows how to collaborate to support her neighborhood. She’s a mom to three children and a licensed therapist with deep experience in DC government. Amanda has been involved in community service since she was teenager, including working with the city’s incarcerated youth and leading protests against police brutality and violence within the community. She will support local schools, advocate for children and families, and ensure resources and government services support the community.
Ashley Renee Ruff, ANC 7F02 (she/her)
Ashley is passionate about making sure her Ward 7 neighborhood receives what it deserves. She is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, a veteran substitute teacher in the PG County public school system, and President of the Fort Dupont Civic Association. Ashley will keep neighbors engaged and informed, including by sharing resources for housing, work development, transportation, and drug and mental health supports. She will fight to expand kid-friendly and senior programs for at-risk youth and community elders. Her number one reason for running is to see a “Ward 7 Stronger Together.”
Dev Myers, ANC 7F07 (he/him)
Dev is considerate and skilled at listening to and amplifying the needs of his community. He has served as a teacher and a mentor, supporting children and families, and is a leader within the community having served with the DC Young Democrats, the Ward 7 Education Council, and EmpowerEd. He will work to ensure that economic development projects, including Reservation 13, benefit all members of his community, work with DC government agencies for high-quality, equitable government services, and amplify community voices.
Nikki Del Casale, ANC 6A03 (she/her)
Nikki demands that our government is inclusive and accessible so that more of our neighbors can participate. She is active in her neighborhood and across DC, whether she’s walking dogs or advocating for tenants’ rights, preventing evictions, serving our unhoused neighbors, or encouraging measures to increase safety on our streets. Nikki will listen to the community and be a voice for their concerns, including advocating for safer streets via traffic calming measures.
Christy Kwan, ANC 6C01 (she/her)
Christy puts her heart and soul into making sure kids and families can move around our neighborhoods safely. Christy is a city planner, having worked on transportation, land conservation, and healthy food access. She is a founding member of Washington DC Families for Safe Streets, a group of survivors and family members who have lost loved ones to traffic violence. She has served as Chair of her Commission’s Transportation and Public Space Committee. Christy will support safer streets and resilient community green spaces in Near Northeast, as well as hold DC agencies accountable to community concerns and requests.
Patricia Eguino, ANC 6C06 (she/her)
Patricia is fearless, whether she’s confronting bigotry, demanding language access, or advocating for neighborhood services. She will use that energy to fight tooth and nail on behalf of her constituents. Patricia is a scientist, former Covid-19 tester, and vaccination clinic worker. She has extensive experience with community engagement from her outreach work with the DC Latino Caucus. Patricia plans to pressure the DC Council on traffic safety infrastructure and for affordable housing through greater density and more inclusive neighborhoods.
Alicia Egolum, ANC 5B03 (she/her)
Alicia is a considerate and deliberate decisionmaker. She is a mom of two, a dentist, and a realtor who became active in her neighborhood by advocating for high-quality, equitable government services like trash collection and pedestrian infrastructure. Alicia knows the importance of centralized and institutionalized support for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners so that more people are able to serve their communities and serve them well. She will amplify the voices of her neighbors and help ensure a clean and safe community for all.
Justine Perkowski, ANC 5B07 (she/her)
Justine is a humble bridge builder who is committed to putting in the work to make sure neighbors are heard. She is a single mom, first-generation American, and animal lover with a Ph.D. in Technology Policy & Innovation, a Masters in Education, and a BS in Applied Economics & Management. Justine is committed to meeting neighbors where they are and learning from everyone: she will be visible, approachable, reachable, and genuinely advocate for the needs of the Woodridge community. She will advocate for traffic safety infrastructure, affordable housing, and more community resources.
VJ Kapur, ANC 5C07 (he/him)
VJ is a focused and organized problem solver. He is a passionate advocate for his community, a computer scientist, and always the first person to make a spreadsheet. If you’ve met VJ, you know that he is an avid user of 311 and will demand high-quality, equitable government services for his neighbors. VJ wants to make Langdon and all of DC safe, vibrant, and welcoming for long-term, new, and future neighbors by implementing comprehensive traffic safety improvements and advocating for more transportation options, more retail, and more housing.
Carrie Dellesky, ANC 5D06 (she/her)
Carrie is dedicated to spending quality time with neighbors and building community. She has a Masters in public administration and has worked on projects related to safe, accessible mobility and urban planning and development. Trash and transportation are the two main issues that initially energized her toward public service, including serving on her Commission’s transportation committee, and Carrie knows how important Commissioners are to hold DC agencies accountable. She will advocate for traffic safety infrastructure, litter-free streets and access to clean and attractive green spaces, and high-quality, affordable housing.
Huma Imtiaz, ANC 5E04 (she/her)
Huma is dedicated to growing and nurturing her community. She is originally from Pakistan and has lived in Bloomingdale for nearly a decade. Huma is a former journalist and a communications professional. She leads the volunteer-run LeDroit Park Community Garden, which serves residents of Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, and surrounding neighborhoods. Huma will advocate for policies that make Bloomingdale safer and more equitable, with a focus on improving traffic safety and truly affordable housing.
Quentin Colón Roosevelt, ANC 3D03 (he/him)
Website: in progress
Quentin will bring energy and youth voice to the decisionmaking table. At 18 years old, Quentin would be the youngest serving Commissioner, bringing an important perspective to bear on local politics (and paving the way for young people across DC to run for local office and engage in local politics). Quentin will increase transparency and responsiveness at the most local level of DC government, support seniors and small businesses, and increase the options for safe, multi-modal transportation in Spring Valley, Kent, and the Palisades.
Rohin Ghosh (write-in candidate), ANC 3E08 (he/him)
Rohin understands that student issues are deeply connected to issues of justice in the community. He is running to represent his fellow American University students and be an advocate for more affordable housing and safe and reliable transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure. Rohin is involved in community action throughout DC, working on eviction prevention and tenants’ rights at the Latino Economic Development Center, supporting a Green New Deal for Housing with Sunrise DC, and recently rallying student support for American University staff as they went on strike and won a fair contract.
Dasia Bandy, ANC 2A07 (she/her)
Dasia will bring new voices to the table and represent neighbors who are often overlooked. She is a current undergraduate student at George Washington University, studying journalism and international affairs. She is also a dedicated community builder (with thousands of hours of dedicated volunteer work) who has a deep passion for youth activism. Dasia wants to run for national office in the future, and she’s starting right here in her neighborhood of Foggy Bottom. She will increase awareness and engagement with Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and the community, building bridges between the George Washington University community and neighbors.
Billy Easley, ANC 1A10 (he/him)
Billy is a criminal justice advocate and public servant dedicated to safer and stronger communities. Billy is a lawyer who is deeply committed to public service, including having provided free legal services to tenants and families. He has lived with his husband in Columbia Heights since 2014. Billy will support common-sense infrastructure changes that save lives — like raised pedestrian crosswalks and protected bike lanes — and use his six years of criminal justice experience to push for equitable and effective policies that will make our streets safer for all.
Santiago Lakatos, ANC 1B04 (he/him)
Santiago is eager to dive into the details to make sure city services are inclusive and work well. He is a first generation American who cares deeply about his community and wants to give back and make it a better place, including through helping Spanish-speaking residents. Santiago has experience serving on his Commission’s transportation committee, advancing safer streets, more reliable transit, and better parks for the U Street and Lower Columbia Heights neighborhood. He will work to make his neighborhood a better and more inclusive place from the small issues like trash and 311 requests to the big issues of affordable housing and better public transit.
Ashleigh Fields, ANC 1B07 (she/her)
Ashleigh takes pride in making well informed decisions for the greater good of her community. She is a journalism student at Howard University, where she previously served as editor-in-chief for The Hilltop, the nation’s oldest and largest Black collegiate newspaper, and a youth and education reporter for Streetsense Media (one of my favorite local papers). Ashleigh is a White House Correspondent Scholar and a recipient of the Harry S. Alpin award in honor of the first Black reporter to cover the White House. She hopes to unite and bring resources to her Ward 1 neighborhood and bring the unique voice of the Howard University community to her Commission.
Lynda Laughlin, ANC 1C06 (she/her)
Lynda is here to exterminate pestilent rodents and build a diverse, vibrant, and inclusive community in Adams Morgan. She knows families and jobs intimately from her life’s work with the Fertility and Family and Industry and Occupation branches of the US Census Bureau. She is also regrettably familiar with the scourge of rodent infestation from her work on the board of a local community garden. She uses her PhD in sociology to engage daily with issues related to communities, economics, and equitable development. Lynda lives in a cooperative in Adams Morgan/Lanier Heights and is excited for the opportunity to serve her community.
Josh Jacobson, 1E06 (he/him)
Josh is optimistic and will eagerly and intently build and support his local community. If you know Josh, he’s likely shared a homemade baked good, a recipe, or another genuine offer of support. He knows that relationships and kindness matter and are the foundation of organizing neighbors around local issues. Josh hopes to improve the quality of life in DC through addressing agency responsiveness, advocating for all types of affordable housing, and making our roads safer for all people, especially children.
Initiative 82: It’s past time to eliminate the subminimum wage!
This election, DC voters will (again!) vote on whether to eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers. Now is the time to give these workers a raise and increased wage stability.
DC voters considered an almost identical proposal — Initiative 77 — in 2018. Despite the industry’s more than $400,000 campaign to defeat Initiative 77 and the involvement of shadowy outside groups, voters approved the Initiative with 55% of the vote and with the most voter support in wards 5, 7, and 8. Unsatisfied with the decision of DC voters, the current Council Chair publicly opposed and led the DC Council in overturning the Initiative and then failed to fund his proposed alternative measures that he claimed were a better way to address the challenges faced by tipped workers.
I was proud to support Initiative 77, and I continue to support eliminating the subminimum wage for all workers. The racist, sexist, and ableist history of the subminimum wage for tipped workers is well documented. Furthermore, DC workers paid the price, as the Covid-19 public health emergency heightened instability for tipped workers. With declining tips and increased harassment, the importance of stable and steady pay is even more apparent.
The time is now to vote yes on Initiative 82. You can read more on my views in support of Initiative 82 here.
Current Elected Officials
There are many wonderful current and former elected officials who I look forward to continuing to work with. I’d like to specifically highlight Commissioner Amber Gove, 6A04, who is facing a frivolous, confusing, and wasteful recall effort. I have worked with Amber extensively, and she is a thoughtful, diligent, and effective Commissioner. You can donate to Amber here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/amber-gove-for-anc6a-04-1.
In addition, I support the following current and former elected officials who are running for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner:
Jamila White, ANC 8A05; Robin McKinney, ANC 8A06; Markus Batchelor, former Ward 8 Representative for the DC State Board of Education, candidate for ANC 8C06; Salim Adofo, ANC 8C07; Monique Diop, ANC 8D05; Shekita McBroom, ANC 8E03; Travis R. Swanson, ANC 7B03; Kelvin Brown, ANC 7B06; Anthony Lorenzo Green, ANC 7C04; Kim Martin, ANC 7C08; Alison Horn, ANC 7D10; Natasha Dupee, ANC 7E04; Delia Houseal, ANC 7E04; Patricia Stamper, Ward 7 Committeewoman, write-in candidate for ANC 7C06; Keya Chatterjee, ANC 6A01; Laura Gentile, ANC 6A05; Robb Dooling, ANC 6A06; Edward Ryder, ANC 6B09; Mark Eckenwiler, ANC 6C04; Gail Fast, ANC 6D03; Matt LaFortune, Ward 6 Committeeman, candidate for ANC 6B09; Emily Singer Lucio, ANC 5A03; Ra Amin, ANC 5B04; Colleen Costello, ANC 5B05; Prita Piekara, ANC 5B06; Tequia Hicks Delgado, ANC 5C03; Darlene Oliver, ANC 5C05; Sebrena Rhodes, ANC 5D02; Stephen Cobb, ANC 5D04; Salvador Sauceda-Guzman, ANC 5D05; Nicole McEntee, former ANC 2B08, candidate for ANC 5E02; Evan Yeats, ANC 4B04; Tiffani Nichole Johnson, ANC 4B06; Alison Brooks, ANC 4B08; Vanessa Rubio, ANC 4E01; Pavan Khoobchandani, ANC 4E06; Lisa Gore, ANC 3/4G01; Peter Gosselin, ANC 3/4G06; Ben Bergmann, ANC 3B06; Janell Pagats, ANC 3C03; Sauleh Siddiqui, ANC 3C05; Chuck Elkins, ANC 3D01; Tom Quinn, ANC 3E04; Claudette David, ANC 3F04; James Tandaric, ANC 3F05; Yannik Omictin, ANC 2A01; Trupti Patel, ANC 2A03; Meg Roggensack, ANC 2B01; Jeffrey Rueckgauer, ANC 2B02; Kishan Putta, ANC 2E01; Alex Lopez, ANC 2G03; Max Ewart, ANC 1A01; Dieter Morales, ANC 1A02; Mukta Ghorpadey, ANC 1A07; Sabel Harris, ANC 1B08; Peter Wood, ANC 1C03; and Amanda Farnan, ANC 1E07.
I hope you will engage with, amplify, and support these amazing candidates (and vote to eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers). I’m deeply thankful they are willing to take the leap and run for local elected office, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve in support of our communities.