On April 1st, 2014, District voters will go to the polls to vote in the primary election for multiple District offices and while most people are focused on the mayoral primary it’s also important to look at election for our present slate of “shadow” candidates. While the candidates who picked up petitions on November 8th might be good people and engaged citizens that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the experience or vision necessary to lead the statehood charge. It’s hard to look at the current slate of candidates and find anything that candidates have individually done to push for statehood.
Over the weekend one of the shadow delegation candidates attended our monthly meeting and I asked the candidate: “What have you substantively done for statehood over the last few years?” After initially not answering the question I asked it again and the answer was: “Nothing.” It’s amazing, saddening, infuriating, and not surprising that a candidate for the shadow delegation admits to having done nothing for statehood. This candidate is not alone but frankly should get a few points for blunt honesty.
If candidates have no proven experience, track record, or commitment to the cause how can we expect them to be successful when taking on a volunteer gig with vague duties and responsibilities. If someone won’t work for statehood without pay or title why should we believe they’ll work for it still without pay but with title? And if someone hasn’t accomplished anything in eighteen years in office how will another six help? In the coming days and weeks the District needs more people of substance more people who have been working hard for statehood over the years come forward to run for these offices. The District needs candidates committed to the cause to hold these positions and the District government in return must commit resources to support these positions because speeches and shameless photo-bombing for statehood has not worked so maybe it’s time for something else: substance.