Why I'm Running
Today, as an At-Large Councilmember, fifth-generation Washingtonian, and most importantly as a husband and father of two daughters, I am excited to announce my candidacy for mayor of the District of Columbia.
DC is a beautiful city, rich with culture and full of diverse and passionate residents. Here, we share a vision of opportunity for all. But for too long we have seen our city fail to live up to its promise, plagued with seemingly endless violent crime and systemic poverty. The doors of opportunity are closed to too many of our residents.
Imagine instead a city where we fight against education inequality and poverty with ambitious goals and clear accountability. Imagine a city where no resident feels like an inconvenience to our government, but rather a partner; an ally fighting arm-in-arm to solve problems and build opportunities. This is the promise of DC, and I believe it is a promise we can achieve.
My life has shown that we can only meet our greatest potential when we commit to facing our deepest challenges head-on. When I was eight years old, I lost my mother to breast cancer. A few weeks later, I was in a near-fatal car accident that cracked my skull and collapsed part of my mouth. While I recovered from my injuries and grieved a deep personal loss, I fell far behind in school. I spent the next seven years failing classes and working hard to catch up. Those struggles taught me to face setbacks and obstacles with grit, perseverance, and accountability.
I’ve spent the last 15 years as a lawyer and a legislator, facing tough challenges head-on. I’ve fought to break down systemic barriers and build bridges for people too often pushed aside. Working in the US Congress, the Office of the Attorney General, the courthouse, and on the DC Council as your At-Large Councilmember, I’ve seen what government can do when it is unafraid of hard fights and unflinchingly focused on social justice. I’ve also seen what happens when government is timid, when it doesn’t value all people, and fails to dream boldly.
We know DC’s promise. It’s time to make it real. As mayor, rooted in the community that raised me, I will take on the tough fights so that government works the same for everyday people as it does for the wealthy and well-connected. That’s why I’m running as DC’s first Fair Elections mayoral candidate, using small-dollar donations to fuel a people-powered campaign. I’m asking for your vote and for your support. If we come together with the audacity to dream big, the courage to do what is right, and the conviction to center people over politics, we can make the promise of DC a reality.
Robert White is a husband and father of two daughters. He is an At-Large Member (D) of the Council of the District of Columbia and Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors.
Robert graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, earning degrees in Philosophy and Political Science, and completing additional studies at Oxford University in England and in The Gambia, West Africa. Robert earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law.
After law school, Robert served as a law clerk for the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County. Robert then served as Legislative Counsel to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in the US House of Representatives for five years. In this role, he worked to loosen Congress’ grip on DC and fought for DC statehood.
In 2014, Robert was tapped by Attorney General Karl Racine to design and execute a blueprint for community engagement for the DC Office of the Attorney General, with a focus on listening to communities and expanding support for the city’s most vulnerable residents. With experience working in all three branches of government and for both federal and local government, Robert has a thorough understanding of how government should function to serve its citizens.
Since joining the DC Council in 2016, Robert has been an advocate for people whose stories often aren’t heard. He has championed policies to create a more ethical, transparent, and professional government. He is a convener who brings together people with different experiences to find solutions and to make DC a more equitable city.
Robert has written nationally recognized legislation to expand early childhood education and passed a first-in-the-nation bill to restore voting rights to incarcerated residents whose right to vote was taken away by Jim Crow policies. He has crafted innovative legislation to create more housing for people struggling to stay in their home city and has increased funding for public housing. Robert has fought to expand workforce programs for people with the highest barriers to employment and has doubled the size of the agency serving returning citizens.
Robert and his wife, Christy, live in Ward 4 with their daughters, Madison and Monroe, and rescue pit bull, Roscoe. They attend St. Martin’s Catholic Church.