Responses to Washington Post Yes/No Questions

Earlier this week, the Washington Post published answers to a series of yes/no questions on some of the top issues facing our city. Most of these questions can’t be answered with one word. I believe the voters deserve to hear our full points of view. So here is where I stand:

Should D.C. employ more police officers? Our problem is not the number of police but the number of things we are asking of police – using them as a catchall for every problem. I will focus police on patrolling and solving crime, not responding to noise complaints and mental health concerns. And I will follow the now two-year overdue recommendation from the Police Reform Commission to do a full study of how many police we need so we’re not just picking a number by random and hoping it solves the problem.

Should taxpayers subsidize construction/development to support a new football stadium? No. As a Commanders fan, I’d love the team to come to DC, but with urgent needs like affordable housing and recreation space, with the little land we have, a stadium does not meet our resident’s needs.

Do you support continued mayoral control of D.C. Public Schools? I do not support our current system of mayoral control. It is the most extreme version of mayoral control in the country and the outcomes show it has not delivered for our students. I reject the idea that we have to choose between two failed systems – what’s failing now or what failed before. I’ll appoint a Chancellor who understands the urgency of the job and work with the Council to create an independent State Superintendent of Education to provide accountability.

Should D.C. replace on-street parking in some places with bus lanes or bike lanes? Yes, I’ll build more bus and bike lanes to protect the most vulnerable on our streets and move away from cars as we address our climate crisis. I’ll also talk to longtime residents who see the lanes as not for them and as a push out of DC. We won’t always agree but it’s important to listen

Do you support congestion pricing downtown during rush hour? Yes, but it has to be coupled with investments in public transit so people have a reliable alternative to driving and so people with lower incomes who live farther from public transit aren’t disproportionately affected.

Would you support increasing the density of some parts of the city? Yes. We have to build more affordable housing so people can afford to live in our city and that will require exploring more opportunities for density.

Should the city require people who are homeless to leave tent encampments after they are offered housing assistance? We have to get people out of tent encampments. The way to do that isn’t bulldozers and police, it’s with the vouchers the Council funded and the Mayor failed to get out. People are choosing not to accept vouchers because they don’t trust the government. That’s made worse, not better by encampment clearings. We need to put the vouchers in the hands of outreach workers and empower them to build the relationship that will get people into housing.