D.C. candidates for mayor came face to face on Sunday to share their plans to address some of the city’s top priorities.
The town hall, hosted by the Washington Interfaith Network, gave mayoral hopefuls the chance to discuss everything from gun violence and housing to education and their plans for the budget.
Incumbent Mayor Muriel Bowser pointed out her moves to curb gun violence, improve housing, create a $10 billion minority homeowner program and her success shutting down D.C. General.
“We’ve driven down family homelessness by 73% and I know you’ll be with me when we do the same thing to the single mens’ homeless system in Washington, D.C.,” Bowser said. “That’s the blueprint. That’s why we need four more years. This is not the time for unproven leadership.”
When looking at public safety, Bowser made clear she could not support going down to 3,000 police officers across the city but pushed for a system that funds “every part of the criminal justice system.”
Councilmember Robert White discussed his struggles with affordable housing growing up in the city and his focus on issues like voting rights and early childhood education while on the council. White also made his case for someone who will leverage the city’s budget to address the city’s ongoing problems, including gun violence.
“What we have isn’t a money problem; it’s a leadership problem. I know there should not be a distinction between the things that we talk about and pray about and what we do out in the community,” Robert White said, clarifying that the work ahead is social justice work. “What we need is a leader who will seize this moment.”
Councilmember Trayon White discussed his plan to address gun violence and the need for more housing.
“My track record speaks for it,” he began, pointing out legislation he introduced to create displacement-free zones for unhoused residents.
Trayon White also added that while the city’s budget has grown, many Brown and Black residents still face issues.
“I have a plan called Focus Improvement Areas designed to put resources in areas hardest hit by crime,” added Trayon White. “I’m tired of burying my brothers and sisters, so we have to do something.”
The Democratic Primary will take place June 21, and the general election will be in November.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.
Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.
© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.