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D.C. Libertarians run full slate

6 Aug
Libertarians in D.C. are now running a full slate of candidates, for Mayor, Delegate to Congress, Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6 city council seats, At Large city council, city council chairman, and both Shadow seats.

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The final entrant is Preston Cornish, an Eckington resident who was born in Washington, D.C., for Ward 5 (Eckington, Brookland, Edgewood, Woodbridge and other NE neighborhoods).  Mr. Cornish supplied the following statement for the Voter Guide that DC mails to every voter in the city:

Ward 5 needs a Councilmember who is steadfastly dedicated to improving the lives of its citizens—not a politician who will spend the next term angling for even higher political office.

To improve government functioning, I will fight for competitive contracting, reduced waste, and elimination of unnecessary function. To better the lives of our citizens, I will press for greater parental control of education. And, I will seek to block policies that impinge on the individual freedom of residents. 

I was born in DC, and I will work to earn your vote.

Preston Cornish
Cornish4Council@gmail.com

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Pranav Badhwar, Libertarian for Ward 6 city council, supplied this statement for the November Voter Guide

“My wife and I are devoted to this city where our children were born and attend school. Our politicians today offer failing middle schools despite spending almost $30,000/student, exclude the poor from opportunity through excessive licensing, and viciously but ineffectively and expensively prosecute non-violent drug users. With less spending and based on already successful policies, my plan creates thriving schools, generates opportunities for the neediest, where men and women can thrive as small business owners, reduces the cost of housing and transportation, and creates a safer city by re-focusing police attention on violent, not victimless, crime.”

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Kyle Walker, Libertarian for city council chair, provided the following statement:

As City Council Chairman I will work to make it easier for DC parents to choose the best school for their children, DC property owners to provide affordable space for renters to live and work, and DC entrepreneurs to create valuable products, services, and jobs here in our city. I will never vote to restrict your personal freedom to live how you choose, and I will work to erase nonviolent-victimless crimes from the books. Unnecessary laws, regulations, and bureacracy prevent us from living and working how we see fit, and such policies offer insiders and cronies the opportunity to gain personal advantage at the public’s expense. By focusing on the well-being of all DC residents rather than special interest groups looking for favors from the public or looking to legislate virtue, I believe we can make DC a freer, safer, and more prosperous place to call home.


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Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor, also updated his Voter Guide statement from the one that appeared in the primary Voter Guide in April:

I am running for Mayor to shift the discussion of issues in DC.  Or since David Catania and Muriel Bowser have spent the year NOT debating issues and NOT proposing any solutions beyond minor tinkering with our existing failing schools and programs, perhaps I should say to RAISE issues.  Libertarians want more choices for DC residents –  more school choice and more freedom to take jobs – from driving a cab to braiding hair to running a school or daycare – without being blocked by government.  Freedom to work!  (We want to shift the Overton window, in political science terms.)

D.C. Council myopia on Ward 5 warehouses

3 Feb

D.C. Council myopia on Ward 5 warehouses

By Mark Lee @Washington Blade

What is it with Northeast Washington’s Ward 5 and the ferocious opposition by some neighborhood leaders and residents to development plans for usage of even the tiniest number of the long underutilized area’s vast array of abandoned former light industrial commercial buildings that causes D.C. politicians to roll over like puppies wanting their stomachs rubbed?
Why doesn’t the area embrace realistic economic development opportunities and functional applications for a very few of the plentiful unused warehouses that blight the ward at both visible and tucked away locations?
Why have issues related to zoning-specific and usage-appropriate business revitalization relevant to the LGBT community in recent years not been effectively or successfully addressed – if at all – by local advocates and organizations?
Perhaps most important, what causes the city’s elected officials to buckle so quickly to such anti-business protestations, abandoning common sense along the way?
The D.C. Council previously limited both the number and permissible locations in the area for gay strip clubs displaced by the Nationals stadium hoping to re-open, at the insistence of disgraced former Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr.
The result? No venue relocated to Ward 5 due to insurmountable prohibitions, with only Ziegfeld’s/Secrets surviving at a grandfathered new location near the previous cluster of businesses and the stadium site.
The latest dust-up is over D.C.’s medical marijuana program that hit another snag two weeks ago when the D.C. Council approved emergency legislation to limit the number of cultivation centers allowed in Ward 5.
Introduced by At-Large Council member Vincent Orange, who previously represented Ward 5 prior to an unsuccessful mayoral campaign, and co-sponsored by Council Chair Kwame Brown, it primarily affects a ward encompassing the upper northeast corner of the city from the nexus of New Jersey Avenue at 3rd Street, N.E., and surrounding the New York Avenue commercial corridor within a southern boundary continuing along Florida Avenue and extending outward via Benning Road.
The approved legislation limits the number of marijuana cultivation locations in any ward to six, passed with lightning speed within a week of introduction.
Gay At-Large Council member and Committee on Health Chair David Catania was credited with striking a deal reflecting the best possible compromise. With neither side certain of the vote alignment, and Mayor Vincent Gray’s statement that the bill would “further delay implementation of this important program, which is necessary to assist individuals who suffer with chronic debilitating pain” not making much of an impact, Catania negotiated the lessened limitation.
The original regulations, approved by the Council more than a year ago, dictated the city’s business proposal solicitation and qualification process to date. The Council’s action has upended and complicated progress and will likely cause further delays and difficulties in determining locations for the small necessary number of production sites. This may result in insufficient product becoming available and eventually being more difficult to obtain at the separate dispensaries at only five locations scattered across the city for patient access convenience.
Nearly all of the 28 business applications to operate each of only 10 cultivation centers permitted citywide – including a signed property lease – selected available and appropriate sites in Ward 5. Eight qualifying proposals have been forwarded to a respective Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), which have a near-veto opportunity under scoring rules that portend more obstacles to come. Six of the eight sent for ANC review are for locations in Ward 5, resulting in the probability that remaining applications under review won’t fulfill the new geographic restriction.
Because these businesses are production facilities only with no distribution component, strict security protocols are required, only 95 plants are allowed at each location in order to avoid heightened criminal penalties should the Obama administration continue with threats and prosecution interfering with programs nationwide and require only a modest and discreet size with a nondescript and non-commercial exterior, the reaction is both dumbfounding and disappointing.
Cultivation businesses – essential to implementation of the District’s pending medical marijuana program – do not constitute behemoth “Walmart of Weed” footprints or activity. Their presence will actually be difficult to detect.
The D.C. Council’s kowtowing to opponents of these businesses is cowardly and will further delay and potentially limit or ultimately deny patients the benefit of physician-prescribed medical relief.
Mark Lee is a local small business manager and long-time community business advocate. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.