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Ward 1 City Council candidates, incumbent Jim Graham and challenger Brianne Nadeau, to square off Thursday evening, March 13

Sponsored by the Reed-Cooke Neighborhood Association, this final Ward 1 candidates forum before the April 1st primary election will be held at King Emmanuel Baptist Church (2324 Ontario Road NW), starting at 7 pm.

As the forum’s organizers told The InTowner, that “with the race heating up and with April 1st fast approaching, [they expect] the political fireworks to fly.”

The session will be moderated by Anthony L. Harvey, this publication’s Associate Editor –- himself a long-time neighborhood resident as well as a long-time reporter of Ward 1 news.

Among the issues of concern to the ward’s voters about which he expects to seek the views of the candidates will be the “Envision Adams Morgan” grassroots planning effort currently underway; planning for the future of the Marie-Reed Learning Center, also currently underway, and the opportunity that presents of exploring the many roles that Marie-Reed now plays and could play in the future.

Other major concerns to be addressed to include the bad behavior of certain ABC licensees and the continuing over-concentration of the number of ABC licenses in the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone and the lackluster responsiveness of city agencies and regulatory bodies (e.g., DDOT, ABRA, and HPO) to the aspirations and recommendations of the ward’s ANCs and community civic associations as well as the blatant and repeated ignoring by those bodies of such fundamental DC statutes as the Comprehensive Plan — this being a ward-wide problem.

Also, among other topics to be covered, will be the absence of a neighborhood library serving Adams Morgan and its immediately adjacent neighborhoods in Dupont Circle and Sheridan-Kalorama. The ward has only one branch library, located in Mt. Pleasant which appropriately serves the needs of the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

Additionally, it can be expected that the candidates should be prepared to respond to a variety of other concerns, such as ethics in government; affordable housing, which has dramatically shrunk both in absolute numbers and in terms of needs; school boundaries, consolidations, and school closings; youth summer jobs programs and similar year-round programs for the long-term adult unemployed; voting rights on local issues for legal immigrants who are not yet citizens; and protection for historic (or conservation) districts for well-developed and solidly built communities.

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