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From the Publisher's Desk...

Our Pick for Mayor and Council At-Large

There’s a whole bunch of Democratic primary mayoral candidates but only one truly stands out: Jack Evans.

Evans knows how this city works (or doesn’t work and should work) better than most. For the past 25 years, since 1989 when he was elected to the Dupont Circle ANC and served as its chairman until 1991 when he won a special election to the City Council to represent Ward 2, which he has done ever since, Evans has been a strong advocate for excellence and pragmatism in city government.

Especially, it’s that insistence on finding pragmatic and sensible solutions to complex issues that sets Evans apart from most — a product, no doubt, of his keen intellect and ability to analyze competing options for solving complex problems, skills put to excellent use over the many years he has served as chairman of the Council’s very important finance and revenue committee.

Through his highly influential leadership in matters pertaining to the city’s finances,  Evans has been a strong advocate for fiscal sanity and to not squander what has in the past couple of years been a welcome increase in tax revenues; he has constantly sought to say “no” to those who blithely advocate increasing taxes and has fought against proposals that would have added to residents’ tax burdens –- just the very sort of fiscal leadership we need from our mayor.

But this is not to suggest that Evans is guided by the evil playbook being consulted in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. To the contrary, he understands the needs of the under-served, the working poor, the elderly on fixed incomes, and the young people who are being forever left out of opportunities to participate in a better and productive life.

Examples abound, including Evans’ important role in ensuring recent passage of the “Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013,” which had been authored and vigorously advocated by at-large Councilmember Anita Bonds – who we also endorse for election (see below). The legislation exempts homeowners aged 70 years or older from paying any real property taxes on their primary residence if they have maintained DC residency for at least 15 years and have an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000.

But Evans is looking way beyond this one aspect of how to make our neighborhoods and the city as a whole more

welcoming and affordable to residents of limited means or limited opportunities. In addition to changing property taxation so as to make it progressive and to ensure that the banks that have deposit and other contracts with the city actively provide services across all wards, he has outlined a series of very practical and doable (and fiscally responsible) plans to add upwards to 20,000 additional affordable residential apartments along with ensuring that existing affordable housing is retained.

We have touched on oly a few reasons why we urge voters to join with us in voting for Jack Evans. What he will give us as mayor will be not only his compassion and enormous, in-depth understanding of the needs of the city and its citizens but the smarts to know how to produce results.

And, to join with Evans in helping to ensure positive results in the City Council, we can only urge the election of currently serving at-large Councilmenber Anita Bonds who has proven herself to be an effective advocate for progressive and –- again, that all important characteristic –- pragmatic approaches to crafting sensible policies.

An excellent example of what we mean is Bonds’ Hardship Green Grant and Rent Stabilization Act of 2014” bill by which the city landlords would be able to receive grants to cover 95 percent of the actual cost of installing green roofs, solar panels, or other energy efficient materials on rental apartment buildings with 20 or more units — provided that the  tenants do not have their rents increased for a minimum of three years.

We like this. It’s highly creative and addresses more than a single need and at the same time is, in Bonds’ own words, “a win-win-win situation. . . . [B]uilding owners win, because they receive funding to make their buildings more beautiful and less expensive to maintain. The tenants win, because they avoid burdensome rent increases. And the District wins, because our city becomes more energy efficient, more beautiful, and less expensive to live in.”

This kind of thinking is what makes for an outstanding legislator and is why we are so impressed with Anita Bonds and why she ought to be elected.