Ward 7 residents race to the voting polls at Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library
Voters at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library were tight-lipped about their views on the election and who they felt should represent Ward 7 on the D.C. Council.
The quite, empty voting room consisted of mainly elderly residents and mothers allowing their children to experience voting for the first time. However, Sherise Grave, precinct captain, believe that it was a fair turnout.
“As of 4 p.m., we had approximately 198 people to vote so it’s been slow and steady thus far,” Grave said.
The library’s parking lot was flooded with signs, banners and campaign workers chanting slogans with bullhorns. The representatives were in full force to tout their candidates one last time at polling places until they closed at 8 p.m. Wearing campaign T-shirts and passing out flyers, they tried to persuade residents to make their vote for change.
“Tom Brown is going to make a change in Ward 7, bring forth better jobs and keep young black men off of the streets,” Volunteer Vincent Cook said.
Cook refers to Brown’s non-profit organizations, Training Grounds and Biz ‘n’ Hoops, as safe havens for black males to escape from daily outside chaos and network while playing a friendly game of basketball.
Another one of Brown’s proud supporter, Karen Louise Edwards, said, “He is all about helping the people, and he has helped my get a job through his Training Ground Program.”
“There is nobody else I see on this ballot that I would vote for even if I was blind,” Edwards said. “He is always in this community mentoring the youth and providing opportunities.”
As the crowd begins to die down, candidate Kevin B. Chavous graced the people with smiles and personal hellos. As voters continued to enter the poll booths, he made sure those voters knew that he was would be on their side if elected.
“I want everyone to work together no matter my outcome and since there is a lot work that needs to be done, I plan to remain active even if I don’t get elected.”
Chavous has many plans to initiate and make effective the minute he gets in office.
“I plan to push an aggressive legislative agenda to help keep our homeowners in their homes by introducing a bill that would lock in property tax breaks for those who have owned homes for 30 years or more,” Chavous said.
Chavous adds his plan of getting more than 50 percent of parents more involved in their children’s education and implementing a “Respond to Request” policy to increase responses to residents within a 48-hour timeframe. He plans to revitalize existing commercial areas that have potential by focusing on small business development.
“Since we are 80 percent residential, we may not be able to have a big commercial retail areas; however, bringing in small businesses and build them up,” Chavous said.
With confidence in his race, Chavous senses a victory quickly approaching.
“I’m happy that I’ve gotten a lot of support and look forward to celebrating tonight.”