On June 19, D.C. voters will cast ballots in the primaries for mayoral candidates, council members and House delegates. To prepare voters, DC Refined reached out to every candidate in the races and asked for interviews. Candidates who did not respond to the request are noted with * below. Next up, we examine the candidates for Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Originally from Tennessee, this Libertarian candidate moved to the District in 1980, first running for Delegate in 2012 and later for Mayor in 2014. He is a realtor for Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty and a freelance writer with bylines in Breitbart, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Caller and more. Before he first ran for office, though, his name was already circulating in the nation’s capital. An article published in DCist in August 2010 details a “Tea Party Guide to D.C.” that Majors created for people visiting a Glenn Beck rally. The contentious guide suggested avoiding using the Green or Yellow Metro lines and to avoid going further South than the Eastern Market Metro station. “These rules are even more important at night,” wrote the guide. While Eleanor Holmes Norton won the race, Majors wasn’t surprised. He told Metro Weekly, ”I’m not running to be elected. I’d be amazed if I were.” Instead, he told The Washington Post that he ran for Delegate because “we have a city’s that’s essentially a one-party state, and [Norton] is part of that one party. She is part of the party that overlooks its own corrupt members."
Some of Majors' platforms include lowering taxes, eliminating the height limit, decriminalizing marijuana, having incumbents only accept contributions from individual donors and restoring voting rights to felons who were convicted of non-violent, victimless crimes.He also wants to make one car on Metro trains available to bicyclists at all times, and to address issues with sexual harassment on the Metro, Majors also proposes having at least one railcar available only to children and people travelling with children.
When it comes to this upcoming election, Norton says a few of her highest priorities include but are not limited to cleaning up the Anacostia River, bringing high-speed rail to the District and bringing more revenue through economic development. Since she first assumed office in January 3, 1991, Norton has served on several committees in Congress, including the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Some of her successes have included relocating 6,000 jobs to the Navy Yard D.C. neighborhood and preserving the $40 million D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program, which assists D.C. residents in paying college tuition.
Even before her time in Congress, she was well known for her public service, having been appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Before this, New York City Mayor John Lindsay named Norton the head of the city’s Commission on Human Rights. At Georgetown University, she also serves as a tenured professor of law. "It says something about my support that I have so much support from Republicans in the District as well as Democrats … My seniority elevates my own power and authority in the House for leadership, and it will enable me to get even more things done if we take control of the House as is predicted.”
Kim R. Ford says that she has nothing against Eleanor Holmes Norton and has few to no criticisms on the current D.C. Delegate. Even so, she still believes it’s time for a new face at the federal level. “I’m going to honor her legacy and build upon the work that she’s done for the District of Columbia," says Ford. "But after 27 years, she can’t see what she can’t see anymore, and that’s not negative. It’s the same thing I’ve seen in academia.” Ford, a native D.C. resident, grew up in Ward 4 in the Colonial Village neighborhood. She attributes her interest in federal government to her mother who worked as a lifelong public servant, working in the House District Committee for 16 years. On what goals she hopes to accomplish as Delegate,
Ford has several issues that are on her mind. First, she hopes to create “tangible” outcomes for the District to finally become a U.S. state. “We need new strategies. We need to build new relationships. We just have to do things differently,” says Ford, who added that she hopes to see the federal government as an asset rather than an imposition. For students, she hopes to pass legislation that will allow every single House and Senate office to have a D.C. resident as an intern year-round. When it comes to education, she also hopes to pass student loan forgiveness legislation. “We’re small enough that it wouldn’t even be that cost prohibitive,” she says. In order to address the affordable housing crisis in the District, she also plans on advocating for more Section 8 programming as well as encouraging private investment in affordable housing.
Natale “Lino” Stracuzzi
Natale “Lino” Stracuzzi, the only member of the Statehood Green party in this race, has run for the Delegate position for several years now, and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop any time soon. Stracuzzi says he was first inspired to run for Congress in the late 1990s after he wrote a letter to D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and never received a response back. He says the letter was in response to him learning that his brother, who was a manager of a video store at the time, was working 80 to 90 hours a week, allegedly making fewer than $2 per hour. After a brief period of time where he did not run for Delegate, he decided to run again in 2009 after he received a notice that he had to work until 70 for social security. "In France, they voted out their president because they had to work until 62. Are we stupid?” asks Stracuzzi. Most people die in their mid-70s. They want us to work until 70, croak and then keep our money.” With this sentiment, Stracuzzi says he hopes to lower the age limit for social security.
Additional priorities for him include statehood for the District as well as making healthcare more affordable, especially for the working class. Stracuzzi admits that he has no political experience, save for working as co-chair for the Parent Policy Council on the Montgomery Community Action Board. Despite this, Stracuzzi says, “We need a new vision for the District of Columbia … Give me the opportunity to prove that.”