As President Obama urged before leaving office, “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

DC is growing. No doubt about that. So is the Ward. You just have to walk down East Capitol. Look north. Look south. Cranes as far as the eye can see. The same can be said for South Capitol, looking both east and west. 

However, growth comes with growing pains. It is not enough to solve current problems. We must also find ways to prepare for the future and prevent issues before they arise.

One way to do that is to take a holistic approach to governing: looking at the big picture and seeing how everything is connected. Everyone has their own priorities. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as each promotes a common goal.

The goal for Ward 6 and for the District as a whole should be fostering a strong, thriving community where everyone who wants to live in DC, who dreams of working here, and who seeks to make it his or her home can.

I do not believe our current elected officials are making this a reality. They focus on their own pet projects that benefit a select few. They listen to only those who think the way they do. They only legislate in the present and do not consider how the new laws may impact future growth.

It is time for another voice on the Council. I don’t have all the answers. Nor do I claim to. But I have a different perspective. Another way to look at problems and propose more efficient and effective solutions.

My priority is community. Black, white, gay, straight, old, young, DC is yours. Whether your roots are already established or they are just being planted, you should not have to choose between DC or the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Whether it's housing, public safety, education, or business, DC should not make it any more difficult to raise a family or grow a business.

To get there, we must ensure: