In the end, we came up a little short in this election.
With the latest results just released, I remain a few hundred votes behind the leading candidate and I no longer see a path to victory. I want to congratulate the other candidates on an energetic campaign that took place amid some extraordinarily trying circumstances. I look forward to working with the next Ward 2 Councilmember to make our community and our city more equitable, inclusive, and affordable.
Sadly, this wasn’t the Election Day we envisioned for another reason. Many voters were never able to make their voice heard in the Ward 2 Democratic primary – whether because of the failure of the Board of Elections to implement a fully functional vote-by-mail program, guarantee that every voter who followed the rules to request an absentee ballot got one, confirm that ballots that were mailed in on time were actually processed (like my wife’s), or provide adequate in-person voting capacity; or because of an arbitrary 7PM curfew in our city on a night when polls closed at 8PM; or because of military and law enforcement blockades of streets in the heart of Ward 2. Our election administrators and elected officials should not only call for audits and fixes, they must use their power and influence to enact concrete reforms to safeguard the fundamental right to vote.
Moving forward, in light of the results in the primary, I will also not be actively campaigning in the special election. If you’ve already voted for me or still plan to vote for me in the special election, I very much appreciate your support! But if you’d like to vote for another candidate at this point, I certainly understand.
Most importantly, I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. It’s pretty trite but it’s also true: this campaign wasn’t really about me. It was about the integrity of public service. Our elected officials should not be for sale to paying clients. Full stop. And everyone – young families, longtime residents, undocumented immigrants, our neighbors experiencing homelessness, and all those in between – should be able to afford to live and thrive here.
As many of you know, my great-great-grandfather came to DC more than 100 years ago as a Jewish immigrant with very little to his name. This city enabled him to not only survive, but to put his family on a path of extraordinary opportunity. For five generations, my family has benefited from all that this incredible, dynamic city has to offer. But as is clearer than ever in this moment, structural racial, health, and economic inequities continue to plague the District. I have been honored beyond anything I can possibly express that many of the organizations, leaders, and residents on the frontlines of the fight for equity – including the frontline workers keeping us all safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis – put their trust in me and supported this campaign.
I know that personally, I’m a very small part of this fight. I know that progress can be slow and halting. But I also know that, working together, we can and will succeed in “tikkun olam” – repairing the world.
Thank you again – for everything,