Statement from Ed L - IN FAVOR - regarding Resolution ER9: Endorse Zachary Parker
Dear Metro DC DSA comrades,
I am excited to support Zachary Parker’s endorsement for the Ward 5 DC Council seat.
With Zachary, we have a great chance to strengthen the base on the DC Council that champions Democratic Socialist values. As the MDCDSA-endorsed candidate for the at-large DC Council seat in 2020, I understand the great impact that this endorsement can make. I have known Zachary since endorsing his race for State Board of Education in 2018. I am impressed by his commitment to equity, his genuine desire to connect with and help people, his principled approach to public policy, his energy, and his strategic skills.
I also have seen that Zachary seeks input and constructive feedback extremely well – listening carefully and incorporating advice without defensiveness. I think that trait will enable MDC DSA to work closely with Zachary during his campaign and as an elected member of the DC Council. Zachary has taken bold positions on the State Board of Education to promote equity in our school system. He lead an SBOE effort to oppose the closing of Washington Metropolitan school, worked to shape the school rating system to focus more on school climate than on test scores – and to abolish the star rating system that reinforces inequity – and stood with teachers to oppose Mayor Bowser’s plan to reopen schools before a vaccine was approved.
I know that Zachary will take similarly bold and principled positions to fight for Democratic Socialist policies on the DC Council. He has embraced the Defund MPD goals to reduce policing in DC – including reducing the size of the police force – and shifting to a community investment approach to public safety. Rather than hiding from this issue on the campaign trail, Zachary has worked to communicate with reluctant voters that the current police-centered approach is not keeping us safe, that it is in fact harming Black and brown residents, and that addressing the oppression in Black and brown communities is the path to community safety.
Zachary also will be a champion for an assertive housing policy that puts tenants first and that fights to stop displacement. He fully supports the Reclaim Rent Control platform, has opposed closing tent encampments and the dissolution of eviction prevention assistance. He stresses the need for deeply affordable housing, and he understands and champions important social housing models like community land trusts.
The Ward 5 primary is a critically important race. The other leading candidates include the former Chamber of Commerce head and an ally of Mayor Bowser. Endorsements will matter, especially those that can bring a large volunteer base. An MDC DSA endorsement of Zachary Parker will signal that he is the preferred candidate among equity-focused residents.
Metro DC DSA member since 2019