Which, as always, should be seen as an indication of how I’ll probably vote… Anyway, since lots of D.C. residents are voting early this year, there’s no time like the present to fire off some endorsements. One thing I’m going to do this year for some positions is list how I would vote if we had ranked choice voting (RCV)–which is something D.C. should adopt. Note that there are some positions on the D.C. ballot that I’m not particularly interested in, so I didn’t endorse anyone (the shadow positions don’t really do much). Here we go…
President/Vice-President of the United States: Joseph R. Biden/Kamala D. Harris. Yes, they’ll win D.C. no matter what, but the larger the popular vote margin, the more pressure there will be limit Republican vote counting chicanery. This is actually one of those few times where your presidential vote in a landslide state can make a (small) difference. No, they’re not awesome, but we need to stop the bleeding–and do you really want Trump in charge of vaccine distribution?
U.S. House of Representatives: Eleanor Holmes Norton. She’s the most likely to get D.C. statehood through, and she’s not bad at bringing home the boodle considering she lacks a vote.
At-Large Member of the Council (vote for 2): Ed Lazere and Robert White. Lazere has been a stalwart progressive as the long-time Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. He has thought a lot about what is good policy, and how to get that policy enacted, with a particular focus on housing and transportation. White has been a good at-large council member, and has cast good votes on the whole. That said, Christina Henderson would be good, though you wouldn’t know that from the way she has run her campaign. If we had RCV, I would vote Lazere first, White second, and Henderson third.
Ward 2 Member of the Council: Randy Downs. For me, one of the key things I look at in local elections is do they live like I (and many others) do? In Minneapolis, when renters were elected to the city council, their housing policies improved dramatically. Randy Downs is a renter with solid transportation and housing policies, and that’s what I’m really looking for in the Ward 2 representative, unlike current council member Brooke Pinto. If we had RCV, I would vote Downs first, Martín Miguel Fernández second, and Peter Bolton third.
At-large Member of the State Board of Education: Mysiki Valentine. This is a hard choice, as both Ravi Perry and Valentine are very good. I like Perry’s platform a bit more, but Valentine would be very good and he has institutional support Perry lacks (he’s certainly put in the work to gain that support–respect the hustle). If we had RCV, I would vote Perry first, Valentine second, and be happy with either of them; since we don’t have RCV, I’m voting Valentine.
Ward 2 member of the State Board of Education: James Harnett. None of the candidates really appeal to me. Candidates that think we can make teacher evaluation better or who emphasize more tech in the classroom aren’t what I think we should be focused on, so this endorsement is more an ‘endorsement by subtraction’ than anything else.
If you do vote early, you can track your ballot here, by the way