Who will you pick for DC Council at-large on April 23?

Michael Brown

Michael Brown was an at-large member of the DC Council as an indepdendent from 2007 through 2012, when he was defeated for reelection. He is now running as a Democrat. He is the son of former US Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and lives in Chevy Chase DC.

Question 9

We asked the candidates:

DC is moving towards implementing a number of changes to its zoning code. To that end, where do you stand on eliminating parking minimums near transit; allowing residents to rent out basements, garages, etc. in low-density areas; and allowing more neighborhood-serving retail in residential neighborhoods?

Michael Brown responded:

Zoning is a complicated and emotional subject. We all want to be in a city where the environment is clean as well as multi-modal. But a war on cars is not the answer. As sections if the city continue to be developed or redeveloped we must balance the needs of our residents. I have engaged in these zoning matters in the past, for example of the issues of the university campus plans. Where I have frequently taken the side of the surrounding neighborhoods and stood with the residents to oppose certain aspects of the growth plans. Engagement, communication with the community should always be part of any solution when dealing with zoning issues.

Here is how you rated the candidates' responses:

Question 8

We asked the candidates:

Last year DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said that DC schools are suffering from a "truancy crisis." The DC Council is now debating a bill that would increase penalties on parents for kids who chronically miss school. Should parents be held to account for when their kids miss school? How can DC ensure that students attend school consistently?

Unfortunately, Michael Brown did not respond to this question.

Question 7

We asked the candidates:

Below are a set of proposals for ethics reform which some have advocated in recent years. For each, would you vote for or against? Further, you can explain any position in more detail if you wish and offer any additional ethics measures you would advocate for.

  • Ban or limit outside employment
  • Eliminate or constrain constituent service funds
  • Ban corporate contributions to campaigns
  • Ban "bundling" from multiple entities controlled by same person
  • Ban contributions by contractors and/or lobbyists who do business with DC
  • Forbid free or discounted legal services, travel gifts, sports tickets for councilmembers

Michael Brown responded:

I will continue to be supportive of ethics reform , I voted for the most sweeping ethics reform bill/now law in the city's history. But that was just a first step, campaign finance reform must also happen. If we are truly committed to leveling the playing field , controlling or taking corporate dollars out of the system then pursuing my (for DC) idea of "public financing" of our elections.

Outside employment should not be banned, the issue is disclosure and transparency.

Constituent services fund is an important tool to help residents that need it. That's how I have always used it and will continue to if elected. Feel free to visit: www.michaelbrown2012 for more information.

Here is how you rated the candidates' responses:

Question 6

We asked the candidates:

Residents who walk and bicycle often feel our streets are not sufficiently safe for them. Others feel that projects to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians have impeded quality of life for those who must drive. Is there a way forward that can bring peace among all road users? What would you say to each of these groups?

Michael Brown responded:

As we continue to grow as a multi-transport city we must respect all types of transportation, whether u take metro/ride a bike/drive a car/moped/scooter/motorcycle/walk etc. Our streets are now not just for cars, we must share the road with respect. As I talk to drivers, I suggest that they be very alert and cognizant of our bikers/walkers/scooters users. Obey the bike lane rules and most important a car out weighs a bike. As I talk to bikers, I would suggest that they follow the rules of the road as well, that includes our messengers that we have all seen zipping in and out of traffic. Ultimately this multi-transport city that we now live in will improve our quality of life. Especially now that we have one of the worst if not the worst traffic congestion in the US. So let's all be more understanding and patient and respectful as our city continues to grow. Thank-you

Here is how you rated the candidates' responses:

Question 5

We asked the candidates:

What do you think the District should do with its $417 million surplus?

Michael Brown responded:

As Council-member I successfully advocated for years that any surplus dollars should be shared with the residents that need it the most. Understanding that some of the surplus dollars must go to the fund balance. I would fight for a percentage of those surplus dollars go to restoring the following programs: affordable housing initiatives (I was successful in restoring $50m in affordable housing programs over the last 2 years), job training programs (helped with the reform of DOES) and I would work with my colleagues as well as other stakeholders and advocacy groups to restore other safety-net related programs, that would positively impact our poor residents (TANF), our unemployed, our returning citizens, our seniors and our residents that have jobs that need real affordable/workforce housing as well as programs for our young people and the homeless. All of which I have been a champion/leader on these matters. I'm proud of my legislative record, I have made and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of our fellow residents. Thank-you.

Here is how you rated the candidates' responses:

Question 4

We asked the candidates:

Mayor Gray has set a goal of growing by 250,000 residents in 20 years. Previous mayors had similar goals. GMU studies suggest we need over 122,000 new housing units (each of which might hold multiple people) by 2030. How can and should the District accommodate this growth?

Unfortunately, Michael Brown did not respond to this question.

Question 3

We asked the candidates:

DC's education system has improved in recent years for many kids, but many schools remain inadequate to our children's needs. If you could design a better school system for DC, what would it look like? Would we have more teacher evaluations or fewer? More charter schools, fewer, or different ones? More or fewer kids going to local schools? How else would your school system differ from the one we have today?

Unfortunately, Michael Brown did not respond to this question.

Question 2

We asked the candidates:

Chief Lanier and Mayor Gray have made a lot of the drop in homicides, but other crimes — assaults, robberies — remain stubbornly high. How should DC police deal with those challenges, and do you have an opinion on how many officers MPD needs?

Unfortunately, Michael Brown did not respond to this question.

Question 1

We asked the candidates:

The District has changed a lot since 1993, and will likely change much more by 2033. What are 2-3 changes you hope to see by 2033, and how will electing you to the DC Council help bring them about?

Unfortunately, Michael Brown did not respond to this question.

Whats next

We will be asking the candidates more questions, and will post their responses to one question each week on Tuesday. In addition, after voting ends, we will analyze the results and post a summary of your reactions.

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