Charles Allen for Ward 6
Ward 6 Councilmember in DC http://www.charlesallenward6.com/
1530 D Street, NE
Primary Election Date: 2014-04-01 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
My wife, Jordi Hutchinson, and I live with our daughter, Cora Neal, and our dog, Olive, at 15th and D Streets, NE.
For over a decade, I've worked in Ward 6 neighborhoods - helping bring about school reforms, working with small businesses, and improving our community. My years of public service to Ward 6 mean I know and understand neighborhood issues like no one else.
I began my career in the District as a graduate fellow with the federal Department of Heath and Human Services to work on expanding community-based health options across the nation. I quickly understood that to make true change I needed to return to my roots working at the local and community level. So I began my service to the District as policy director for the DC Primary Care Association, where I helped bring about legislative, budget, and policy changes that expanded health care options for almost every DC resident. Two of my signature efforts – bringing physicians, dentists, nurses and other healthcare providers to medically underserved communities and creating a District-owned captive insurance company to provide free and low-cost medical malpractice insurance to non-profit providers – remain a vital part of the city’s health care safety net nearly a decade after I helped create them.
At the same time, I helped found DC for Democracy and served as Chair of the organization to bring a needed voice for progressive priorities and social justice issues facing the city. Today, DC for Democracy is a leading voice in the city.
These experiences led me to become an elected delegate for the District at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, and later serve as President of the Ward 6 Democrats. Ultimately, I served as chief of staff to Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, a position I held since Wells first took office in 2007.
I graduated from Washington and Lee University and received a masters degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to my local political activism managing Wells’ successful Ward 6 campaigns, I have been involved in progressive national campaigns.
Why am I running?
I am running for Ward 6 DC Council to make sure our neighborhoods can always be called home. I believe Ward 6 is special, and I'm fighting hard every day to make it an even better place to live, work, and play. My history of Ward 6 service shows I already have a record of accomplishment in our neighborhoods and am ready to continue our tradition of effective leadership at the Council.
I believe Ward 6 can be a model for the city. We are the largest ward in the city and one that celebrates a great diversity of people and neighborhoods, unified by a shared vision of our future. As the next Ward 6 Councilmember, I will make a priority to build upon the success of our neighborhood elementary schools to tackle middle school reforms; to fight for new ideas that keep residents in their homes as they age in their neighborhoods; to ensure affordable housing isn’t an afterthought, but is a starting point in the conversation; and to continue the growth of our small businesses and entrepreneurs that become the backbone and job creators in our communities.
I believe a strong Ward 6 means 1) building great schools at every level, with a focus on great middle schools; 2) creating and preserving family-based affordable housing; and 3) helping seniors stay in their homes and neighborhoods by building an age-friendly community.
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL AND A FOCUS ON OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Great neighborhoods have great schools from early education and pre-K through high school. I’m proud of our work with parent and school communities, as Ward 6 elementary schools have led the way for school reform. Our work is not done yet and I will also take the same energy – and urgency – to transform our middle schools. With a $98 million renovation, and one of the best principals on the East Coast, Eastern High School is on the right track to return as a school of choice. But it’s the bridge between elementary and high school that will determine our success at reforming the school system, preparing students to succeed, and instilling the confidence of our parents.
CREATING AND PRESERVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Not enough focus has been placed on creating family-based affordable housing. To help protect and preserve the diversity of our communities, we must put a focus on growing affordable housing that can serve families, not just individuals with new studio apartments and one-bedrooms. Successful projects like the Ellen Wilson Dwellings and Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Housing Redevelopment in Southeast prove we can do it when we don’t make affordable housing an afterthought. I want to push for more creative solutions to ensure new development projects include family-based affordable housing, and that we better preserve the housing that already exists. For the senior on a fixed income, or the family still struggling to make ends meet, our neighborhoods have to be a place that everyone can call home.
AGE-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS THAT SENIORS CONTINUE TO CALL HOME
The District is keeping and attracting seniors, boomers and empty nesters at a growing rate. And it’s not surprising why; the city is a great place to live, work and retire. But making sure older residents can continue to call their neighborhood home requires hard work. Working with civic organizations such as Capitol Hill Village and others, I will fight for an age-friendly city that creates an accessible environment with neighborhood-based healthcare. Our shared commitment must be a long-term quality of life that supports successful aging and keeps all residents a vibrant and active part of our community.
My DFA Values
I’ve made building and protecting a strong safety net, especially for our most vulnerable neighbors, a priority in my career. Everyone deserves a city that looks out for one another; especially the lost and left behind. As policy director for the DC Primary Care Association, I worked to reform health care in the city by expanding access to primary and hospital care for the uninsured and strengthened the network of health clinics across our city. I brought innovative programs to the District to place doctors, nurses, dentists and mental health professionals in underserved neighborhoods. I believe DC shares that value to protect our all our neighbors and the city needs a leader that is committed to continuing reforms for a stronger safety net.
But we can't do any of that without a government we can believe in. On the Council, I will fight to end DC's pay-to-play political culture. Our elected leaders in the District have to stop being selfish, and start solving problems. Too many people talk about making a change, but talk isn’t enough. You have to be willing to make hard decisions and to lead by example. This is exactly what I’ve done and promise to continue to do on the Council. And in this campaign, I already live by the reforms I'm calling for and only accept contributions from individuals, because I want to see a name on every check and you deserve to as well.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Every campaign I've ever been part of has been strongly grassroots-oriented and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm humbled by the outpouring of volunteer support for my campaign and very proud of the diverse progressive endorsements I've received.
Our winning coalition includes the strongest progressive voices in DC, from Service Employees International Union to DC for Democracy, DC Chapter of the National Organization for Women to DC Sierra Club, Greater Greater Washington to Jews United For Justice Campaign Fund, to Councilmembers Tommy Wells and David Grosso.
Endorsements like these highlight the strong vision I have for our communities and my ability to build diverse coalitions to get the job done. My campaign shows I can bring people together to work for strong neighborhoods we can always call home.