Facing a so-far sleepy general election race, mayoral hopeful David Catania headed back to school Sunday.
After meeting with supporters to launch a “Public School Parents for Catania” effort and delaying a press conference for 20 minutes so a lone TV cameraman could show up, Catania touted his achievements running the D.C. Council’s education committee to a crowd of about two dozen outside Capitol Hill’s Cesar Chavez Public Charter School.
In his speech, Catania talked up his slate of education bills. In comparison, Catania said, rival Muriel Bowser can’t tout much in terms of education-related legislative efforts.
“She’s made promises year after year that education would be her top priority, and she has yet to produce a single proposal on the subject,” Catania said.
Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff didn’t respond to LL’s request for comment. Bowser isn’t expected to face Catania in any debates until September.
Public School Parents for Catania co-chair Alice Speck said she decided to back Catania after hosting other mayoral candidates in her house. “One candidate clearly rose above the rest in presenting a comprehensive understanding of the current state of our school system from top to bottom,” Speck said.
The group, which the campaign is backing with branded yard signs, bumper stickers, and T-shirts (complete with a cartoon schoolhouse on the shoulder) aims to sign up 1,000 parents whose children are in D.C. public schools before the November election. By then, Catania hopes his rival will have faced more pressure on her own education positions.
“We both have records,” Catania said. “I have a record of keeping promises. I have a record of delivering. She will then, sooner or later, be asked to defend her record.”
Photo by Will Sommer