When it comes to the lowest paid, the likely mayoral candidates are only a few dollars apart. Tommy Wells wants a minimum wage of $10.25. Muriel Bowser wants a commission on what the wage should be; Vince Gray wants more study. Omari Musa, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor, has a slightly grander plan.
“We think we can’t move forward as human beings without getting rid of the dog-eat-dog system called capitalism,” says Musa, a 69-year-old self-described “industrial worker” originally from New Orleans.
Musa came in dead last among candidates on the mayoral ballot in 2010, hundreds of votes behind trumpet-playing perennial candidate Faith and White House party crasher Carlos Allen. Undeterred, he’s trying again this time around.
Some of Musa’s campaign items—-he’s pro-choice and pro-statehood—-wouldn’t look out of place at a Ward 3 Democrats meeting. Others, like supporting the imprisoned Cuban Five and demanding that the U.S. withdraw from South Korea, might be generously described as outside a mayor’s purview. On the more mundane issues facing the District, Musa says he’s in favor for marijuana legalization and opposed the Large Retailer Accountability Act on the grounds that it would divide the working class.
Musa also does his opponents one better on corporate contributions. While Wells won’t accept contributions from companies, Musa wants to make sure they aren’t even around to make those contributions.
“No corporation’s going to give money to the Socialist Workers Party, who are for the elimination of corporations,” Musa says.
Photo courtesy Omari Musa