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Well, it’s out in the open now.
A draft committee that was possibly the worst-kept secret in local politics in recent weeks has revealed itself today, in a press release and Web site urging Clark E. Ray, recently fired Department of Parks and Recreation director, to run for an at-large council seat.
“We believe that Clark Ray as a member of the DC Council will serve based on his dynamic VISION for what our City can become,” the release reads. “He is someone who has proven that he is a man of ACTION and that he can get RESULTS.”
The author of the release is Peter Rosenstein, the longtime gay activist who was once Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s most vocal supporter in the GLBT community. The draft committee list of more than 80 names includes a number of folks active in gay-and-lesbian politics (Darrin Glymph, Lane Hudson, Sheila Alexander Reid), some neighborhood activist types (Cary Silverman, Jack Jacobson, Laurie Collins), and a few political wild cards (Adam Clampitt, Neil Richardson, Judith Terra, Jacque Patterson, Cora Masters Barry).
Also notable: The list includes at least two of Ray’s former employees at parks-and-rec—-John Stokes, the agency’s communications director, and Michele Molotsky, the former aide to Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans who runs senior programs for the agency.
Unmentioned in the release is whether they want Ray, who is gay, to run as a Democrat (i.e., against Phil Mendelson) or as an independent (i.e., against David A. Catania, or someone else should Catania decide not to run). The former possibility is widely considered to be more likely. But in either case, having a significant element of the gay political community going out on a limb against either of those sitting members—-two of the council’s most GLBT-friendly—-is notable.
As for Ray, he’s playing coy. LL first asked him about the rumors, and last week the Blade’s Lou Chibbaro Jr. further pressed him. “I would think it would be foolish to rule out anything,” Ray told Chibbaro. “I am flattered that there are those that think I am a viable individual to consider for Council at some point in time in the next two years or whatever. D.C. is my home. I’m going to be here forever. I think I’m young at 45. I plan on being around for a while. So I certainly wouldn’t rule anything out.”
UPDATE, 9:45 A.M.: LL got Rosenstein on the horn; “Clark is a Democrat and will run when he announces as a Democrat,” he confirms. So why go after Mendo? “I personally want to thank Phil Mendelson for all he has done for our city and for introducing GLBT legislation. But I personally…believe these are not lifetime positions, that you need new blood, new ideas, and need someone who is ready to re-energize the council. While I personal want to thank Phil for all he’s done, it think it’s time for someone new.” He adds, “This is not totally about GLBT issues. I think there are a broad spectrum of issues that need to be dealt with in this city,” naming “crime initiatives, education reform initiatives.”
Full release after jump.
Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee Formed
We are pleased to announce the formation of the Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee.
We believe that Clark Ray as a member of the DC Council will serve based on his dynamic VISION for what our City can become. He is someone who has proven that he is a man of ACTION and that he can get RESULTS.
Clark Ray has a record of service to people second to no one who has ever run for the Council in the District of Columbia. In his career he has worked for the people of our nation and our City and has a history of hard work and accomplishment. His VISION for our City includes ensuring that we provide opportunities to all and work to make sure that everyone can reach the full potential of their innate abilities.
Clark Ray has spent the last nine years crisscrossing our City serving the needs of people. He has been out five days a week in communities and neighborhoods both East and West of the river making sure that people are served by their government. We know Clark Ray will be the kind of Councilmember who will come to you, knock on your door, and ask what you need to make your life better, and then work to make it happen.
We ask you to join with us to make sure that Clark Ray knows the wide-spread support there is for him in communities and neighborhoods across the District. We urge everyone to go to our website, www.ClarkRay4Council.com, to learn more about Clark Ray and understand why his record of service and his VISION for the future of our City compels us to support him.
Sign up and join the draft committee and let Clark Ray know how you will volunteer, contribute and work to elect him when he announces that he is a candidate. We know that when elected Clark Ray will be working for all of us 24/7.
Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee (in formation)
Linda Adams and Jonathan Greenblatt
Warren S. Arbogast
Sarah Blunt Barnett
Cora Masters Barry
Kim L.E. Bell
Marsha and Carlos Botts
James A. D’Orta, MD
Dorothy B. Ford
Anthoula P. Gianniotis, RA
Everett E. Hamilton, Jr.
Edith S. Harriet
Charlene Hamilton and Georgette Walker
Karen Homes and Howard Sargent
Angela Jones and Donna Broderick
John J. Klenert
Mike Lawson and Jerry Maready
Tamara Wilds Lawson
Brian E. Markowski and David Gilmer
Kevin Nourse, PhD.
Mustafa P. Ostrander
Greg and Candace Rhett
Sheila Alexander Reid
Peter D. Rosenstein
Douglas J. Ward, MD
Charles and Kimberly Young
Raenelle Humbles Zapata, Esq.