Because of technical difficulties during the debate, Mr. Calvin Gurley was not able to complete participation in the debate. As a result, OCF has offered Mr. Gurley a chance to submit written responses to the debate questions.
Mr. Gurley is a candidate for the position of At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia.
Q1:There are 13 members on the council with varying backgrounds and life experiences. What perspective is missing on the council that you would bring?
Federal Government Auditor and Accountant. The Council is in great need of an Auditor to impose (and teach to other Council members) oversight authority over government operations.
I have 20 years as an auditor and accountant with the Department of Homeland Security – FEMA, the Controller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
I have served on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Housing. I am the former President of the Fairlawn Civic Association, S.E. and the Takoma Civic Association, N.W.
Q2:After the resignation of Jack Evans early this year, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said voters should be concerned about the council becoming less moderate and too quick to spend money. What is your response to his assessment.
- Renew the Council’s promise to additionally fund our public schools by giving a portion of D.C. Lottery Games sales revenue to DC PS.
- Halt the tax payer’s funding of the Mayor’s pet project – The 11th Street “Bridge –Park” development and force private funding for this elaborate and expensive toy.
- Suspend all funding for the H Street (Folly) Trolley Car System.
Q3:The D.C. Chief Financial Officer announced a shortfall of more than 200 million for the fiscal year. I will ask two questions regarding this shortfall regarding spending and taxation. First, what if areas in city government would you target for spending cuts?
- The 11th Street “Bridge –Park” development, very expensive $1.9 billion
- the H Street (Folly) Trolley Car System
Q4: Do you support raising the income tax on the highest earners? And what if any other measures should the council take to raise spending?
- Most importantly the D.C. Government needs to reduce WASTE, FRAUD and ABUSE in city’s operations, contracts, agencies’ programs and services and construction projects.
- The Government must have all U.S. House Members and U.S. Senators pay their property tax on homes they own in the District of Columbia.
- The Government must implore a moratorium on property assessment by assessing homeowners’ property every TWO years.
- This city budget is currently $14 billion. However, the city only needs $10 billion to efficiently operate- programs and services. I will find the waste, fraud and abuse in government operations to keep from raising taxes (annually) on hard working residents.
- Fairness First. All D.C. homeowners must pay their ‘fair share” of property tax based upon the annual property assessment being fair ‘assessed” to all through-out the eight WARDS. Then a decision would be made to “increase” tax on upper incomers.
Q5: Do you support further cuts to the D.C. Police budget? Yes or No.
a. Currently 2,700 for 750,000 residents – down from 4,200 for only 500,000 (2004) –NO
Q6: Do you support the decriminalization of sex work in the District? Yes or No.
Q7: Do you support ranked choice voting in the District of Columbia? Yes or No.
Q8: Mayor Muriel Bowser has repeatedly said that the District government does not have resources to meet the needs of everyone hurting financially because of the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, who should be the District’s top priority for financial pandemic relief?
From a truly responsible stand-point that I support…
a. Our children’s education (schools), development and recreation
b. Safe Streets…Police Department, EMS and Fire Department
c. Food, Health, medical services and housing
d. D.C. residence must decide should any remaining balance be used to bail out businesses.
Q9: Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana dispensaries, and if so, do you support the legislation proposed by Mayor Bowser?
Q10: Rate the performance of Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on a scale of 1-10.
a. Mr. Phil Mendelson …is no Honorable Chairman David Clarke.
Q11: Rate the performance of Mayor Muriel E Bowser on a scale of 1-10
a. Ms. Muriel Bowser …in no Honorable Marion Barry when it comes to:
- Residents NOT being employed by their own D.C. Government
- D.C. residents NOT being hired by developers with D.C. contracts
- Investing in all schools – especially additional funding for schools in high risk areas – students need to walk to their “competent” neighborhood school
- Informing and giving the investigative results of the two lynchings of Black Men in the District of Columbia in 2020.
- Inform residents that D.C. Water has abandoned their purchase of clean water from the U.S. Corps of Engineers – and now is recycling sewage and waste water as the new tap water that residents are now consuming.
Q12: Each voter can select two candidates for at-large seats. Who gets your second vote?
Q13: The D.C. Council recently passed temporary police reform legislation that requires prompt public disclosure of body camera footage in cases of deadly force and setting new standards for the use of deadly force. As the council prepares to pass a permanent version of this bill, what provisions would you like to see removed or added?
- Police officers are no longer protected by union agreement to delay (grace period) all testimony or reporting the event until 72 hours has elapsed.
- Police must receive additional training in culture awareness. .
- The Mayor and the Police Chief must immediately fill 1, 500 police officers positions within an12 months period.
- The Mayor and the Police Chief must immediately have 5,000 police officers on duty by mid 2022.
Q14: Did you support the District’s use of public financing for Nationals Park? And would you support similar public funding to bring the Washington Football team back to D.C.?
- I supported Chairman Linda Cropp’s decision.
- Public funding comes with the District Government having a financial (payable) investment in the team.
Q15: Mayor Bowser this week introduced legislation to reform the Certified Business Enterprise program which is meant to help local companies with preferences in contracting, but critics say has been abused by out-of-state and fraudulent companies. Do you think the program is working and do you support the legislation?
NO, the program has not been honored by local, out-of-state and “fraudulent” companies when they have not employed skilled and trained D.C. residents.
Q16: Would you support a first-in-the-nation proposal to require a doctor’s prescription to purchase e cigarettes as a smoking cessation device? Yes or No.
Q17: Would you support congestion pricing to reduce traffic and to encourage use of alternatives to cars? Yes or No.
Q18: Would you support tax on sugary drinks? Yes or No.
Q19: Support delaying extension of Streetcar into Benning Road. Yes or No.
Q20: Should we remove police from DC Public Schools?
The MPD should be policing the surrounding school grounds and the community. Police should control traffic around schools. But, be available when there is an urgent need in schools.