In race for council chairman, who is Mr. Economic Development?
In the race for D.C. Council chairman, who can claim the title of Mr. Economic Development?
It's a question that seems sure to surface often as council member Kwame Brown (D-At Large) and former council member Vincent Orange compare records in their Democratic primary contest to succeed Vincent C. Gray.
Sitting side by side at an election forum Wednesday night hosted by the progressive group, D.C. for Democracy, Brown and Orange made their respective pitches: Brown as a fighter for the voiceless who has held developers accountable for their promises and Orange as a mature, experienced legislator who helped bring development to Ward 5, an area of the city he represented for two terms.
"I am Mr. Economic Development," Orange said, flagging his role in bringing
a Home Depot and Giant grocery store to the ward. "I was there before Mr.
Brown ever came to the council."
For his part, Brown stressed his citywide record as chairman of the
council's Economic Development Committee. As important as attracting new businesses,
he said, is holding companies to their promises to hire District residents
and negotiating appropriate tax incentives.
"I'm not Mr. Giveaway," Brown said.
Brown and Orange also presented something of a stylistic contrast to
the crowd of about 80 people from D.C. for Democracy, whose members will vote to endorse candidates in local races later this month. Orange kept his suit jacket on while Brown went jacketless, his shirtsleeves rolled up as they spoke in an 11th-floor conference room at the Judiciary Square building.
June 2, 2010; 9:06 PM ET
Categories: 2010 District Election , Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council
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