Carolyn Steptoe speaks on issues affecting Ward 5 and the city at large.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2006 Election Results DC Statehood Green Candidate

Candidate / % of vote / number of votes received

Chris Otten, Mayor / 4% / 4,554
Ann Wilcox, At Large / 7% / 11,444
Carolyn Steptoe, City Council Ward 5 / 8% / 1,169
Keith Ware, Representative / 13% / 12,762
Joyce Robinson-Paul, Senator / 14% / 14,362
Laurent Ross, School Board President / 4% / 4,751
Marc Borbley, School Board District 3 / 19% / 4,987

Friday, January 19, 2007

Carolyn Steptoe honorable mentions....

Jul 14 2006, 05:57 PM
I asked Carolyn Steptoe what what separates her from the other candidates?What will be her major focus to improve Ward 5? Here is Carolyn Steptoe's response:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Historic Designation: Carolyn Steptoe and Washington Post Article Reiterate Same Problems ....

The front page of Thursday's Metro section (Thu, 12/21/06) contains a compelling article (with very compelling photos) of an elderly "frail couple" being impacted by historic designation (see article below).

The husband and wife are in their late 80s and own their home in Mount Pleasant. They have owned their home over 45 years; Mt. Pleasant was designated 'historic' in 1987.

In effect, the article speaks to concerns and issues resulting from historic designation, namely potential displacement, infringement on propertyowners' rights and community divisiveness. Suggested also is the impact when community knowledge or involvement about HD is not sought. "A vocal minority pushes through these historic designations and then everyone suffers the consequences."

As an outspoken opponent of efforts to designate the Brookland neighborhood "historic," this article reiterates the chilling reality I articulated in 2005, namely that historic designation is financially and unduly burdensome to propertyowners, esp. to the elderly, seniors and persons on fixed income. Also to note: there appears to be a wider citywide discussion about historic designation; Fisher's article is a current topic on such blogs as "Free" and ""

Very kind regards and Happy Holidays,

Carolyn C. Steptoe (pardon typos)


Putting Home's Appearance Ahead of Helping Frail Couple By Marc Fisher Thursday, December 21, 2006; B01

Cornelius and Merry Lucas have lived in their rowhouse in Mount Pleasant for 46 years, and they'd like to finish their run right there, if the District government deigns to permit that.

At 88 and 86, respectively, the Lucases can't manage the stairs anymore, so they've moved into their basement, which opens onto the back alley. Their son, Richard, determined not to put them in a nursing home, hired an architect who came up with plans to cut through the front porch and install a ramp from the sidewalk down into the basement.

But Mount Pleasant, developed in the early 1900s with rowhouses for the federal government's burgeoning workforce, was declared a historic district in 1987, and that means the Lucases need permission from the city before they can alter the front of their house.

Permission denied.

"Repeating porches of similar height and depth create a notable pattern and rhythm on these formerly suburban streets," the city's architectural historian, Tim Dennee, wrote in recommending that the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board deny the Lucases' request. The board agreed, ruling that it was more important to maintain the "rhythm" of a long line of identical porches along Walbridge Place NW than to let an aging couple stay in their own home.

"There is no exception for medical disability in the historic preservation rules," says Fay Armstrong, president of Historic Mount Pleasant, a nonprofit group devoted to maintaining what it calls "the integrity of our neighborhood."

"The porches and fronts of the houses," Armstrong says, "are what give the neighborhood its character."

No, says Richard Lucas, what gives a place character is the people who live there, people such as Cornelius, an upholsterer who served at Guadalcanal in World War II, and Merry, a nurse in the District for 40 years. Their son seeks only to let them stay in their house, get some sunlight from a new window and door, and have a second way out of their house in the event of fire.

Lucas, a retired Metro manager who lives in Greenbelt, grew up in this house and feels attached to it, but the idea that it is historic strikes him as ludicrous. Built in 1932, the Lucas place is a typical, small rowhouse with a tiny patch of green in the front and a granite retaining wall that is all of two stones high, but which the city says it must protect.

"The city chose bricks and mortar over the health and welfare of the residents," Lucas says. "I grew up here; I want it to look more than well-kept. I want it to be a fine property."

"The historic preservation process tends to turn into the aesthetics police," says Jack McKay, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who showed me a series of Mount Pleasant houses where preservation proponents fought against residents who wanted to let more light into dark rowhouses, or open a doorway into their basement, or replace the neighborhood's typical concrete stairs with more attractive and expensive stone steps. "A vocal minority pushes through these historic designations and then everyone suffers the consequences."

Sadly, preservation, a cause that should be all about discerning what's truly noteworthy from our past, has become a weapon in neighborhood battles over development and racial and economic change.

In Mount Pleasant, the Lucas family has seen the neighborhood change in ways both welcoming and unsettling. In 1960, when the Lucases moved to Walbridge Place, they were only the second black family on the block. After the 1968 riots and the resulting white flight, the area became mostly black. Now, under pressure from starkly rising prices, the mix of races and classes has shifted again, and the Lucases are the last black family on the block.

Richard Lucas worries that strict enforcement of preservation rules favors the affluent -- those who can afford the expensive, elaborate solutions that preservationists suggest to modernize old houses without changing their look.

Armstrong agrees that blocks like the Lucases' "were mass-produced rowhouses for the middle class," but she believes preservation can work in neighborhoods of any economic class. "We're not trying to run people out because they're immigrants or elderly," she says. "It's about maintaining the architectural character of the neighborhood."

What Richard Lucas wants to maintain is his parents' quality of life. "I wanted to get this project going while Mom and Pop are alive," he says. "But to fight the city even more would be taking money from the project to pay legal fees. It's wrong: The city needs to be reined in. People have to see that social needs are more important than architecture."

Join me at noon today for "Potomac Confidential" at

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Election Results

Candidate Votes Percent Winner

Tontalya Terceiro Wright ((I)) 0 0%
Carolyn Steptoe ((SG)) 1,169 8%
Miriam Moore ((I)) 590 4%
Tommy Thomas, Jr. ((D)) 12,119 86% X
Tontalya Wright ((I)) 232 2%

City Council - Ward 5 (17 of 18 precincts - 94 percent)
Tommy Thomas - Dem (86%)
Carolyn Steptoe - DCG (8%)
Miriam Moore - Ind (4%)
Tontalya Wright - Ind (2%)

"With low turnout, voters return Democratic status quo to Council
Courtney Mabeus, The Examiner, Nov 8, 2006 2:00 AM

WASHINGTON - District voters delivered no real surprises or upsets for Council seats Tuesday, sticking to the status quo on a relatively quiet Election Day.

Lines were short at many precincts during the morning, with waits less than 10 minutes in precincts in Ward 1 and Ward 6, according to reports.

With an election season focused largely on the mayor’s race, there will also be three new faces on the Council in January.

In D.C., where about 285,000 of the 387,000 registered voters are Democrats, much was already decided by the Sept. 12 primary.

In Ward 3, Democrat Mary Cheh received 71 percent of the vote to replace outgoing Democratic Council member Kathy Patterson, who gave up her seat to run for Council chair.

In Ward 5, Democrat Harry “Tommy” Thomas took 85 percent of the vote to handily beat out a challenge from Statehood Green candidate Carolyn Steptoe and write-in independent Miriam Moore. ..."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Washington Post Candidate Link (photo and bio)

Washington Post Candidate Link - Local 2006 Elections

Vote-USA "Connecting Voters With Their Candidates"

After Primary: "losing candidate..." "... said he entered race simply because he didn't want Steptoe to win"

Statehood Greens Hope To Fill Void
By Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 2, 2006; DZ03
They make up just 1.3 percent of registered voters in the District, so D.C. Statehood Green Party members say they know they face an uphill battle in winning local elections.
But that hasn't stopped them from entering five candidates on this year's general election ballot and pushing hard for issues at the core of the party's platform, such as the city's battle to obtain voting rights in Congress.
"I think that's where we really stand out," said Ann C. Wilcox, who is running as the party's at-large council nominee. "The Democrats have really abandoned the issue.
"In a city where almost three-quarters of registered voters are Democrats, the Statehood Greens have a hard time setting themselves apart. The party was formed in 1999 when the Statehood Party, which was founded in 1971 by home-rule activist Julius Hobson Sr., merged with the local chapter of the Green Party.
Generally occupying political real estate to the left of center, Statehood Greens portray themselves as champions of working-class Washingtonians. Members of the party have been vocal opponents of public financing of the new ballpark for the Washington Nationals and frequently testify at hearings advocating for more affordable housing and health care for low-income residents -- issues that have resonated with voters this year.
But as hot as these issues have been this election season, the Statehood Green Party candidates haven't attracted much attention.
The primary contest for the Ward 5 seat on the D.C. Council exposed the party's organizational woes.
Philip Blair Jr., a longtime Statehood party member, lost the Statehood Green primary to Carolyn C. Steptoe. Blair said he entered the race simply because he didn't want Steptoe to win. The two Brookland residents have been on opposite sides of a neighborhood issue.
"I had never seen her active in the Statehood Green party before," Blair said. "She was obviously using us opportunistically."
Local election officials also haven't helped matters, Blair said.
According to Blair, 140 voters from the Statehood Green party showed up at the polls in Ward 5 but only 89 votes were counted. Steptoe received 40 votes, Blair got 33 votes and 16 names were written in.
Blair has questioned what happened to the 51 ballots unaccounted for in the official tally. He said he has found similar disparities between Republicans who showed up to the polls and the number of party ballots cast.
Elections board officials said they were investigating, but they speculate that some Statehood Greens and Republicans might have gotten Democratic ballots.In addition to Steptoe, the party has four nominees on the general election ballot: Wilcox, shadow senator nominee Joyce Robinson-Paul, shadow representative Keith R. Ware and mayoral nominee Chris Otten. ..."

Mystery in Green party votes solved
Michael Neibauer, The Examiner
Oct 25, 2006 2:00 AM (10 days ago)
Current rank: Not ranked
WASHINGTON - Dozens of “missing” votes from the Ward 5 Statehood Green primary are likely to be found in illegitimate Democratic Party ballots, according to the Board of Elections and Ethics.
Philip Blair, the losing Statehood Green candidate in the Ward 5 D.C. Council primary, is too late to challenge what he claims were voting irregularities at the polls, but the elections board is moving forward with an investigation nevertheless.

The board certified only 89 votes in the Party’s Sept. 12 Ward 5 primary. Blair lost to Carolyn Steptoe 40-33, with the remaining 16 writing in another name.
But Blair claims 140 Statehood Green Party voters actually signed in at the polls, leaving 51 ballots unaccounted for. And it is “sheer rotten incompetence” that the board failed to properly certify every vote, he said. ...." Examiner

Monday, October 16, 2006

Carolyn Steptoe's Comcast Inteview

Thursday, October 5, 2006 Comcast interview.

Click the link below or copy and paste into browser:

Beginning October 20, 2006, can view on Comcast cable "On Demand." Select "Get Local;" select "Candidates on Demand."

Carolyn Steptoe Interviewed on DC Politics Hour w/Kojo Nmandi

Taped segment of Friday, October 6, 2006 discussion with the Ward 5 candidates vying in November's general election.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Carolyn Steptoe's Video Interview (Comcast - Thu, 10/5/06)

"I will bring an independent voice to the council that speaks out for the residents of Ward 5. I won't be beholden to any special interest group or any campaign contributions. I'm running a grassroots campaign that is people-oriented and people-based.

If elected, I will work hard to do everything in my power to ensure development is done for the benefit of our community and not at their expense."

Click the link below to see interview (or copy and paste into your browser):

Let's Make Ward 5 Election History

On Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Make Ward 5 Election History
Democrat, Republican, Independent and Statehood Party Members VOTE

Carolyn has a proven record of commitment and hardwork on behalf of the Ward 5 residents in battling special interests and government initiatives that are contrary to interests of the Ward 5 community.

Carolyn will bring to the council compassion, empathy and genuine public service that demands all residents of Ward 5 share equitably in the city’s growing prosperity.
Carolyn will work tirelessly to improve the quality of education (including adult and vocational education) and recreation facilities.

Carolyn will demand that development not be at the expense of long-term citizens who wish to remain in our community.

Carolyn will insist upon clean, beautiful and environmentally-safe neighborhoods, crime reduction, workforce training, access to healthcare facilities and that our senior citizens are safe in their homes and neighborhoods.

Carolyn will work with civil, religious and private sector groups to bring to bear community resources to help our neighborhoods achieve their maximum potential.

Carolyn Steptoe "certified" winner in DC Statehood Green Party Primary

Thomas will face Steptoe for council

Thomas will face Steptoe for council
Scott McCabe, The Examiner
Sep 13, 2006 5:00 AM (10 days ago)
Current rank: # 1,024 of 4,956 articles

WASHINGTON - Harry Thomas Jr. won an 11-candidate Democratic primary for Ward 5 council Tuesday.Thomas Jr., 45, earned 41.8 percent of the vote. The candidate with the next highest votes, Frank Wilds, received 15.2 percent.Thomas Jr. will face Carolyn C. Steptoe, of the Statehood Green party. Steptoe defeated Philip Blair Jr. in the Statehood Green primary Tuesday, earning 42.5 percent.The Ward 5 seat became open when Council Member Vincent Orange, who was up for re-election this year, decided to run for mayor instead of a third term.The ward covers much of Northeast Washington, including the critical New York Avenue corridor. Neighborhoods include Brentwood, Fort Lincoln, Eckington, Trinidad and Bloomingdale. The ward’s median household income was $34,000 in 2000. Examiner