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Steve Donkin, Candidate for the Statehood-Green Nomination for Mayor
May 2002

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Steve Donkin is a seven-year resident of Washington, D.C. and a homeowner in the Shaw neighborhood.

Steve was active in both the D.C. Statehood Party and D.C. Green Party prior to the merger of the two parties in 1999. He served for a year on the steering committee of the D.C. Statehood Green Party. Steve has worked with numerous local coalitions on issues such as:

  • keeping D.C. General Hospital open and advocating for universal health care;
  • fighting budget cuts at the University of the District of Columbia;
  • opposing city efforts to give public parkland in Ward 8 to a for-profit prison corporation;
  • maintaining affordable housing and rent control;
  • restoring curbside recycling;
  • advocating for more bicycle-friendly community development;
  • ensuring public input on criminal sentencing reform;
  • supporting cafeteria workers' right to organize at Georgetown University and hotel workers' right to organize in Alexandria, Virginia;
  • and opposing gentrification resulting from publicly funded projects such as the Convention Center in Shaw and commercial development in Columbia Heights.

Steve has also worked in local organizing efforts supporting national events such as the April 16, 2000 protests at World Bank/IMF meetings, the September 30, 2001 march against the war in Afghanistan, and the ongoing campaign to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. He has for several years been a volunteer at the Washington Peace Center and has contributed numerous articles to the Washington Peace Letter on local and national issues.

Steve's local community activities include volunteer work for D.C. public schools, including an annual Christmas tree sale to raise money for school improvements and serving as judge for student science fairs. Steve was a founding member of the Stand Up! for Democracy in D.C. Coalition, formed in 1997 in response to the congressionally imposed D.C. Revitalization Act, which severely limited home rule; he remains an active member in the coalition.

Steve was a ward coordinator and one of the leading signature gatherers in the campaign to put Initiative 59 on the ballot to allow access of the terminally ill to medical marijuana. D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed the initiative in 1998, but it remains unimplemented due to a prohibition mandated by Congress in the annual D.C. appropriations bill.

In 2000 and 2001, Steve was put on trial—twice—by the U.S. government as one of the D.C. Democracy Seven, who stood up in the House of Representatives to cast D.C. residents' vote against the undemocratic meddling of Congress in our local budget appropriation process. The defendants were finally found "not guilty" by a jury of fellow D.C. residents.

Steve was born and raised in New Jersey, and lived for ten years in Atlanta, Georgia, prior to coming to D.C. In Atlanta, he worked as a science researcher and teacher as well as a community organizer during the 1980s. Steve was active in campaigns which relaxed the city's restrictive voter registration laws, advocated for affordable housing, pushed for university disinvestment from corporations doing business in apartheid South Africa, and opposed the Gulf War in Iraq. Steve holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Georgia Tech, where he was a founding member of the student environmental organization, and has worked for the past seven years in science consulting on issues of human and environmental health related to chemical pollution. He is currently obtaining certification to teach science in D.C. public schools.

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