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Debby Hanrahan, Statehood-Green Party candidate for
Council Chairman in the
September 10, 2002, primary election
September 3, 2002

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For immediate release:
Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator
Debby Hanrahan, candidate for D.C. Council Chair


"D.C. needs a Council Chair who advocates for citizens first!" says Statehood Party veteran Hanrahan, stressing jobs, education, restoration of D.C. General Hospital, the Housing Trust Fund, and a fight against handouts for outside-D.C. big business

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Long time neighborhood activist Debby Hanrahan announced that she will compete for Chair of D.C. Council on the D.C. Statehood Green Party ticket. Statehood Green Party supporters will write in Hanrahan's name on the ballot during the September 10 primary in order to qualify her for the November 5 general election.

"The city needs a Council Chair who advocates for citizens first," said Hanrahan. "Under the leadership of the current Chair, the Council maintains little oversight over projects that have had or will have huge negative impacts on our neighborhoods and on the city's fiscal health." The Council Chair seat is currently held by Linda Cropp, who is seeking reelection.

"The Council either supports projects that provide taxpayer handouts to big developers and investors, or keeps quiet about them until it's too late," continued Hanrahan. "The Grand Prix races, the unsuccessful 2012 Olympic bid, and the mayor's pledge of up to $200 million in land and financing to build a baseball stadium are three cases in point. Council held
hearings on the Grand Prix only when it was too late to halt them; never held hearings on the Olympic bid which threatened low-income neighborhoods and the public purse; and has yet to go on record as opposing public funding of a stadium and in opposition to any stadium at Mt. Vernon Square."

Hanrahan also plans to advocate for a world-class public hospital on Reservation 13, the approximately 60 acres of federal land that will be transferred to the District government and that encompasses the site of the old D.C. General Hospital. All revenues that D.C. government obtains from sale or lease of land on Reservation 13 would be earmarked solely for a full-service public hospital. 

"We need to see that the $30 million in anticipated funds in the Housing Trust Fund is spent and not allowed to sit there, as has been the case under Mayor Williams," said Hanrahan. "We're in the midst of a housing and homeless crisis and I will see to it that this money is spent on low- and moderate-income housing that will revitalize our neighborhoods."

Hanrahan recalled the current moratorium on spending for all school supplies (from March to September this year) and said she intends "to work aggressively with those incumbents and new Council members who support full funding for the D.C. public schools' operating and capital budgets. I'll work to develop special education programs within the D.C. public school system, utilizing underenrolled and surplus school buildings while continuing to make special placements."

One of Hanrahan's goals is to increase from 51% to 76% the number of jobs that are required to go to D.C. citizens during sports, music and other events at RFK Stadium and the D.C. Armory. "My own informal surveys of workers at D.C. United and Washington Freedom soccer games indicate that there are many more Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia residents with jobs than there are D.C. residents collecting tickets, selling refreshments and souvenirs, and ushering. Our young people are especially being short-changed. This is our stadium and our armory, and these jobs should belong to us." 

Debby Hanrahan has a 30-year history in the D.C. Statehood Party (before the merger with the D.C. Greens), serving in the paryt's Steering Committee, and working as secretary for Statehood Party co-founder Julius Hobson when he served on the Board of Education and Council and on the staff of former Council member Hilda Mason, another Statehood Party pioneer. In 2000, Hanrahan was one of the Democracy 7, arrested and later acquitted for protesting in the House Gallery against Congress's control over the District's budget and legislation. 

Hanrahan served in the Peace Corps in Chile, and helped organize in the anti-Vietnam War movement, the United Farm Workers' grape boycott, and the Nuclear Freeze movement. A well-known neighborhood activist, Hanrahan helped lead local fights against construction of the North Central Freeway/Three Sisters Bridge in the 1960s and 1970s and against the new Convention Center at Mt. Vernon Square in the 1990s.

"Debby's campaign gives voters registered in the Statehood Green Party a real motivation to go to the polls and vote in the September 10 primary, in order to write in Debby's name," said Michael Piacsek, a member of the Statehood Green Party's steering committee.

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