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Eugene DeWitt Kinlow, Independent Candidate for
At-Large Councilmember in the
November 5, 2002, General Election
Announcement Speech
July 13, 2002

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First of all I want to thank all of those who came out this morning for our community service project. This mornings project is a demonstration of the Kinlow Campaigns Commitment to service and volunteerism. I believe in citizens being engaged and in partnership with its leaders. This morning we had 15 volunteers who helped address a community problem. We cleaned up the Nichols Avenue School, one of the oldest Structures in the ward. We cut grass that was three feet high, we took away trash, we recycled, and we reduced the visual pollution of that lot. By cutting the grass we reduced the hiding spaces for drugs, and made an area next to one of our elementary schools safer.

My name is Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and I want to be your At-large Council Member. Service in action will be a hallmark of my campaign. I pledge service in leadership for the citizens of the District Government, and will continue to mobilize, initiate and implement strategies for community problem solving.

What I have done (accomplishments)

The renaissance of Washington starts and begins with its neighborhoods. Our renaissance began as I galvanized, organized and mobilized citizens to stop negative influences and to create positive influences.

Today is the first day of my campaign, a campaign to make Washington’s neighborhoods better, but my efforts began long before this day. I have been an active partner in strengthening the quality of life for all of Washington’s residents for some time. I have strengthened communities by mobilizing, galvanizing and organizing to make our neighborhoods better.

  • Several years ago we fought and saved this community by resisting efforts to put a private prison here. We changed the perception of this community, and put the city on notice that every neighborhood has value.

  • Years later we stopped those who sought to place a trash transfer station in our midst, now we have stopped the way that people perceive communities like this one.

  • I worked with you to make good things happen as well:

  • When Greater Southeast Hospital, our largest employer, was dangerously close to closing, I was among a handful that fought to save that institution. We did this by getting organized and inserting ourselves into the decision making process. We were able to insert ourselves into the bankruptcy proceedings as an affected party from a community perspective, a first I hear. Today, our largest employer GSE is still open.

  • As an Alumni trustee of the University of the Distinct of Columbia I made sure that the State Education Agency for Adult literacy was safeguarded from being raided.

  • As the President of the Far SW Civic Association we have enhanced pedestrian safety by putting up a new signage at one of our most dangerous intersections, and we have cleaned up our neighborhood

  • As a member of the citywide Consumer Utility Board I make sure that seniors and fixed income residents have the lowest rates possible. The second largest expense for most are our utility bills. I am an advocate for those who get up, go to work and pay their bills.

  • When our grocery store closed, the corporate forces of indifference sought to diminish our quality of life. I was the first to move forward to create a farmers market. When others took the lead on this issue, I was able to assist the Ward 8 Farmers market in getting their first grant from the USDA. If you elect me as your Councilmember, I will continue to organize, mobilize, and galvanize by delivering for our neighborhoods, for example, I’m not satisfied with just a farmers market that I helped fund. I want to make sure that this ward and every ward has grocery stores. As a member of the city council I will.

  • As a member of the environmental community, I have fought for a cleaner Anacostia River and have fought to increase funding for a flawed sewer system that force millions of gallons of sewage into the Anacostia river each. As a council member my work will not be complete until the river is fishable and swimable.

  • As a product of the DC Public School system, and a Parent of Students in the DCPS, I have worked for funding parity. For example, In an auction that I helped to coordinate, I worked to make sure that a Ward 3 and Ward 7 school were properly funded. We raised over 150 Thousand dollars. We made those schools better together. As a Council member, I will make sure that schools create diverse partnerships that promote new funding.

  • As a member of the DC Heritage Tourism Coalition I am working to increase tourism in all of Washington’s neighborhoods.

  • As a member of the Washington East Foundation, I’ve worked to highlight the need for marketing Wards 7 & 8, one quarter of the city.

These things I have done, and more shall I will do with your help.

Like a lot of you, I’ve heard a lot of politicians say what they are going to do. I think I’ve showed you what I’ve done. I’ve talked to people across the city and this is what they want to see; a commitment to making every neighborhood great, and a commitment to representing the interest of the entire city.

Introduction of Family

Thank you for coming out to support me on my run for the council at-large. I want to thank God for giving me an opportunity to talk to you today. At this point, I’d like to acknowledge my family and thank them for supporting me in this effort. I want to introduce to some and present to others my family. They are…I want to acknowledge the love of life, my wife Tonya Kinlow. Tonya …I love you.

Welcome to Anacostia

Welcome to Ward 8. This is where I live. Welcome. Welcome to Anacostia a place of history and of spirit.

  • Behind you at Barry Farms is where one the oldest free black settlements was developed by the Freedmen’s Bureau.

  • Down the street, Frederick Douglass, the lion of Anacostia, broke another barrier by being the first African American in Uniontown, now called Historic Anacostia

  • At the intersection and to the left and behind you, is Bethlehem Baptist the former church of Frederick Douglass.

  • Up the hill four blocks is St. Elizabeth’s, a place of calming tranquility, history and of awesome vistas66

  • Just 50 years ago, the biggest daily traffic jam in the city occurred at the intersection of Nichols Avenue at Good Hope Road where local residents commuted from their jobs at the Navy Yard. Nichols Avenue changed its name to Martin Luther King Avenue in the early 70’s..

Why are we here in Anacostia?

Many have you have crossed the Anacostia River to get here today. On some levels this river is a symbol of both the promise of a better future and of the divisions that exist. My campaign rests on the lofty ideal that the divisions of the past have kept us from our destiny. We think in terms of east of the River, west of the park, east of 16th street, uptown, downtown and of course southeast. My message is not one of division, but one of Unity. Just a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, so too is our city only as strong as it weakest communities. We are here to bear witness to an indifference to expanding opportunity, and an indifference to making every neighborhood great. Many of our citizens are still suffering from unemployment, inefficient schools, blighted communities and high levels of crime. These communities will continue to suffer until we create a infrastructure designed to elevate all of our people and expand opportunity into all of our communities.

Despite the largest economic boom since World War II, neighborhoods like this remain unchanged and untouched. Despite a time of record surpluses, job growth and "prosperity", not all of communities have benefited. Many neighborhoods have been asked to make bricks without straw. I ask you, If communities like this haven’t prospered in the good times, then how they are going to prosper when the boom is gone and the surpluses have evaporated?

Some may say that well these are bad neighborhoods that have not prospered. Well, I am here to tell you that there are no "Bad" neighborhoods, just neighborhoods that lack opportunity. There are no bad communities; just insincere politicians who refuse to expand opportunity to all, so that every neighborhood can overcome the forces of indifference.

My Love of the City

I am running because I love this city. Does anyone love this Place? I love it. I loved it when it was known as the crack capital of the world. I loved it when it was the murder capital of the nation, and the top tourist destination in the country. I loved this city when it was easy to love. I’ve loved it before there were pandas at the National Zoo , or such a thing called the subway or the MCI arena. I love it now. I don’t just love the best parts of the city. I love it all. I love this Capitol City from Adams Morgan to Woodley Park, from Eastern Avenue to Southern Avenue, and from your street to my street.

This is not a campaign but a Battle against apathy, and indifference; economic indifference, social indifference, and geographic indifference perpetuated by a city that does not understand the basics.

Why I am running?

My message today rests on the simple premise that we can make every neighborhood great. My vision for the District is built upon the notion that every neighborhood can be great, that every person can serve, and that every child grows up in a nurturing environment that provides hope and opportunity. I will be a forceful advocate for: equitable development in all communities, a school system that works for all of our children, healthcare that is accessible to all, housing that is affordable, and neighborhoods that are safe and clean. We can and must do better. By advancing communities that have not benefited from the economic boom of the last decade by building self-sufficient neighborhoods based on equitable development, pro-business growth and the development of human capital, we make a stronger city. When we revitalize communities by providing real job opportunities, we make our citizens stronger. When we rebuild Washington’s neighborhoods and expand opportunity to all we build a stronger tomorrow.

I am running to make sure that every community has attractive neighborhoods, effective schools that prepare our youth, and that has decent affordable housing. I am running to build sustainable communities that have accessible shopping, and community commerce options, and entertainment that is easily accessible. I am running to create job opportunities for citizens and their children, with additional opportunities for training and advancement. Much of our workforce exports our wealth to the suburbs. We are not able to tax income at its source and are not allowed to even assess fees for commuters who cross into our jurisdiction.

Our challenge as I see it is to invest in human capital in such a way that expands this paradigm. We need to consider developing people as an investment, and as with all good investments we will get a return. An investment in human capital through education and training should provide a return of a trained workforce that that shifts employment to our own citizens who pay DC taxes; and away from those we cannot tax. An increase in taxes will allow for a synergistic return by creating additional revenue to pay for improved schools, services, and thus neighborhoods. MORE!

Lastly, I am running because I am running because there has never been an elected At-large Council member from ward 8, or even ward seven for that matter., and the politics of the city need to be more inclusive.

Who I am running against?

I’ve been asked by many who is my opponent. Lets just say that my opponents are those who would balance the budget on the backs of working people. My opponent is the local face of the party of Reagan and is a student of Reaganomics. Reaganomics was based on the view that the rich had too little money and the poor needed too much. My opponent is a person who believes that the poor have too much money and the rich have too little money. My opponent is the councils reverse Robin Hood, taking from the poor, giving to the rich, and making the middle class pay for it. .

I am running as an independent with Democratic Values. My opponent does not have these values. Catania tax cut has created the deficit this year, As your Councilmember, I will make sure that paying down this deficit does not come from having schools not open, reducing trash collection or closing hospitals. My Opponent would rather cut the taxes of the rich than fill the potholes on your street. Reaganomics didn’t work for America and Catanianomics is not working for us. I stand as an alternative to this failed policy for our neighborhood and our neighbors.


We must leave the politics of separation and come to the economic common ground and moral higher ground of equitable development. With your help let us reorder our city’s priorities with a new set of sensibilities. Just as we are united here today, let us unite our city for the common good, for everyday people! I stand ready to make a difference in your life. Will you help me? Are you with me? Thank you and God Bless. Vote Kinlow.

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