Sheila Bunn has worked for the District’s congressional delegate and a mayor. (Twitter Photo)

Sheila Bunn has served as the chief of staff to D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and deputy chief of staff to former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. Bunn said that she should be Ward 8’s next council member because she is used to delivering results under pressure.

“I can translate my work history to being a council member because I have knowledge of how Congress works and how the mayor’s office should be run,” Bunn said. “I have learned how to solve complex problems with unique solutions working with Congresswoman Norton and Mayor Gray. I know all of the D.C. council members and there will be no learning curve for me when I take my seat.”

Bunn is the daughter of the late James Bunn, a respected Ward 8 political, civic, and business leader. James Bunn headed the Congress Heights Main Streets project and the Ward 8 Business Council, and he participated in the city’s politics since the early 1970s.

Bunn said her father wanted her to go into politics, but she resisted, saying she could make a difference in people’s lives “without a title.” However, she said that if her father knew she was running for the D.C. Council, he would be “head over heels” in his expression of joy.

“He would be happy to know that I finally came around to running,” she said.

Bunn is a native of Ward 8 who graduated from Benjamin Banneker Senior High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree from Trinity University.

Gray attended a fundraiser for Bunn at the Uniontown Bar & Grill on March 4 and spoke highly of his former staffer. “We have a candidate who is head and shoulders above everyone else in the race,” Gray said to the dozens of people attending the event. “In the course of building her career, she never left her home, Ward 8. We have made a lot of progress in Ward 8 and we want to see that continue.”

Gray finished his remarks by saying directly to Bunn “I know what you bring to this effort.” Turning to the crowd, he said, “She deserved to be the next council member from Ward 8.”

If elected, Bunn said that she would focus on three priorities. “Jobs, economic development and affordable housing are what I am focusing on,” she said. “Young people need jobs if they choose not to go to college and we should provide opportunities to learn a trade and a skill. We need housing that people can afford.”

Bunn said the most reasonably priced housing in the District is in Ward 8 “but the costs are still too high.”

“We need people in the ward to focus more on homeownership,” she said.

Bunn said she will work to improve the services of the United Medical Center, the only comprehensive hospital east of the Anacostia River. “Not only do we need the United Medical Center at its best, we should help people by having health clinics that can provide comprehensive health care,” she said.

Bunn received high marks on issues that the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) support. She received a plus-9 rating, near perfect, for the alliance, and besting candidates in her and the April 28 Ward 4 D.C. Council seat race.

“The organization said I dominated the field of more than two dozen candidates based on my ‘strong record’ on issues involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” she said. “I thank GLAA for all they do to protect the human rights of all District residents.”

Debra Pashall, a Ward 8 resident, supports Bunn’s bid. “I believe that Sheila has the business and professional acumen that will represent the ward well,” Pashall said. “She knows how to balance the needs of the ward’s middle class, the senior citizens, and the poor people. I really like the fact that she is graceful under pressure and you have to be when you are working for people like Eleanor Holmes Norton and Vincent Gray.”

Lisa Clarke said that she will vote for Bunn because of her leadership potential.

“I think she is perfect for the role of D.C. Council member,” Clarke said. “D.C. needs the best people in public  service and Sheila is the one of the best.”