Marcus Goodwin wants District of Columbia residents to live comfortably and says he will make that happen if he defeats D.C. Council member Anita Bonds in 2018. Goodwin, who works in real estate development and has worked in investment banking in New York City, formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic D.C. at-large seat at the HalfSmoke restaurant on Oct. 15. Goodwin, 28, said he is up to taking out Bonds.

Marcus Goodwin, who lives in Ward 4 but grew up in both Wards 1 and 8, is running for the D.C. Council’s At-large Democratic bid. (Courtesy photo)

“It’s a huge challenge and I am a first-time candidate but I feel that we can do it,” Goodwin told 75 people at his kickoff event.

The Democratic primary will take place on June 19, 2018, with the general election on Nov. 6, 2018. The winner of the Democratic primary generally has no problem getting one of the two at-large council seats up for grabs.

Bonds has been on the council since 2013 and is the chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

Goodwin lived with his mother, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Ward 1, and with his father, in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8. He attended the St. Albans School, a high school in Northwest D.C., earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from Harvard University in Massachusetts.

“I have an expansive view of the city,” Goodwin told the AFRO. “Growing up in D.C. prepared me for all phases of life. Traversing the city from my District of Columbia public school teacher mother’s house in Ward 1 to my environmental scientist father’s house in Ward 8, I’ve seen the city’s development from the perspective of a working-class family.”

Goodwin added that as the fifth of eight children, “I learned the importance of balancing conflict and consensus early on.”

Goodwin said housing will be one of the central planks of his platform. “There are many longtime residents who cannot afford to live here and there are young people who want to live here but cannot afford the rents and have trouble purchasing a home,” he said.

Goodwin said if he is elected to the council, he will introduce legislation ensuring Washingtonians can afford to live in and invest in their homes. He said that improving the quality of life for District residents is a priority for him, noting that he participated in the Ward 7 and Ward 8 walk on Oct. 14 sponsored by D.C. Council member Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) that pointed out the dearth of full-service grocery stores in eastern Washington.

On public safety, Goodwin said he will create an open dialogue between public safety officials and District residents to create a collaborative environment. Goodwin’s platform includes tax reform that is fair to families and businesses and regarding education, ensuring that every child receives “a high-quality education.”

“That includes funding access to the arts and athletics to help them pursue a post-secondary education,” he said.

Goodwin joins Jeremiah Lowery and Justin Green in the race against Bonds. Bonds hasn’t officially declared a re-election bid, but told the AFRO she intends to do so. Goodwin recognizes Bonds’ strength among seniors in the city but he said he will be a better advocate for them.

Phil and Jan Fenty, the parents of former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, were present at Goodwin’s kickoff and they support him. Donald DePass, a longtime friend of Goodwin, was also at the kickoff to support him. “He has good ideas for the city and how to improve the community,” DePass, a Ward 2 resident, said. “I didn’t know that he was politically ambitious until recently but he has the skill sets to be a politician.”

District political analyst Douglass Sloan told the AFRO he is aware of Goodwin, noting his St. Albans and Harvard education, but said taking on Bonds will be tough. “Anita Bonds is an incumbent and she will lock up the money,” Sloan said.