Jeremiah Lowery has his sights set on becoming an advocate for progressive issues on the D.C. Council as an at-large Democrat.

He will stake his chances against council veteran Anita Bonds (D-At-large), who recently announced she will run for reelection. She has been on the District’s council since 2012.

Jeremiah Lowery, a progressive activist, will run against D.C. Council member Anita Bonds and two others for the at-large council seat in 2018. (Courtesy photo)

“I am running to transform D.C. from what it is to what it must be to guarantee that everyone has an opportunity to live and thrive here,” Lowery said. “This means having accessible high-quality child care for all parents. It means providing opportunities for workers to build a city run on 100 percent clean energy, making D.C. environmentally sustainable and a leader in the green economy. This means working with residents, tenants, community leaders, and advocates to use community land trusts to develop and preserve affordable housing, expand green spaces, and create small community-centered businesses.”

Lowery is the director of the Universal Childcare NOW D.C. Coalition, an organization seeking to expand access to high-quality child care to all parents in the District of Columbia. Lowery was present at the Sept. 21 D.C. Council hearings on bills by D.C. Council members Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) and Robert White (D-At Large) to expand infant and toddler education opportunities and set up an early childhood care network that is affordable in the city, respectively.

Lowery is also a climate justice organizer at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. In 2016, he was appointed by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) to the D.C. Food Policy Council as a commissioner/member. Lowery graduated from Potomac High School in Prince George’s County in 2003 and from the University of Maryland College Park in 2008.

Lowery said his personal experiences growing up in the District have led him to seek a seat on its legislative body.

“My mother was born and raised in Washington, D.C.,” Lowery said. “She lived part of her life in a foster care system that was broken and in a homeless shelter that did more to set her back than move her forward. My father, who worked as a security guard, had to bring me to his workplace because he couldn’t afford childcare. I am running to tackle the systemic problems that are facing residents, many of whom are dealing with the same issues that my own family and I dealt with.”

“In this city, we have a housing crisis, unaffordable child care, and vulnerable populations in the city that need help such as returning citizens and youth,” he said, adding that as a member of the council he will work to address those concerns and help those in his targeted population.

“Young people can have jobs in the green economy,” Lowery said. “I want affordable housing cooperatives for residents and lower the property tax rates for seniors.”

Lowery has been making the political rounds in the city, attending the Ward 8 Democrats Biennial Convention and Anacostia Coordinating Council events in September. In addition to Bonds, Lowery’s opponents for the seat include Marcus Goodwin, 28, an acquisitions associate for a D.C.-based real estate developer, and resident Justin Green Sr.

“I am not against Anita Bonds,” he said. “I have the utmost respect for her. I have policy solutions that I am running on.”

Bonds told the AFRO on Oct. 8 that she first met Lowery at the Ward 8 Democrats Biennial Convention and they had a brief chat.

“He told me he was running on the issues such as environment and not against me as a person,” she said. “I said fine. Let me say that I am running for re-election and will continue to work on behalf of the people if I am re-elected.”

Douglass Sloan, a political commentator on District politics, told the AFRO on Oct. 7 that Lowery has a tough job ahead if he wants to defeat Bonds.

“He will be running against her and two other Black millennials for that seat,” Sloan said. He added that Bonds will have the solid support of seniors and Black women in the city, and she will have a strong fundraising base to tap.

“The way I see it, I see Lowery and the two other millennials splitting the vote but the race is still early,” he said.

The Democratic primary will be held June 19, 2018 and the general election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018.