Brandon Todd is the D.C. council member representing Ward 4. (AFRO File Photo)
The newest members of the D.C. Council jumped right into performing their duties. D.C. Council members Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) and LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) were sworn in on May 14 before hundreds of District residents at the John A. Wilson Building. Both promised to work hard to represent their constituents.
“I am proud and deeply humbled to continue the legacy of former Ward 4 council members Arrington Dixon, Charlene Drew Jarvis, Adrian Fenty, and Muriel Bowser,” Todd said. “I’m deeply thankful for their trust and support throughout my campaign. I am ready for the challenge of continuing the progress they’ve made and to break new ground as we strive towards a future that welcomes and protects the economic, ethnic and cultural diversity that continues to make Ward 4 the greatest ward in the city.”
Todd replaces Muriel Bowser, who is the District’s mayor. He said he will work on helping seniors age in place, accelerate school reform, provide sustainable economic development, improve public safety, and provide solid constituent services.
Todd is the president of the Ward 4 Democrats and said that his term in that role ends in June and would not speculate on whether he will continue to serve in that capacity.
Todd’s office is on the first floor of the Wilson Building while May’s is on the fourth floor.
May, who replaces the late Marion S. Barry, echoed Todd during her inaugural speech that day but at a meeting of the Ward 8 Democrats on May 16 at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, she cited some of the challenges she is already encountering.
“Before I was sworn into office, there were some actions taken that are detrimental to Ward 8,” May said.
May said that D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) took money out of the latest proposed budget for the St. Elizabeths East project, the Congress Heights Great Streets program, and the Anacostia Recreation Center.
May said that she will not take the moves lightly. “I will fight for what belong to Ward 8 during the budget amendment process,” she said. “We were not at the table when these decisions were made so we did not get the chance to have an input.”
May said that she supports Bowser’s proposed parking tax and her raise in the sales tax to six percent. She strongly believes in expanding the District’s bus service, the Circulator, in the ward.
While May acknowledges that she and the mayor are allies, the legislator said that she has her own priorities. “The mayor has an obligation to the city and I have an obligation to Ward 8,” May said.
Neither May or Todd have received their committee assignments at AFRO press time.
In other developments, Trayon White, May’s closest competitor on April 28, told the AFRO on May 14 that a decision has not been made on a recount of the vote.