Trayon White

Trayon White is the presumptive Ward 8 D.C. Council member. (Courtesy Photo)

Trayon White, the Democratic Party nominee for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat, spoke at the “Ward 8 Democrats Unity Luncheon” on June 18 at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center on the campus of St. Elizabeth East, and told the audience of 55 that he is “proud to be the Democratic nominee for Ward 8 council member” and “I am ready to lead.” He defeated D.C. Council member LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) in the Democratic primary on June 14,

“I think it is important that we bring everybody together,” White said. “People should take us seriously because throughout the city people are interested in what the Ward 8 Democrats are doing.”

The Ward 8 Democrats is widely recognized as one of the most active political clubs in the city. White said he wanted to get more Ward 8 residents involved in the political and civic process. “I want to make sure that all of you are involved,” he said. “We will have a number of community meetings this summer and we are really going to focus on public safety. We are going to address this head on.”

White is forming ad-hoc committees of Ward 8 residents in the areas of public safety, education, housing, small business development, jobs and careers, senior citizens, and youth. These committees will discuss ways that the ward can improve in these areas and take their ideas and probably, legislation, to the John A. Wilson Building for action, he said.

May said that she, too, believes in unity. She said that unity encompasses good behavior and practices. “We should not have adults cursing in the presence of children and young men need to pull up their pants,” the council member said.

May said that it should be the priority of each resident of Ward 8 to ensure safer neighborhoods, better schools, and quality housing. May, who replaced the late Marion S. Barry Jr., as the Ward 8 council member, pledged to aid the transition process. “For the next six months, no one will work harder to continue to bring resources to the ward,” she said. “I will also work to make a smooth transition to the next administration.”

May abruptly left the room amid a standing ovation to take a family member to the airport.

Aaron Holmes and Bonita Goode, both of whom ran and were defeated in the primary, made remarks to the crowd. Holmes pledged his support for White and encouraged residents to become more politically active. Goode said making Ward 8 a better place to live should be a priority.

“I see people running for these political offices as Democrats but we never see you when there isn’t an election,” Darryl Ross, treasurer of the Ward 8 Democrats, said. “We don’t have any candidates serving on our organization’s committees. We need you to sign up for one of those committees.”

Former D.C. Council member Sandy Allen, who represented Ward 8 from 1996-2005 and was a staunch support of May, complimented White. “This is a new era in Ward 8 politics,” Allen said, noting the number of young people at the meeting that helped White to victory. “Young people spoke loud and clear on Election Day. It is good to see you young people here because we haven’t seen you in a long time.”

Charles Wilson, president of the Ward 8 Democrats, told the AFRO that unity is possible. “Unity is a process,” he said. “We are dedicated to making sure that we reach that goal.”