- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

D.C. activist Michael A. Brown yesterday officially began his run for mayor next year, saying he will aim “to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table.”

“People feel forgotten,” said Mr. Brown, a lobbyist and former vice chairman of the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission. “They don’t even realize they are in D.C. anymore. We need to bring them back into the fold.”

Mr. Brown, 40, the son of the late Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown, addressed about 70 campaign workers and supporters in front of the Denny’s restaurant on Benning Road Northeast. Flanked by his family, he pledged to work for affordable housing, expanded access to affordable health care and better schools.

“We should be ashamed of ourselves about the kind of school system we have in this city,” he said. “It is the second-highest budget in America, and we ranked 47th out of 51 in education in America. That’s a shame.”

Rick Thomas said he happened to be riding by and stopped when he recognized Mr. Brown. He applauded the candidate’s every word.

“Everything he said, I am with him,” said Mr. Thomas, 43, of Northeast. “I am with him 100 percent.”

Amin Muslim, 50, also of Northeast, favored Mr. Brown’s jabs at city leaders.

“You have a disenfranchised population in the District who have been all but forgotten because the priorities are somewhere else,” Mr. Muslim said. “We talk about being compassionate, we talk about being inclusive, but our actions don’t match up to the rhetoric, and that’s the bottom line.”

Calling for economic development within the city’s means, Mr. Brown said residents would be better served by refurbishing RFK Stadium than by building a new baseball stadium .

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp and council members Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, and Vincent B. Orange Sr., Ward 5 Democrat, also are vying for the Democratic mayoral nomination, along with former Verizon Chief Executive Officer Marie Johns.

Mr. Brown, whose father’s legacy has left him well-connected in the Democratic Party, could siphon votes from Mrs. Cropp and Mr. Fenty. He is not related to Michael D. Brown, who recently resigned as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, has not yet said whether he will seek a third term.

Council member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat and former mayor, has said he has “no plans” to run and has not endorsed any candidates.

Mr. Brown is the managing partner at Alcalde & Fay, a government and public-affairs consulting firm specializing in legislative and regulatory affairs, communications and government marketing and procurement.

He graduated from Mackin Catholic High School in the District, and holds a degree from Clark University in Massachusetts and a law degree from Widener University School of Law in Delaware.


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