The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance have committed calumny against me by falsely claiming on their website that I did not submit a questionnaire and thereby awarding me a score of "zero". Not only did I submit the questionnaire, but I also have documentary evidence that I submitted on August 24, well before GLAA's own September 14 deadline. To add insult to injury, I learned yesterday that GLAA had extended their deadline to those who hadn't submitted their questionnaires on time, including my opponent Martín Miguel Fernandez. In other words, I got penalized for submitting my questionnaire on time.
This is exactly the kind of corruption and sleazy dealing that I went into politics to fight against. Though of courses not on the same scale, this episode is reminiscent of the scandal that surrounded Jack Evans before he resigned in disgrace last year.
On Tuesday night I appeared on a Zoom candidates forum with Democrat Brooke Pinto and the two "independent" candidates in the Ward 2 race hosted by Tenac DC. Check it out here:
Just an aside: Pinto completely misrepresented what I said about increases on taxes and in the process revealed her profound ignorance about how the tax system works. I said that I support raising income taxes on incomes above $300,000. She responded that some of her constituents with a household income of $250,000 are themselves rent-burdened. Leaving aside that I said $300,000, not $250,000, even if I had said $250,000 her criticism would not apply. Because raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would not lead to increase taxes on someone on a $250,000 household income since that amount would, by definition, be below the $250,000 threshold. So Pinto is either very ignorant or else engaging in wilful misrepresentation. I don't know which would be worse but either way, this is a typical tactic of the political right, which as a member of the Democratic Party establishment she is certainly a part of.
I made it out to the 14th and U St Farmers Market today. Thank you to party volunteer Ming Lowe for joining me.
I was delighted to meet my party's presidential candidate Howie Hawkins in DC this weekend. Howie was in town to campaign and to meet with our local party here in DC.
Me with Howie Hawkins.
Me with Howie Hawkins and Ann Wilcox, DC Statehood Green Party's candidate in the at-large Council race.
Since DC's three electoral college votes are certain to go to Biden by a large margin, I encourage progressives, leftists, radicals, and socialists to cast their ballot for the Hawkins/Walker ticket, who unlike Biden support:
- Nuclear disarmament
- A real Green New Deal
- Ending US foreign wars and closing its military bases
- A federal jobs guarantee
- An end to the 'War on Drugs'
- And many other radical reforms you can peruse at howiehawkins.us
Unlike Brooke Pinto, I've spent years writing and campaigning for progressive reforms such as an end to the US's for-profit healthcare system. Here's a collection of articles that I have penned throughout the years about this most pressing of issues:
I read with interest Hannah Schuster and Gabe Bullard’s piece in the DCist about housing in the District. Titled “Tenant Activism In D.C. Has Surged During The Pandemic,” the article shines light on some troubling truths about the housing situation faced by DC residents.
It points out, for instance:
Nearly half of renters are considered cost burdened — meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Roughly a quarter of District residents are “severely” cost burdened, devoting more than half their income to rent.
It adds that, as is so often the case in DC, there is a racial dimension to the problem:
In D.C., about half of Black and Latino renters were cost-burdened in 2018, compared to a third of white renters, according to an analysis from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Median rent in the area grew 16% from 2008 to 2018, while renter income grew only 9%.
The article also points to the effect of gentrification and the paucity of affordable housing. The question then remain: What can elected representatives do about the situation?
My fellow candidate Will Merrifield, who mercifully I am not directly competing with (he'd be a hard candidate to beat!), has based his housing proposals on the fascinating experience of Vienna, the capital city of the central European nation of Austria. Will points out that this model has provided a sustainable and cost-effective model, especially for people on lower and medium incomes.
As an article in Edge magazine explains:
Private developers who collaborate with the city government to build affordable housing must allow the city to rent half of the new apartments to lower-income residents; the developer generally leases the remaining units to moderate-income residents. In some projects, future tenants participate in the planning, design, and construction process and give input on what kind of facilities they would like to have in the building.
Rents are regulated by the city government so that none of the residents pay any more than 20 to 25 percent of their household income for housing, compared to the corresponding 30 percent benchmark in the U.S.
Surely, my political opponents on the right will use the standard “America is number one!” and “we don’t want no socialism here” mantras that have long been used to counter such a proposal. But as someone whose name I can’t remember once said, “America is number one in many ways, but not in all ways.” And when it comes to the housing models provided by European social democracies like Austria, the US lags way, way behind.
Thank you to The Hoya's Clara Grudberg for her recent profile of me: https://thehoya.com/eco-socialist-tosses-hat-in-the-ring-for-ward-2-city-council-seat/
Eco-Socialist Tosses Hat in the Ring for Ward 2 City Council Seat
September 28, 2020 by Clara Grudberg Leave a Comment
Political newcomer Peter Bolton launched his campaign for the Ward 2 seat on the Council of the District of Columbia, representing the D.C. Statehood Green Party in an increasingly heated race.
olton, a journalist and activist, decided to run in Ward 2 after learning that the D.C. Statehood Green Party had no candidate on the ballot for the Nov. 3 election. Current Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) (LAW ’17) is fending off multiple independent challenges after winning the special and primary elections in June.
Bolton cited former Councilmember Jack Evans’ corruption scandal as motivation for running. Evans resigned in January amid accusations he used his council position to promote the interests of his consulting company’s clients. The Democratic Party has not served Ward 2 residents well because special interests and developers have been able to buy influence, according to Bolton.
“Those interests that give to the Democratic Party, they don’t do so out of the goodness of their hearts. They do so because they want something in return,” Bolton said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “The Democrats on the council and in the mayor’s office have been more than happy to be part of this whole sordid quid pro quo. That was very true of Jack Evans — it’s very true of other councilmembers.”
One of the biggest problems Washington, D.C., faces is the militarization of law enforcement, according to Bolton, who supports reallocating funds from the Metropolitan Police Department to mental health and aid programs.
“In my estimation, at least, one of the great problems that we have in this city and other parts of the United States is that the police are used as the first point of call for issues that are not naturally within their remit, such as homelessness and mental health,” Bolton said.
The council passed emergency police reform legislation in June, following nationwide protests over the police killings of unarmed Black people. Activists continue to push for further reforms after the police killing of 18-year-old Southeast D.C. resident Deon Kay in September.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made voter outreach a challenging task, especially when operating on a limited budget, according to Bolton.
“It’s been very difficult for my campaign and party in general. Obviously because canvassing is not really possible, because people, I assume, would not really be comfortable with someone knocking on their door and having close contact,” Bolton said. “My party is already at a huge disadvantage in terms of financial resources to Democrats, and frankly to the so-called independents in my race, who are switchers, who have switched their party affiliation from Democrat to independent just for this one race.”
Bolton says the D.C Statehood Green Party’s detractors, who call their policies and ideas untenable, are wrong.
“I would like to make clear that the things that I am advocating are not unrealistic, they’re not only realistic but they’ve been implemented in other cities, in other countries, particularly in Europe but also in Australia and New Zealand, Canada in some cases, and so on,” Bolton said. “I want people to really think about what’s possible, and whether they want to buy into this Democratic Party line that anything more radical than what they are offering is unrealistic.”
On Sunday, I went out to meet with voters at the Dupont Circle Farmers' Market. See pictures below – and thank you to Keith Newell of AU's The Wash for providing them.
I'm glad to have appeared in an article at The GW Hatchet today. Just to be clear, I am running as candidate of the DC Statehood Green Party, which is the Washington affiliate of the national Green Party of the United States:
Bolton qualified for the ballot earlier this year when he ran for the Green Party nomination uncontested, and he said he now launched his campaign in hopes of giving voters “a real choice” for D.C. Council.
Peter Bolton officially launches campaign for Ward 2 Council seat