David Do, a former D.C. government official and current graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Maryland, filed papers on May 16 to become a candidate for the Ward 1 seat on the D.C. State Board of Education.
He becomes the second gay candidate competing for the seat. In April, LGBT rights and education advocate Scott Simpson entered the race. Gay D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who lost his re-election bid in the city’s April 1 primary, has said he is also considering running for the seat.
Prior to enrolling in graduate school, where he is studying urban planning, Do served as a correspondence management specialist in the mayor’s Correspondence Unit under Mayors Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray.
“David is a community organizer and educator,” a statement on his campaign website says. “He knows children need proper education to succeed and that there needs to be an achievable standard set for our schools.”
The statement notes that as a former public school student and child of a family that came to the U.S. as Vietnam War refugees, Do, who learned English as a second language, experienced first-hand the struggles and stigma faced by immigrant youth.
He will put this experience to good use helping to improve educational programs for D.C.’s public schools, the statement says.