October 29, 2014 at 8:19 am EDT | by Lane Hudson
Catania a clear choice for Democrats
David Catania, candidates, gay news, Washington Blade, Democrats

We can make history on Nov. 4 by electing the first gay mayor of our nation’s capital. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

David Catania claims to have the most progressive record of any candidate running for mayor. There is plenty of evidence to back up his assertion.

As I have often said when talking to voters door to door and on the phone, Catania is the only candidate in the race who is willing to take on big issues and bring people together to solve them. He has done this many times over.

In our overwhelmingly Democratic city, some people continue to have trouble moving past Catania’s past as a registered Republican. Voters need only to look at his record in office to see that he is, indeed, far more progressive than most Democrats around the nation. And his record of action is the most progressive of any candidate for mayor.

Catania operates like many of the great Democrats of our time, by taking on big issues that no one else will. Before there was Obamacare, there was “Cataniacare.” As chair of the D.C. Council’s health committee, he set out to aggressively expand health coverage to our residents and succeeded in cutting the uninsured rate in half. We even had, and still have, the lowest rate of uninsured children in the nation.

When Catania set out to save the only hospital east of the Anacostia River, it was such a mess that no one else on the Council would touch it. The radiology unit was burned out. The hospital was borrowing supplies. Nurses were walking off the job, leaving patients uncared for, because they weren’t getting paid. It was a dire situation for the hospital and the community it serves.

Now, because of Catania’s sustained effort to secure funding and work with stakeholders, the hospital is not only fully functional, but it is finally starting to operate in the black. There is an aggressive mammography program that aims for early diagnoses of breast cancer. There is a pediatric emergency room provided through a partnership with the Children’s National Medical Center. The hospital is also the largest employer in Ward 8, the ward with the highest unemployment rate. If this hospital had been allowed to fail, a mother with a sick child would have to take four different buses to get to the ER at GW Hospital.

On issue after issue integral to the Democratic platform, Catania has been at the forefront of the fight: marriage equality, Smoke-Free DC, medical marijuana, cheaper prescription drugs, investing in at-risk students and many more.

It has been shocking for me to hear well-educated people boil this race down to a choice between someone with a “questionable temperament” and someone with a “thin record of accomplishment.” That is a terribly over-simplified snapshot of the dynamics of this race.

Should you want to boil it down to something simple in order to decide for whom to cast your vote on Nov. 4, I would suggest a different construct: the choice is between one candidate who isn’t afraid to take on big issues and bring people together to solve them, and another candidate who is unwilling to take on those same issues, and unable to find collaborative solutions.

If you desire a D.C. government that continues to evolve, likely more rapidly than ever, and a mayor who will serve as an example of cutting edge governance, then all indicators point you to David Catania as the candidate who is most likely to deliver your vision.

It should also be noted that we can make history on Nov. 4 by electing the first gay mayor of our nation’s capital. It’s not often we get the opportunity to elect the most qualified candidate we’ve ever had for mayor AND make history at the same time. It’s a win-win!

Lane Hudson is a D.C.-based writer.

3 Comments
  • Well, at least you support David Catania, despite your blaring headline on the following page saying the light-weight Bowser leads by 12 points and listing among whom and why you think she leads. Is this how you support David Catania? This is heart-breaking….and your article brings up all the clear anti-gay sentiment among the DC black community and the reckless disregard for actual facts. I wouldn't be so sure Bowser's lead is all that solid or impressive. Among the black women I know, many of them say they will vote for Bowser, but privately they say NO WAY!! David Catania for me, that's for sure!!

  • Chris Chocolatebearcub Capers

    Really Mary Ellen? Anti Gay DC Black community??? Where in he hell you get that from. I'm so sick of white ps continuous lumping Blacks as Anti Gay. As if black LGBTQ's have never experienced racism in the gay community. WE SURE HAVE! This is bullshit and it's not Catania whom I don't like it's his damn supporters such as yourself who keep peddling that crap! You do realize Blacks support LGBTQ Equality? You do realize that there are Blacks who are Gay? You do realize the money put forth to fight equality are mostly from CAUCASIANS? I'm so sick of y'all pushing that Bullshit! It's obvious you have a disdain for Blacks talking the Black women I know, Lady please. This is all more the reason I won't for him. But it doesn't matter. If he wins he wins and if she wins she wins. But some of you non blacks pushing that Anti-gay shit need to quit. Just like they're Blacks who are anti gay there are whites gay and straight who don't care for Blacks. So what is really your point? Oh yeah Lane the candidate 'EVER'? Sure hon make sure you tell Vincent Gray that also.

  • Chris Chocolatebearcub Capers

    Really Mary Ellen? Anti Gay DC Black community??? Where in he hell you get that from. I'm so sick of whites continuously lumping All Blacks as Anti Gay. As if black LGBTQ's have never experienced racism in the gay community from whites. WE SURE HAVE! This is bullshit and it's not Catania whom I don't like it's his damn supporters such as yourself who keep peddling that crap! You do realize Blacks support LGBTQ Equality? You do realize that there are Blacks who are Gay? You do realize the money put forth to fight equality are mostly from CAUCASIANS? I'm so sick of y'all pushing that Bullshit! It's obvious you have a disdain for Blacks talking the Black women I know? Lady please. This is all more the reason some won't vote for him. But it doesn't matter. If he wins he wins and if she wins she wins. But some of you non blacks pushing that Anti-gay shit need to quit. Just like they're Blacks who are anti gay there are whites gay and straight who don't care for Blacks. So what is really your point? Oh yeah Lane the candidate 'EVER'? Sure hon make sure you tell Vincent Gray that also.

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