There will soon be a new voice on the D.C. Council. In one of the biggest surprises on election day, independent challenger David Grosso unseated at-large council member Michael Brown, also an independent. District Reporter Patrick Madden caught up with Grosso to talk about his victory and what he hopes to accomplish on the council. Here are some highlights:
On the issue that propelled Grosso to victory: "The whole culture of corruption that had built up, people were just not willing to continue to go down that path," Grosso said. "And then, my ability to get in front of as many D.C. residents as possible put me in a good position to be the alternative candidate to the incumbent."
Whether the victory of Grosso and, earlier this year, another newcomer in Kenyan McDuffie, is an indication that city residents are ready for a change: "I think it's really about opening up the government to the people of the District," Grosso said. "I think Kenyan's been able to do that and I'm looking forward to working with him on the Council. Particularly, my candidacy offered that transparency and real engagement with the public."
First items on his agenda: "I'm going to look closely at ethics and campaign finance reform, which is something I've promised to move forward on," Grosso said. "And then education, how can I create a space for a really fruitful discussion around education reform that goes all over the city and every neighborhood. Finally, the main issue I'd like to focus on early is the community college. We have to commit to the community college, and spend a lot of time figuring out how to make it successful and really a tool for job development in D.C."
On whether he believes his victory sends a message to other Council members: "I think it sends a message to the council and the government as a whole that the people of the District are ready to be engaged in the political process," Grosso said. "And that's really important. The more engaged the individuals get the better government we'll have."