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Meet the Candidate – Chander Jayaraman (At-Large)

The DC Voice believes that elections should be more than popularity or name recognition contests. It’s each voter’s responsibility to learn more about the person we ask to represent us. We recently published a post (Grosso Announcement Opens At-Large Floodgates) highlighting how Councilman Grosso’s decision not to run for re-election had “opened the floodgates” for the At-Large seat. We reached out to those candidates to offer them an opportunity to make their case on why you should cast your vote for them.

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Chander Jayaraman, Candidate for DC Council At-Large

I have called the District home for 25 years. I met my wife Suzanne here, and we are raising our son, Kol, here. I am inspired every day by my mom, who brought me to America and worked three jobs to ensure that we had what we needed to be successful. Ever since, I have felt a responsibility to pay it forward.

We can do better for our families and our community. As an emergency planner, I worked on DC’s pandemic flu plan and currently help child care centers reopen safely. I know what is possible and what a successful reopening of our schools should look like. Once past tPhoto - Chander Jayaraman, Candidate for DC Council At-Largehe pandemic, we should bring back vocational education. As head of the YouthBuild job training program at the Latin American Youth Center, I saw the power of giving people paid training that gives them a career and an opportunity at success.

As an elected ANC Commissioner for the past eight years (four as Chair and Vice-Chair), I have helped our local small businesses, the lifeblood of our community. The Council will need to do more to support their recovery, for the health of our community and workers.

I have fought to make city officials listen to, and take input from, local residents about zoning, traffic, and other issues. When the city came to tell us how they would reconfigure roads around Eastern Market Metro plaza, I told them they needed to talk to us first. The city has an obligation to meet the unique needs of each community, from transportation to historic preservation, development, and more.

We must ensure the safety of our neighborhoods. This summer, I convened ANC Commissioners from every ward, the deputy chief of police, and council members to reimagine what policing could look like. I believe we should invest more in gun buyback programs and violence interruption programs, while creating real opportunities for young people. These are what families have told me is important to them and these are the priorities I will champion as a member of the DC Council.

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