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 reached out to the DC City Council candidates to offer them an opportunity to make their case on why you should cast your vote for them.
Christopher M. Cole is a native Washingtonian who attended Frank W. Ballou Senior High School. He is currently Human Resources Manager for A. Wash & Associates. Christopher is also a Certified Paralegal. He has advocated for Returning Citizens under the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act Of 2014. Christopher has partnered with the DC Department of Employment Services and Wheeler Creek Community Development Corporation to facilitate the Project Empowerment Program. Christopher was the Founder of the Young Male Achiever Program in partnership with the FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center and volunteered with the Executive Office of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Department under the Anthony Williams Administration.
With Christopher’s extensive experience working alongside non-profits and politicians, he can promote positive change and collaborations between Residents, Businesses and Government. Christopher’s Commitment to his Community and all Cultures will help lead to bridge gaps that create balance and be the change that will bring Ward 8 together.
Mental Health is the emotional, psychological and social well-being of individuals. Mental Health affects how individuals think, feel and act. Mental Health also affects how individuals handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Christopher Cole wants to enhance Hope, Help and Healing of Ward 8 Residents. There are different types of Mental Health disorders called “Mental Illness”. Some of the different type of Mental Illness are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Depression Disorder, Eating Disorder, etc. As Councilman, Christopher Cole will work to influence colleagues to fund enhancing the education of all Ward 8 Residents starting at the 5th grade. This funding will go towards extended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Training. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy and psychiatric medications.
- Advocate for 24 hour treatment/call-centers (walk-in and virtual) with Therapist, Psychiatrist and Case Workers.
- Enhance the education of Clients, Therapists, Psychiatrists, Case-Workers, Law Enforcement Officials and Advocates through extended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and training.
CRIME AND SAFETY
Crime in some parts of Ward 8 has been a nightmare. Christopher Cole wants to reduce crime and increase a better safe passage for Ward 8 Residents. Christopher Cole also wants to focus on and prevent the conditions that draw people into violent or criminal behavior. In order for him to do so, Christopher will need a systematic, integrated, coordinated approach combining the responsibilities of the community and law enforcement. In Addition, Christopher Cole believes it is imperative to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.
- Homicide Reduction Strategy- Suppress, Deter, Intervene, Investigate and Prosecution. (5 components we will focus on)
- Prevent less leniency by the local courts and USAO.
- Enhance lighting and camera visibility in the community and business districts.
- Parent Rearing Accountability Program (Parents are a part of the intake/release and parole and probation process of youth offenders age 12-21).
- Private Security Camera Incentive Program.
*Increase the mandatory minimum for possession of an illegal/unregistered firearm
Christopher Cole wants our children to have an equitable education in order to thrive. Christopher will propose legislation to incentivize and reward education faculty so that innovation becomes a core academic value along with teaching and research. In addition, Christopher does not want to see no child left behind and will hold schools accountable for how all students learn and achieve.
- Provide more oversight of school curriculum, leadership and teacher retention.
- Implement Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in schools starting at the 5th grade level.
Christopher Cole believes Ward 8 requires balanced and inclusive development. Inclusive Development will increase growth rate and reduce poverty. Inclusive Development will also allow all residents to contribute to and benefit from the districts progressive development. It will allow all ethnicity, incomes and backgrounds to thrive and grow together. Christopher will advocate for opportunities for all individuals and businesses that will allow them to contribute and benefit from development growth.
- Advocate for housing units in newly developed residential units for individuals who exceed the AMI (Annual Median Income).
- Increase Credit, Employment and Housing Opportunities for Returning Citizens and Individuals with Disabilities.
- Homestead/Senior Deduction (Seniors)
- Christopher Cole wants all Ward 8 Residents to thrive. As Council-member, he will connect Ward 8 residents with all that this great city and its partners have to offer, by gaining access to information, services and opportunities that will better the community and its stakeholders. Christopher Cole will do away with all forms of red-tape that prevent inclusion, growth and prosperity of Ward 8 Residents. By enhancing access to information that leads residents to Workforce Development programs, trades and skill sets such as, plumbing, electrical, engineering, keyboarding & typing and other non-traditional trades, this will transition into creating better economic recovery for the Great Ward 8. With different non-traditional trades coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy, job placement opportunities will increase. In addition, Christopher Cole will work to enhance Entrepreneurship education (learning the basics to start and maintaining a business) and increase opportunities to help build the confidence for Ward 8 Residents.
- Promote DOES/One-Stop Center and the Apprentice Council ( Completing Apprenticeship training is equal to a four year degree)
- Increase Workforce Development training wages.
- Enhanced and Extended CBT and Life Skills Training.