Mayoral candidate Reta Jo Lewis emphasized the need for education and employment improvement during a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center on Tuesday.
“Job creation, and I mean good-paying jobs for working class families, has to be our primary focus,” she said in the speech, meant to reach out to younger voters.
Lewis, who officially announced her candidacy Nov. 2, is set to face off against D.C. Councilmembers Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) in the April 2014 primary mayoral election.
Lewis addressed the importance of mobilizing the city’s young voters for reform.
“Young, informed college students are rejecting the status quo and are interested in positive change here. We need more people to join in on this movement,” Lewis said.
Lewis criticized the D.C. Council’s recent decision to delay the election of the city’s first attorney general until 2018, despite voter approval authorizing the election and expressed frustration with Mayor Vincent Grayincent the Large RetaileLarge Retailer Accountability Act, which would have raised the minimum wage for large corporations that meet specific requirements, such as Wal-Mart, to $12.50 an hour.
“The bill may not have been good for big businesses, but it was good for workers. We don’t need six Wal-Marts — we need for businesses to set up shop in the areas of the city that need jobs the most,” Lewis said.
She also suggested that Gray’s decision to move up the election window from September 2014 to April 2014 creates an uneven playing field in a race against an incumbent.
In the closing minutes of the hour-long discussion, Lewis asserted her path to victory.
“The way that we win this race is by putting together a coalition of traditional and new voters, people determined to change our political system for the better, and to use my executive experience to help improve the lives of the District’s 632,000 people.”
Will Thanhauser (LAW ’14), who attended Lewis’ event, welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the race.
“These discussions help us to take more of an interest in the politics around us, and to encourage educated discourse about the future of our community,” he said.