City Desk

Clark Ray for D.C. Council Draft Committee Reveals Itself

Well, it's out in the open now.

A draft committee that was possibly the worst-kept secret in local politics in recent weeks has revealed itself today, in a press release and Web site urging Clark E. Ray, recently fired Department of Parks and Recreation director, to run for an at-large council seat.

"We believe that Clark Ray as a member of the DC Council will serve based on his dynamic VISION for what our City can become," the release reads. "He is someone who has proven that he is a man of ACTION and that he can get RESULTS."

The author of the release is Peter Rosenstein, the longtime gay activist who was once Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's most vocal supporter in the GLBT community. The draft committee list of more than 80 names includes a number of folks active in gay-and-lesbian politics (Darrin Glymph, Lane Hudson, Sheila Alexander Reid), some neighborhood activist types (Cary Silverman, Jack Jacobson, Laurie Collins), and a few political wild cards (Adam Clampitt, Neil Richardson, Judith Terra, Jacque Patterson, Cora Masters Barry).

Also notable: The list includes at least two of Ray's former employees at parks-and-rec—John Stokes, the agency's communications director, and Michele Molotsky, the former aide to Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans who runs senior programs for the agency.

Unmentioned in the release is whether they want Ray, who is gay, to run as a Democrat (i.e., against Phil Mendelson) or as an independent (i.e., against David A. Catania, or someone else should Catania decide not to run). The former possibility is widely considered to be more likely. But in either case, having a significant element of the gay political community going out on a limb against either of those sitting members—two of the council's most GLBT-friendly—is notable.

As for Ray, he's playing coy. LL first asked him about the rumors, and last week the Blade's Lou Chibbaro Jr. further pressed him. "I would think it would be foolish to rule out anything," Ray told Chibbaro. "I am flattered that there are those that think I am a viable individual to consider for Council at some point in time in the next two years or whatever. D.C. is my home. I’m going to be here forever. I think I’m young at 45. I plan on being around for a while. So I certainly wouldn’t rule anything out."

UPDATE, 9:45 A.M.: LL got Rosenstein on the horn; "Clark is a Democrat and will run when he announces as a Democrat," he confirms. So why go after Mendo? "I personally want to thank Phil Mendelson for all he has done for our city and for introducing GLBT legislation. But I personally...believe these are not lifetime positions, that you need new blood, new ideas, and need someone who is ready to re-energize the council. While I personal want to thank Phil for all he's done, it think it's time for someone new." He adds, "This is not totally about GLBT issues. I think there are a broad spectrum of issues that need to be dealt with in this city," naming "crime initiatives, education reform initiatives."

Full release after jump.


Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee Formed

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee.

We believe that Clark Ray as a member of the DC Council will serve based on his dynamic VISION for what our City can become. He is someone who has proven that he is a man of ACTION and that he can get RESULTS.

Clark Ray has a record of service to people second to no one who has ever run for the Council in the District of Columbia. In his career he has worked for the people of our nation and our City and has a history of hard work and accomplishment. His VISION for our City includes ensuring that we provide opportunities to all and work to make sure that everyone can reach the full potential of their innate abilities.

Clark Ray has spent the last nine years crisscrossing our City serving the needs of people. He has been out five days a week in communities and neighborhoods both East and West of the river making sure that people are served by their government. We know Clark Ray will be the kind of Councilmember who will come to you, knock on your door, and ask what you need to make your life better, and then work to make it happen.

We ask you to join with us to make sure that Clark Ray knows the wide-spread support there is for him in communities and neighborhoods across the District. We urge everyone to go to our website,, to learn more about Clark Ray and understand why his record of service and his VISION for the future of our City compels us to support him.

Sign up and join the draft committee and let Clark Ray know how you will volunteer, contribute and work to elect him when he announces that he is a candidate. We know that when elected Clark Ray will be working for all of us 24/7.

Draft Clark Ray for DC Council-at-Large Committee (in formation)

Linda Adams and Jonathan Greenblatt

Warren S. Arbogast

Sarah Blunt Barnett

Cora Masters Barry

Kim L.E. Bell

Marla Blow

Marsha and Carlos Botts

Kenny Brooks

Adam Clampitt

Laurie Collins

Michael Coscia

James A. D’Orta, MD

Aubrey Dubra

Kristofer Eisenla

Pat Fisher

Dorothy B. Ford

Tim Francis

Gaby Fraser

Marilyn Funderburk

Anthoula P. Gianniotis, RA

Darrin Glymph

Jim Gray

Simone Green

Tom Gross

Brenda Hall

Everett E. Hamilton, Jr.

Edith S. Harriet

Cynthia Harris

Charlene Hamilton and Georgette Walker

Paul Hazen

Audrey Hendricks

Karen Homes and Howard Sargent

Lane Hudson

Jeffrey Jackson

Jack Jacobson

Linwood Jolly

Angela Jones and Donna Broderick

Jim Kane

Dan Katz

John J. Klenert

David Lowenstein

Mike Lawson and Jerry Maready

Tamara Wilds Lawson

Isha Lee

Delphine Lester

Brad Luna

Brian E. Markowski and David Gilmer

Russell Merlin

Vince Micone

Margaret Mitchell

Michele Molotsky

Sondra Norrell-Thomas

Kevin Nourse, PhD.

Mustafa P. Ostrander

Jacque Patterson

David Perruzza

Ray Quintero

Saundra Ratliff

Dionne Reeder

Greg and Candace Rhett

Neil Richardson

Sheila Alexander Reid

Peter D. Rosenstein

Philip Sharp

Cary Silverman

Mike Silverstein

Janet Staihar

Bill Starrels

John Stokes

Al Teitzman

Judith Terra

Trevor Thomas

Macavoy Tyree

Tom Usselman

Douglas J. Ward, MD

Victor Wexler

Don Wilson

William Winebrenner

Charles and Kimberly Young

Raenelle Humbles Zapata, Esq.

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  • Adams Morgan

    Does he live in Ward One?! He could (and should) run against the Grahamstander if he does...

  • Bob Summersgill

    Peter Rosenstain's actions are bizarre. Does he mean to send the message that if a politician advocates for our rights--especially marriage equality--and responds to our needs, and doesn't put his ego ahead of our rights that we will work to unseat him?

    I will be working for Phil Mendelson's re-election and any of the other 11 members member who voted for marriage equality.

  • Charlie

    Will Clark Ray get the support of the anti-gay ministers who have vowed to defeat Councilmembers who support marriage equality along with the Chamber of Commerce crowd? It could be an interesting election.

    And if elected, would be be another tool of Mayor Fenty?

  • Charlie

    He lives in Ward 4.

  • Tom

    Do they really believe he can beat Mendo?? They are really living in a fantasy world. He would have a better chance beating Bowser.

  • Jack Jacobson

    Mr. Mendolson has done much for our city during his extensive tenure on the Council. I laud his past work, and he should be commended for his service. Clark brings a new vitality, new ideas and a new vision which will help our entire city as we continue the march of progress. I look forward to a vigorous discussion about where we've been as a city and where we intend to go in the future.

  • fedupcitizen

    Mr Ray please go for Catania seat he's worthless. Ane a Fenty tool

  • candycane1

    Clark also brings bad judgement with the $75k heater for a pool in this economy. Phill Mendelson is the strongest of all councilmembers. He's not afraid to stand alone on issues when he knows he's right. He fought against Nickles'confirmation,fought against making govt. employees "at will" voted against a mayoral takeover because he knew it was the wrong mayor. For that, Mendelson is still needed.

  • jane b

    Mr. Ray is a nice, cool guy, but he's been mostly ineffective in his jobs with the DC gov't. He campaigns for a candidate, is rewarded with a job and then coasts. If you want a doer, look elsewhere. A lot of 'wanna-be-connected' folks are crowding around him.

  • Anonymous, too

    jane b has it spot on... I like Clark, personally, but this dog ain't gonna hunt. Especially against Mendo.

  • Amused

    Hmmmm..... The Parks Department sure was "hunting" with him in charge........... go figure! Don't count this "Dog" out before the hunt begins............

  • Darren

    Until his dismissal from Parks & Rec made the news, I'd never heard of Clark Ray. He's either brave or foolish to consider a leap for a council seat after being fired. Catania and Mendelson have proven themselves to be extremely responsive to their city-wide constituents and very effective in their jobs, so it would take a very accomplished person to change my vote(s). Has he decided who he wants to run against?

  • Hasheed

    Why was Ray fired and not transferred to another post?
    Didn't Rosensteen support Evans and Fenty and then, not? I looked at the website and 'the news'. Sorry, not convincing.

  • Ugly Truth

    Slogan: "Vote For Clark to Help Elect Scott Bolden"

  • Franklin

    "Clark brings a new vitality, new ideas and a new vision which will help our entire city as we continue the march of progress. I look forward to a vigorous discussion about where we’ve been as a city and where we intend to go in the future."

    New vitality? New ideas? New vision? Unfortunately, Clark's website sounds like 'more of the same,' unconvincing rhetoric... similar to the above, vapid statement.