City Desk

Leo Alexander Explains His D.C. Mayor Run

Why is Leo Alexander running for mayor?

LL stopped by his kickoff event at the Channel Inn on Monday evening to ask the 45-year-old Brightwood resident and newcomer to electoral politics the first question any decent reporter is obligated to ask a candidate—especially one convinced (deluded?) that he can knock off well-financed incumbent Adrian M. Fenty.

His response: "I'm running because of the suffering that's going on in our community," the former TV reporter and government spokesperson says. "No one has a plan to attack generational poverty in our community."

Alexander's got a few specific proposals: First, rebuilding D.C. General Hospital in a public/private partnership (such as the one that fell apart late in Anthony Williams' tenure); second, "hiring an army of social workers and turning them loose in this city" to address root causes of social decay; and third, keeping illegal immigrants from holding jobs in the District by requiring employers to screen workers with the federal government's "E-Verify" system.

"They're using it right now in Arizona, Mississippi, and South Carolina," Alexander says, namechecking some states that don't usually share much common political ground with the District. "A generation ago, Washingtonians worked in the hotel industry, parked cars in restaurants—they're still here, but they've been replaced by illegal working poor who will do the job for less money and won't complain because they're illegal. We've got to do something about that."

His anti-illegal rhetoric only extends as far as employment. Regarding housing or deportations or any other measure, he says, "let Obama take care of that federally."

More broadly, Alexander says he sees "a lack of compassion in this current administration," a malady he traces back to the Williams years. "My base," he says, "are Marion Barry's people."

To wit: "I want the disenfranchised. I want people who are unemployed and cannot find jobs. I want people who cannot access health care. I want people who are union employees. And I want working-class D.C. to understand I'm gonna be their alternative in this mayor's race....We are counting on the working class, the unions. They need to recognize that I am their candidate, and the sooner the better." (Barry, incidentally, tried to install Alexander as his cable-television chief in 1997, but dropped him after the plan was leaked .)

But every with the least, the last, and the lost in his corner, how's he going to even come close to beating an incumbent with nearly $3 million in the bank?

The plan, according to Alexander, is what you'd expect: door-knocking, an Internet blitz, free media, lots of community meetings. He's also convinced that, simply by being the first visible challenger, he'll scare off the competition. Vincent Gray, for instance: "If you know anything about his personality, he likes a safe bet....He knows that I would cut into his base, so he cannot win the mayor's office with me in the race. Same thing with Kwame Brown, Michael Brown, and any of the rest of them."

OK, then. What about the money?

Alexander says that if he can raise $250,000 by the Jan. 31, 2010, reporting deadline, he's for real. "That will determine whether or not I will be competitive in this race," he says. "If I can get $1 million [total], he's in for a hell of a race."

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  • WOO

    I would vote for Daffy Duck just to get Fenty out!!!

  • WOO

    One of the first changes need to be replacing Michelle Rhee!!!

  • Brittancus

    Homeland Security needs to expand E-Verify to every human resources and workplace in the US? It has been demonized and almost crippled by the Democratic leadership led by Sen. Harry Reid. But one way or another he wasn't the only offender who nearly tabled this powerful immigration enforcement tool. This PC software is something practical, forwarded from the previous president’s box of tools to extract illegal immigrants from the working locations. In this jobless environment every company’s nook and cranny needs to be explored for unauthorized workers, including long time employees.

    Under the relentless pursuit of the US chamber of Commerce, ACLU, Council of Foreign Relations who were involved in numerous efforts, to crush it's usage. But laughingly brought enormous public attention to the computer application like a magnet? This would also be the ideal identification process to eliminate illegal immigrants from accessing any health care reform as well? INCIDENTALLY! ILLEGAL ALIENS CAN STILL EXPLOIT THE EMERGENCY ROOMS, AS THEY DO NOW? For --ALL--violators it's should convey harsh fines and any employer with 10 or more foreign laborers and mandatory prison sentence. The procedure has some problems, but nothing that cannot be resolved expeditiously in the near future. If you are interested in saving American jobs call your Senator or Representative in Washington 202-224-3121 and demand permanent E-Verify. NOT JUST FOR NEW HIRES! Learn who is seriously catering to the American worker and those who panders to big business at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH.

  • Ward 4 Voter

    This guy have my vote. I too am against illegal immigration. I don't like half breed Fenty.

  • creativemeat

    Dear Loose Lips,

    Please. I need more LEO! Can we start a separate column just for his social policy views?

  • IMGoph

    as soon as he said marion barry, my eyes glazed over. next.

  • RT

    I can see already that this guy is a travesty. I am shocked that his weird mix of unworkable left-wing populism and right wing hatred is garnering any positive comments. You guys are fucking crazy... which is maybe how we had a crackhead like Marion in the first place.

  • DG

    This guy is a complete joke. "Hiring an army of social workers and letting them loose in the city? ... to address root causes of social decay ... and third, keeping illegal immigrants from holding jobs in the District”?

    First of all you are going to need a hell of a lot more than social workers loose in the city to address the core poverty problems in DC. Amazing he didn't mention education being a vehicle to uplift the poor - oh, i see, Fenty has got that covered.... never mind. Stopping illegal immigrants from working in DC? That's not even realistic. And, as a resident, I will not tolerate discriminative mid-west red neck policies in the nations capital. No way.

    I'm voting for Adrian M. Fenty. Granted we may not all believe in every last one of his policies or his style. But he's good for DC. He's truly making this a world class city. Respect that.

  • DAD

    News Flash to DG and every District of Columbia resident. Do not make the mistake of making incorrect assumptions about Leo Alexander due to information not included within any newspaper article. Leo Alexander has a plan for education. Visit his campaign website at, ask him any questions that you want online, and have him over to your home for a meet and greet with you, your neighbors, friends, and family. Make your decision based on full information. Think about why since January 2007 you have rarely if ever seen any stories in certain newspapers in this city about Adrian M.Fenty that he would be unhappy about. Do you think this means he is a great mayor doing no wrong? Absolutely not. As long as the wealthy and powerful have their agenda for the District of Columbia and its government being met and the city's advertising dollars, property, contracts, grants, neighborhoods and whatever else are flowing to to folks to boot, you are not going to see leads investigated or stories researched and published about what is really going on within the Fenty administration or about how absolutely crazy, dangerous, and unfit Adrian M. Fenty is to be mayor. Many thousands of native and longtime DC residents already know anyway by word of mouth and so do our cousins in P.G. County, MD. They are talking about him too and don't even live in DC. Fenty's policies and style don't even scratch the surface of his pathos. The man operates through fear and intimidation like a crazed political thug. DC ain't New York or Chicago nor do we want to be. Do not be afraid. Check out Leo Alexander and anyone else who comes into the 2010 mayoral race. Then be sure to vote and put Adrian M. Fenty where he belongs. Out of office.

  • ServantLeader

    I am ready to see Fenty go, honestly he does not have a plan, reading his website has me thinking maybe I should run for mayor sooner than I expected?? Seriously we must be accountable for our spending, if this will ake us back to the freely spending days of the Marion Barry administrations then he is a no go, and he believes he will scare off political heavyweights in this town?? Dude people barely know who you are, if Kwame wanted to jump in the race he'd beat your behind clean!!

  • Jesse

    DG, if people are illegally in the country, they shouldn't be working. Illegal immigration has hit the black community the hardest. Many of our middle class neighborhoods have been overwhelmed with illegal aliens. My Ward 4 neighborhood looks like El Salvador. This guy has my vote based on his stance against illegal immigration. DG, you talk about rednecks, well what do you say about Salvadorans/Mexicans who have racist views of blacks before coming to the U.S.? Many white Latinos or so called brown ones are racist towards blacks period. The identify with being of the white race and as being white.

    Brightwood Resident

  • Robbie

    "Illegal immigration" - I'm sure each of you are ICE officers and have duly checked every single person's passport and identity cards in your communities.

    How about instead of broad brush generalizations and half-assed solutions victimizing the "other" we take a proactive view of actually addressing the blatantly OBVIOUS inequalities in education and health?

    Of course that would mean critiquing your own community and neighborhood as well as the "other".

  • http://deleted solotruth DC

    "As long as the Citizens of the District of Columbia
    vote for pain we will never see change"

  • http://deleted solotruth DC

    If you want to talk about Illegal immigration, I dare you go into McDonalds, Burger King, Popeyes or subways or any other resturant or carry out in this city. Tell me who is working behind the counter? I don't see white people, I don't see black people, I see illegal aliens from all walks of life. Working where we use to work to support our families, raise our children and try to hold our communities and neighborhoods together. But these dry bones in this city doesn't know how to boycott this establishments until 50% of their employees are White Americans or Black American. Let's take our city back!

  • Anonymous

    SOLOTRUTH DC, I'm with you. Leo Alexander is not the only challenger in the race there is a WOMAN on the scene who has not officially announced yet but as far as I know she's on the campaign to "take our city back!"

  • Anonymous

    The issues that Leo raises are not new and his platform does not seem solid enough as he does not talk about the way in which he's going to do things. It seems that candidates believe that their names and big contributions will win an election, no, let the people speak!

  • DC Williams

    This guy does seem to know what he wants and does not stay committed to any job he has held held in the past. He jumps from one job to he is an insurance sales man and he is just trying to sell you on BS. To reduce poverty, we need to educate and lead by example...the leaders in our community are Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Marion Berry. These people keep racism alive. If these people were representing the white community they would have been fired!!! They are a disgrace to our race. We need to get positive leaders for our community...stop making it so easy for the woman to have all of these babies out of wedlock and get them off of welfare and section 8. Our government is keeping our race down by giving us an easy means to get by instead of "we the people" making sacrifices and getting educated, refraining from having bastard children, refraining from selling drugs to ur own people and putting in time to better ourselves...our representatives give us a pathetic life alternative in government handouts and we vote for them in return. We will never be equal as a race if we continue to take handouts. The Chinese, the Japanese, the Indians and even the Puerto Rican are doing better then us as a race. We are keeping ourselves down.

  • MoberryBlue

    Wow! - Who are the disenfranchised? What is the cause for the disenfranchised? Interested in hearing about the plans on education from Mr. Leo Alexander.

  • The singing bowtie

    OK, first off this man is a damn fool. I think this even more now than I did when him and his folks were in freedom plaza protesting a few weeks ago. He is talking about the flawed E-Verify Program. He needs to stop trying to kiss up to the Unions who have no expressed interest in seeing this city become a better place and look at what is really going on. He is just a sap and a fool if he thinks he has a chance. I would rather vote for the James Traficant (sp) as my mayor.

  • Jeff Phelps

    I was very impressed when I met with this candidate for DC Mayor in 2010 and his family Monday night.. He specifically wanted to know what the residents of DC wanted from their new Mayor in 2010 and beyond and is willing to accept questions or speak at an upcoming event anywhere in the city.

    I believe he has a very unique platform and plan to help DC residents on both sides of the park which I felt I had to share. As a family man himself Leo and his wife; a Commander in the US Navy; spoke of honor, trust and duty and what Leo brings to the table. Leo does not want to give DC residents a fish; he wants to teach them to fish by providing them access to fishing poles which will help DC residents on both sides of the park.

    While it appears Leo Alexander is trying to reduce generational poverty in DC which might not be a concern of some DC residents; he has some very good ideas on how to do this and why doing it will lower taxes, crime and increase monies for public services while also giving our DC children the chance to compete for jobs and college entrance by providing them a better education in our public schools and finally "Bridging the Digital Divide" through the use of more and better technology, processes and systems.

    1. Mr. Alexander plans on attacking the Generational Poverty problem at its infancy with the DC Public school system as he does not believe our children in DC are any less smart than their counterparts in Montgomery and Fairfax County or our teachers are any less educated or motivated. He feels after many administrations our children and teachers just do not have the tools they need to raise test scores which relies heavily on technology and having Internet access and computers in classrooms, labs or libraries. I also know during this bad economy less DC parents can afford private school tuition and would like to be able to send their children to our public schools.

    2. Mr. Alexander plans on going after more jobs for DC residents by putting vocational training back in our schools; decreasing the level of illegal immigrants competing for these jobs and working with businesses to offer a higher percentage of DC jobs to legal DC residents. He also wants to work with our local colleges and high schools to offer placement assistance for their graduates by having them partner with businesses in the community. How many of our kids have degrees and cannot find work?

    3. With more DC residents working or furthering their education it will increase the amount of taxes paid into the system and reduce some of the families on public assistance. With more DC children being able to compete for jobs and college entrance they will be able to help their parents and siblings succeed as well. All of this will help decrease taxes paid on both sides of the park and provide better schools and public services which can even help to raise real estate prices in the city.

    You can ask Leo questions yourself via his social networking links on his website or contribute to his campaign right online if you believe it is time for real change in 2010.

    I moved to DC with the hopes of finding my 11 year old son a decent education but 6 months later we were homeschooling him. I do not believe that firing the teachers was the right decision when they have never had the tools they needed to help raise test scores or to show many of our inner city kids that there is more out there beyond their own city block.

    Vote for finally Bridging the Digital Divide in DC, bringing back vocational programs in our schools and reducing taxes and crime in our city by helping all of its legal residents compete for jobs in DC so that generational poverty can be reduced in our city.

  • aisha.ahmad

    I like that fact that he is talking about working class DC. I am a member of that class. I like that he is talking about the poor and affortable housing.I do not hate Michelle Rhee. She needs to ask for more help from the community she is seeking to change. I am a school teacher it is very disturbing that most of the master teachers are young and white.This city is still majority black are there no people of color that are of middle aged and master teachers. Master implies that you have spent many years teaching. The manner that the principals and managers deal with the staff is very troubling. The reform should be real not and attack on older teachers. There are many things missing from this system. The community should have had some say so in picking the reform person. She does not have the ablility or the managar skills to deal in a system this large. Her plan is to fire and harass any one who questions any thing that is not in line with her plan. I voted for Fenty but I did not vote for some one to take away the board of education and the rights of all workers in th school system or the city government. If Mr. Alexander is about all Washingtonians .I will vote for him.

  • IMGoph

    aisha: not to denigrate you, but fenty campaigned on getting rid of the school board. to say that you voted for him, but that you didn't want that to happen, means that you weren't really paying close attention to his platform.

  • Chitlin’ Eatin Nigga

    His base is comprised of Marion Barry supporters? *Rolls eyes and sighs* So he IS a Chitlin' Eating Nigga as I suspected when I met this clown.

    Since there are no viable candidates to run for Mayor, I'll be stuck voting for Fenty.

  • Mrs. D

    While I realize this is a blog an occasional errors will be made by commentors, aisha, your comment is full of grammatical and spelling errors and demonstrates a rather low-level writing skill. I'm sorry, but that's what's wrong with our educational system. Too many teachers aren't particularly well-educated or intelligent themselves, and pass this on to the kids. Anything that rewards intelligent, motivated, well-educated teachers should be done, a million times over. If members of the "establishment" that don't meet the criteria for these rewards are left behind, crying in their soup, too bad.

  • Mrs. D

    And there is is...*and

  • TruthBeTold

    @Chitlin' Eatin Nigga - You are one ignorant SOB. Don't hurt yourself.