As Tuesday’s election draws near, Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony A. Williams has honed his platform to focus on education, crime and local government inefficiency. Williams opposes Republican Carol Schwartz, who is in her third mayoral campaign. Williams defeated seven other candidates in the Sept. 18 Democratic primary election with 50 percent of the vote. In the primary elections, Williams, the former chief financial officer of the District, campaigned on a platform that addressed issues such as “developing and implementing a strategic plan for economic development, reducing taxes and attracting businesses, improving our education system and making our city a safer place to live and conduct business,” according to a position paper. Specifically, Williams said he would attempt to fix the District’s troubled school system. In response to a Washington Post questionnaire, Williams said, “In the District, too many children attend schools where teachers lack the tools they need to teach, where roofs leak and violence fills the halls.” In September, Williams responded to several questions about neighborhood issues posed by the Citizens Association of Georgetown, the results of which were published in Georgetown Citizens, a local newsletter. On the issue of university expansion plans, Williams said, “Universities must be good neighbors. We already have laws to stop universities from running roughshod over their neighbors. The system is only as good as the people who run it.” Williams said his appointments to zoning boards would “represent the broad interests of our community, not the narrow interests of institutions and developers.” Williams also addressed the issue of parking in Georgetown. He said, “I intend to work with Georgetown’s citizens, businesses and parking lot owners to increase the usage of available private parking space. I want to create incentives to make sure that commercial parking lots are open, available and filled whenever there is a parking demand.” In order address these issues, Williams said he would reorganize the budget to provide sufficient resources to teachers, to assign more police and security officers to schools and to implement a multi-year capital improvement program to repair school buildings. Williams has since enlarged his platform to include improving the Metropolitan Police Department. The Aug. 25 Washington Times reported on his plans for the city’s police force. Williams said he wanted to have more officers patrol the city on foot or bicycle rather than in their cars and encourage more anti-crime activities in conjunction with area residents. In addition, Williams would seek to the have the city’s crime statistics audited by an outside agency, such as the FBI. In The Post questionnaire, Williams said, “I will not claim success as mayor of this city until we can walk home after dark or allow our children to play outside without fear.” Also included in Williams’ platform are plans to improve the District’s government, long known for its inefficiency and overall failure. The Washington Post reported on Oct. 24 that Williams would focus the first part of his term on finding methods to correct problems in the city’s government. Williams said, “There are people who are not doing their jobs; I think there ought to be accountability and consequences.” Additionally, Williams said he would like to see the District attain increased home rule. Congress, which does not have a D.C. voting representative, oversees the local government. Williams said in a Washington Post questionnaire, “The people who live in the nation’s capital must have the right to elect our own leaders and to determine our own form of government.” He said he would also implement an “Inspector General” to identify problems in the government. Williams also said that the mayor should be able to appoint city officials, such as the Chief Financial Officer and the City Administrator. Williams grew up as an adopted member of a family of 10. He served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from Yale College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Additionally, Williams holds a law degree from Harvard Law and a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In the past, he has worked as the Deputy State Comptroller of Connecticut, a position assisting with the state’s budget, and as a chief financial officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This position required Williams to move to Northern Virginia. In 1995, he moved to Washington to become the city’s chief financial officer, hired by Barry to improve the District’s finances. With the assistance of various programs and a strong economy, the district regained financial accountability and changes were made. Williams resigned in June to begin his mayoral campaign. Williams could not be reached by The Hoya for comment.

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