A Call to Action to Limit the Re-election of Officials in the District of Columbia

James Butler and a supporter. Photo: MLN


Washington (MLN) – Former District of Columbia Democratic hopeful James Butler called on voters to support an initiative to limit the now unlimited re-election of officials in the capital city. “If the voters want the District of Columbia to approve this initiative, our job will be to ensure that the City Council abides by the will of the voters,” Butler said.

Butler said that he is promoting an initiative to limit the reelection of the positions of mayor, councilmembers, attorney general and members of the State Board of Education to two terms. 

Butler challenged incumbent Muriel Bowser in the Democratic primary last year and then as a write-in candidate – which requires voters to write her name on the ballot – in the November general election.

During his campaign, Butler advocated for rent control, increased housing availability for low-income people, police community outreach, more educational programs and funding for the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) ). 

Butler graduated in Public Relations Sciences from Kent State University and as a lawyer from the Ohio State University College of Law. Currently, there are no limits for an official to be reelected. Councilmen such as Phil Mendelson and Jack Evans of District 2 have held the position for more than two decades.

A total of 15 states impose limits on the re-election of legislators and more than 30 on governors.

In 1992 in Maryland, Prince George’s County imposed limits on councilmembers while in 2016, neighboring Montgomery County did the same for councilmembers and the county executive, limiting re-election to two consecutive terms. “I think that when people spend too much time in the position, they lose the perspective that they are really working for people and it seems that people serve them. That’s not a democracy,” Butler said.

The former DC mayoral candidate will have a period of six months to collect 25,000 valid signatures from registered voters when the DC Elections Board approves his initiative, which would be included in the November 2020 election ballot. However, the Council has the power to veto the initiative.

With information from Political Hispanic

About Santiago David Tavara

Santiago David Távara is an experienced Peruvian-born journalist living in the Washington DC area. Over more than two decades Mr. Távara has covered local news stories in the Washington DC as well as cultural, sports, economy, social, national, and international issues. He has specialized in topics which affect the Hispanic community such as immigration, business, health, and demographics. He has also been assigned to cover national and international issues in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the State Department, the Organization of American States, the, IMF, and the World Bank.

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