About Paul Zukerberg
ZUKERBERG'S FIGHT FOR FAIRNESS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE GOES ON
In 4 short months, Paul went from an unknown with zero votes, to a candidate with 1,000 committed voters. As expected, this time, Anita Bonds, the incumbent, was returned to office with 16,000 votes.
The best news is that Paul's votes came from across the city. At a time when voters have been polarized and pigeon-holed, Paul was able to reach out and gain support in all eight city wards.
More importantly, Paul was able to reshape the debate. Read about his remarkable candidacy in the Washington Post. http://bit.ly/Y2d9Zc
Thanks to the many people who helped in big ways and small.
YO DUDE - TOMORROW’S THE ELECTION
Four months ago, I was an unknown candidate, with no funds, no supporters, and a tough issue. One political consultant told me if I mentioned the word marijuana, I “couldn’t get elected dog catcher.”
Well, it’s a good thing I’m not running for dog catcher. I running for fairness for young people. I want jobs - not jail - for kids coming up today. And I’m not afraid to take a controversial position, if I think I’m right.
And after a while, something miraculous happened. People began to listen. A recent poll found that 75% of registered voters now agree with my position on decriminalization. Strangers came up to me to whisper words of encouragement. Kindness has kept me moving forward.
It’s been a wild ride too. I was almost knocked off the ballot by an unscrupulous opponent. My petition signatures were rejected by the Board of Elections, and Ilana and I had to go through over 66,000 signatures, one-by-one, to prove I was right and the Board of Elections wrong.
I have been mocked as “old Rufus Pothead,” and wrongly pigeon-holed by the press as a one issue candidate.
But guess what? I’m still standing. And I have as good a chance as any candidate to pull this thing out. All it takes is you, on Tuesday.
Only 10% of registered voters are expected to vote. My opponents are carving up this 10% among themselves, with their smarmy junk mail and dinnertime robocalls.
But the other 90% - the silent majority - belongs to me. People of good faith and common sense now have the chance to elect someone who is dedicated to making real change in the lives of young people - to boost them up, not pull them down.
But it’s truly show up or shut up time for reformers. I’m the first candidate to fight for young people, and I could be the last, if voters don’t stand strong with me.
So get up off your couches, step from behind your desks, walk from your homes or jobs to the polling stations, and let your voices be heard. Don’t listen to the pundits, the pollsters or the professional politicians. YOU are going to decide who wins this election - if you vote tomorrow.
And for those who have supported me in big ways and small, whatever happens on Tuesday, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
On March 21, the Washington Post Editorial Board wrote of Paul:
"Paul Zukerberg (D) is an authentic new voice with a smart grasp of the issues, a commitment to pragmatism and a powerful message about marijuana laws making criminals out of too many of the District’s young people." He was the Post's top pick among Democrats.
No More Professional Politicians and Lobbyists
Paul arrived in DC as a young law student at American University in 1981. He now lives in Adams Morgan with his wife, Dr. Ilana Zukerberg, a family dentist, and their two great kids, who attend local public schools. He's not a failed politician or professional lobbyist.
Paul has practiced law in Adams Morgan for over 27 years. He has always represented the underdog - a man wrongfully charged with murder, a cop falsely accused of corruption, and 297 J.B. Johnson nursing home employees, who were denied fair wages.
Paul's court victory for the J.B. Johnson employees included one of the largest punitive damage awards ever in a fair wage case. He will take his keen sense of justice to the DC Council. He will fight for you.
Making DC a better place
Paul and Ilana were founding parents at the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. Paul actively supports school reform, in both Charter and DCPS. He believes in supporting successful schools, and the people who make those schools successful, our team of great teachers.
Paul has worked to make DC a livable, walkable and bikable city. He was a volunteer coordinator for Safe Routes to School, helping to found one of the city's first urban bike trains for students. Kids who walk or bike are healthier, and arrive at school ready to learn.
School reform in trouble
After 5 years of progress, D.C. school reform has stalled. Our test scores and graduation rates have stopped rising. (Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2012) Neighborhood public schools are closing, denying many parents school choice.
Paul will push forward on education reform, and its most important element – support for our teachers. Teachers, along with parents, are the bedrock of school reform. Paul will make sure that every parent has real school choice - a good neighborhood school and a charter school option.
Violent crime is up
Violent crime, including crimes against women, is spiking. (Wash. Examiner, Dec. 18, 2012) Felony assault – up 7%. Rape – up 36%. Violent sexual assault – up 51% in 2012.
Our Metro crime rate now tops other major transit systems. (Examiner, Mar. 1, 2012)
What is our City Council doing about rising crime and sinking schools?
Well...the Council spent this past month arguing over what color to paint the taxicabs. We need to focus on solving real problems - not creating new ones. Paul wants more police on the street fighting serious crime.
Reforming DC marijuana law
With over 27 years of criminal justice experience, Paul is the only candidate who can bring marijuana law reform to the District. Last year, MPD arrested 5,759 people for marijuana offenses - almost every one personal use amounts. Marijuana arrests are up 72% since 2002, even as arrests for violent crime have plummeted.
D.C. is now #1 in the nation in marijuana possession arrests per capita. (CityPaper, Aug. 13, 2010) That's an award we don't need.
New York, Philly, Detroit, Boston and Chicago, have all reduced the penalty for possession of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction.
15 states - even Nebraska - now treat possession of marijuana as a civil violation. We should too.
Instead of arrest and prosecution, adults pay a fine. For juveniles, it's parental notification, plus an educational class. That's smart policing.
Marijuana reform means police, courts and probation officers can focus on fighting gangs, guns, and violent crime.
Putting cops back on the beat
Sensible reform of marijuana law is supported by law enforcement, city councils, mayors and governors across the political spectrum. It means DC cops patrolling your neighborhood – not back at the station house, papering more than 4,000 small marijuana cases each year.
Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy said that marijuana law reform in his city will free up an additional 45,000 police man-hours to fight violent crime. (AP, June 27, 2012)
We need all of our police officers on the street, and in Metro, fighting the rise in serious and violent crime.
Show your support
Want to get behind Paul's message of reform? We need you. Paul is running against well-funded, professional politicians and lobbyists. He won't win on April 23, 2013 without your help.
Show your support by clicking the donation button above, signing on to become a campaign volunteer, hosting an event, or passing the word about Paul's reforms through Facebook, Twitter and social media.