Tuesday, September 9, 2014

G. LEE AIKIN, Experience, Goals, Hopes, as Candidate, Chairman, DC Council 2014 & At Large 2016

While many of the goals I had in 2012 remain the same, there are important differences in my goals this year.  I was delighted to see that the change I had promoted for 10 years to put $85 million annually back in the pockets of poor and middle class workers was finally approved by the Council, I was very distressed that we will have to wait until 2019 to see the full benefit.  Then I saw that taxpayers between $25 and $50 thousand will benefit less than $400 while those earning over $1 million will gain more than $8,000.  [In 2015 (2014 tax year) an improved revised D-40, Schedule E was in force, but nobody is being told about it and it is a shame since so many are eligible to get up to $1,000 back.  This benefit plus needed forms is in another of my blog posts.]

So once again the little guy was being made to take crumbs while the big guy was raking in the gravy.  The 4 year delay in full implementation must have been needed to give these bigger benefits to the "important" people.  That is when I decided I must run for Chairman of the DC Council.  This body needs a conscience, gadfly, and any other role I can play effectively.  [In 2016 I am running for At Large to the Council in the June 14, 2016 Primary Election.  While a bit more of our $85 million annual benefit was increased slightly, tax year 2019 is still to long to wait.]

Just this evening (9/9/14) I was told that my opponent has been sitting on a bill that would have our government Divest (no longer own) our funds from companies that are anti environment.  Divesting is powerful.  During the years we supported the struggle of black Africans in South Africa, this tool was used to strong effect in the US and Europe. 

Whether or not I can win, the more votes I get the more I will be able to push important changes for the little guy.  Please forward this blog to others who care to learn details on what is going on in government.  I don't have funds for mass mailings, I have to count on the people to support and spread the word on my candidacy.  If you would like to donate, please write out and send your check to Elect G. Lee Aikin, 1754 Swann St., NW, Washington, DC 20009
Below is my updated resume.

G. LEE AIKIN                                                                               September 2014
Candidate, Chairman DC Council, DCSGP  
See political blog: gleeaikin.blogspot.com

While standing on the Mall listening to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream, I too had a dream, of some day voting in the State of DC, a stronger dream after 53 voteless years.  Let's build a city so outstanding and worthy people will be inspired to support our statehood status.  Let's carry on the legacy of Statehood Party leader, Hilda Mason (Washington, DC statehood advocate and longest-serving elected official in DC history). 

LEE AIKIN’S GOALS & OBJECTIVES: as Chairman of DC Council
Will strive to persuade Council members to enact legislation helping poor and middle class, not continue expanding benefits to “haves” rather than “have nots”. What helps the big guy often hurts the little guy. We must not let Walmart destroy community businesses. Reduce Class 2 property taxes for small businesses.

We must encourage people to use their lands, buildings, and merchandise for worthwhile community activities.  Let's give legal protection to providers with a “Good Samaritan” (hold harmless) law.

Grow a greener, healthier city using our school resources, vacant lots, rooftops, parks, and public housing lands.  Promote public gardens, good nutrition, and solar energy with creative financing. Negotiate green enhancements to all major projects. Enforce agreements for more low income units in new projects.

Let's ease taxes, regulatory burdens, and nuisance fees that discourage entrepreneurs, business, and affordable housing.  Government must enforce agreements to provide affordable housing set-asides in new housing construction.  Teach useful legal and economic knowledge to all our young people.  

LEE AIKIN’s service record includes:
+ Ten year successful effort to restore 1973 pre-Home Rule tax benefits, will restore $85 million to you all.

+ Served as bilingual (Spanish) Administrative Assistant 3 years to an At-Large member of the DC Board of Education. Upon boss's instructions, I succeeded in finding the argument against Carol Schwartz' memo that DC teachers were overpaid and under-worked which changed two votes and prevented a big strike.

+ Served four years on Mayor's Commission for Food, Nutrition and Health.  I plan to champion child and maternal health, and better care for our older residents, the handicapped and care-taking families.

+ Served 500+ hours on Mayor's Task Force on Street Vending.  Strongly support promoting and protecting small entrepreneurs’ and workers’ rights and needs. Will also work to improve and expand modern vocational education in both technical and laboring jobs.  This is especially needed by our 60,000 returned citizens.  Remove blocks to very small business start-ups--Basic Business License, $100 clean hands, etc.

+ For 10 years was an active union member (OPEIU#2), serving as shop steward, and on contract negotiating team, and as grievance committee member.  Persuaded Union to sponsor collecting books and magazines for prisoners at Lorton Reformatory.  We must end life destroying drug arrests for small amounts.

Vote General Election, Tues., Nov. 8, 2016 [all registered voters eligible]

G. Lee Aikin, candidate:  gleeaikin@yahoo.com  
[Contact to find out how to register SGP and vote. Volunteers welcome]

MY BIOGRAPHY (from an email to a labor union)
I was born into a labor activist family in 1938. My great grandfather was a founding member of the first British Carpenter's Union. He was a ships joiner. His son, my grandfather, worked extensively with Eleanor Roosevelt, to develop employment projects for out of work (starving) artists in the 1930s. My mother's father was blacklisted from his job forever as a ship's engineer for refusing to cross a picket line in the port of New York (probably Masters, Mates and Seaman) around 1920. My father was a member and usually President, Vice-President or Treasurer of his local of Insurance Workers in NJ starting about 1945 for around 40 years. He was on the NY Port Council. He spent many hours with union activity (management was trying to destroy his union), instead of selling insurance, so we were rather poor.
     I vividly remember him coming home very upset from a union convention in Atlantic City when I was around 10. He was pacing around the kitchen saying, “We went to our hotel and they wouldn't let our two Negro delegates stay there. I wanted us to go across the street where the hotel would take ALL of us, but the guys wouldn't do it. THEY CALL THEMSELVES TRADE UNIONISTS. SHAME ON THEM!!!.” My mother was also a building representative in NJ with the National Education Association.
     At age 23 I married. My husband had been attending American University under a scholarship to study International Labor Relations provided through his union, Intl. Union of Railway and Steamship Clerks. He worked for a time as an escort to various international labor union officials visiting major rail and shipping centers in the US. One was the head of South Africa's equivalent of the AFL-CIO, another was the head of the Brazilian Transport Workers Union. He also spent 3 months in Brazil and 1 month in Peru on a fact finding mission studying conditions of the transport unions of those countries. I helped him with to edit and write the reports he had to prepare for each of those activities--a valuable learning experience. He subsequently became a DC teacher and helped start the DC Teacher's Union. He helped write the first two union contracts, and was Vice President for High Schools and/or Junior Highs. I was quite involved in these activities.
     Around 1965, I started working as a bilingual (Spanish) secretary at The American Institute for Free Labor Development. I was elected Shop Steward for secretaries and clerks and on the grievance committee all the 10 years I was there, and was on the contract negotiating team for two Collective Agreement negotiations. I also took courses on Labor History and other topics and the George Meany Labor School. At one point we held out on signing a contract for almost a year when they tried to back out of maternity benefits they had initially agreed upon. We also successfully fought a Civil Rights case when management announced they would not promote any women to the better paid Program Officer positions. I gave birth to two boys while I worked there, much enjoying the benefits we had fought for. One son is currently in Special Forces and has fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
     In the late 1970s I was bilingual Administrative Assistant to At Large elected DC School Board Member, Frank Shaeffer Corona. Early in my employment Mr. Shaeffer Corona pointed to a large file drawer and said, “I want you to look through there and find a way to stop the strike we will have this fall if we can't change some BOE votes to accept the arbitrators' report.” After a good laugh, he said seriously, “Look I know you know a lot about teachers' conditions from your husband's activities. So maybe you can find something in there that we could use.” After an extensive search I discovered a memo that I knew to be completely false from a board member to the others. When I showed it to my boss and explained why it was wrong, he had me do research and I wrote a 50 page report. We distributed it to all Board Members, City Council Members, Congressmen on DC related committees, all Building Representatives and Principals, and the Press. I knew from my husband that the AFT was prepared to throw a major strike team into DC to set a national example, and we probably would have had a 3 week strike. The report changed two Boardmembers' votes and there was no strike.
     Some of my other activities are listed above. From 1995 to 2005, I was caring for my mother, father, and husband as they were dying. My mother and husband who had Alzheimers wanted to die at home, and I honored their wishes. I learned a lot about health care and the problems of senior citizens. I have now recovered my strength, health and enthusiasm and wish to work improving the city I have lived in since the day after President Kennedy was elected. I hope your organization will support my candidacy, as I suspect I have the strongest union background of anyone running in DC.
I just got word from the union I sent this to that I am invited to participate in their candidate forum.  Yippie

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