This year’s primary election campaign is a heated one, especially for D.C. Democratic loyalists. Both incumbent candidates, Brianne Nadeau and Anita Bonds, have worked very hard for their constituencies. Bonds has been a champion for families, seniors, housing and the homeless in the district. She is also a senior statesperson, and greatly needed on the city council. Nadeau, too, has built up strong support over the last several years.  

Right now, both Nadeau and Bonds are challenged by young, well-spoken advocates who want faster, more aggressive change. In Ward 1, incumbent Nadeau faces Kent Boese, Sheika Reid and Lori Parker. At-large candidates challenging Bonds include Jeremiah Lowery and Marcus Goodwin.  

 I do not know if this year’s crop of candidates is a reflection of new energy from millennials, a reaction to the current national politics filtered down to the local level or a general need for change.It is great to have such intelligent, empathetic choices running for office, but I fear that public service as an elected official is the only opportunity attracting good people to lead and be involved. My hope is that all the newcomers put just as much energy into community involvement, as they do into their campaigns.  

 While all candidates have their strengths, only the incumbents have proof of performance. But if any of the challengers win, he or she must remember that they will be junior members on the council; he or she will have to build up support and seniority to carry out campaign promises.  

 In the meantime, it is up to the voters. And no matter what, listen, learn and vote! 

 Angie Whitehurst is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.