Washington, D.C. Mayoral candidate Andy Shallal, known best as the founder of the Busboys and Poets bookstores in D.C., was hosted at the historic Henderson House in Falls Church today by Nikki and Ed Henderson, where he spoke to two dozen attentive guests.
Shallal, a former resident of Fairfax County where he was an activist for education, is bucking a strong field of opponents in the upcoming D.C. election. But he is running as a non-City Hall insider with strongly held positions, including the need for D.C. to ensure a living wage for working people, and to invest far more in providing for the needs of persons coming out of prison (estimated at 10 percent of the D.C. population, or about 60,000) and coming home from middle eastern wars. He cited the shocking contrast between the privileged and educated populations of D.C. in the northwestern quadrant of the City, and those east of the Anacostia River, where unemployment runs at 25 percent.
In addition to the Hendersons, Shallal noted he is close friends with Falls Church City resident Mike Curtin, who is currently head of the D.C. Central Kitchen.
Shallal will be on the ballot for the April 1 primary election where he will be pitted against a large field led by incumbent Vincent Gray.