Washington, a familiar Charleston face, seeks mayoral seat | WCHS Network | News • Sports • Business
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Born and raised on the West Side of Charleston, Martec Washington is no stranger to his involvement in the community.
Washington is now running for mayor in the city he grew up in and hopes to fill the post in which he says “he can make more of a difference.”
“I sat and watched Charleston being exploited for far too long by politicians. It’s time we got someone from Charleston, for Charleston in the office,” the 33-year-old told 580-WCHS.
Washington, a Democrat, said his advocacy for Charleston began as a child when he advocated for a playground on the West Side and won one through the Boys and Girls Club. This continued into his 30s, as he said he helped bring a West Virginia Health Right clinic to the West Side after conversations with Angie Settle, CEO of the health organization.
Another important issue that Washington said it has insisted on in the past and will continue to do so as mayor is gun violence.
“I worked hard to get the guns off the streets when friends were shot in front, next to and around mom’s house,” Washington said. “I helped the Department of Justice with the Hard Time for Gun Crime campaign. I was actively around the neighborhood asking friends, family, everyone I knew if they had a gun that was not registered or that did not belong to them.
He added that Charleston’s youth are too often involved with guns as well as drugs. Washington said his campaign is about making Charleston a better place for kids.
“Because they are our future and right now they are dying. They are playing guns here, selling drugs. There is so much more for them and we are going to have to create and show them the opportunities that are there. ‘offer to them,” Washington said.
Washington told 580-WCHS that his goals as mayor include fully funding the police department, paying police better pay and holding police accountable for their actions. He also said he wanted to create additional resources for veterans and add “a real crisis and care team to the city.”
On the campaign website, additional goals for a Washington administration include creating better jobs, improving wages for city workers, expanding economic opportunity, creating a safer city , cleaner and healthier, reopening the city’s trash bag program, and creating more entertainment for kids and adults. .
Washington has held no position at any level, but said he knows many people who could help him in his duties. He also said that citizens would help him as he was on the streets advocating with them even before his campaign started.
“I’ve been at the forefront and tried to change these issues and try to make our community better for years,” Washington said.
Washington will face current Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin in the primary election in May. Goodwin announced his re-election bid in January.
She told 580-WCHS she was proud of her administration’s fight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Goodwin said the city council balanced a budget without raising taxes or cutting essential public services, especially during the pandemic.
Lance Wolfe is the only Republican candidate for mayor. He has an interview scheduled with 580-WCHS next week.