Washington, D.C. – Randy Downs, candidate for Ward 2 on the DC Council, released a COVID-19 recovery and resiliency plan for workers and small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The plans focus on health protections and fiscal security for workers and support for small businesses while ensuring a recovery plan is in place.

“Covid-19 has cost thousands of workers in the District their jobs and left many small businesses with no choice but to close their doors. For those who are still working, health and safety are a constant concern,” said Downs. “As Councilmember, I will move forward an aggressive plan to prioritize security for those who lost their jobs and I will work creatively to ensure that our local hospitality industry is supported and comes out strong on the other side of the pandemic for workers and businesses alike.”

Down’s workers’ resiliency plan will prioritize three key areas including:

      • protection and opportunity for those out of work
      • safety in the workplace
      • paid sick and family leave

The small business recovery plan will prioritize three key areas including:

      • financial support, including expanded grants during and beyond the pandemic
      • creative solutions to keep businesses operating
      • long-term small business growth

Along with the announcement of the worker and small business recovery plans, four long-time Ward 2 businesses announced their endorsement of Randy for Ward 2. Endorsers included the owner of Floriana Jamie Brand, General Manager of Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse Georgia Katinas, General Manager of Agora Mehtap Demirci, and General Manager of J.R.’s Bar and Grill Jesse Jackson.

“As a former service industry worker, I know it’s tough to operate in an expensive market, but the pandemic changed everything. Bars and restaurants contribute to the character of our neighborhoods and it’s painful when we see them close,” said Downs. “I’ve built relationships and earned the respect of restaurant workers, managers, and owners alike. Workers and small businesses need support now.”

“Randy has helped us out immensely,” said Jamie Branda, owner of Floriana Restaurant on 17th Street. “He’s helped us get streateries open. He’s helped us maintain employment and frankly I don’t know where we’d be if he hadn’t helped us so much. He has been very adaptive, he’s very responsive, and he’s helped us navigate a very difficult time. I’m asking you to please follow me and vote for Randy.”

“He helped us navigate these sometimes- often- complicated systems of the government, and helping us get permits and understanding rules and regulations,” said Georgia Katinas, General Manager of Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse. “Randy was an amazing resource, so supportive and encouraging, and really helped us get our feet on the ground and able to build streateries. We fully support and endorse Randy.”

“Randy is a great advocate for the neighborhood, for the community itself; for all the restaurant industries on 17th, 14th Street, and beyond,” said Mehtap Demirci, General Manager of Agora. “We cannot have done most of the things that a restaurant would need from the city without him. He has the answers to everything without even asking him and he is a great asset to the community.”

“I’m super excited because we are endorsing our wonderful friend Randy Downs,” said Jesse Jackson, General Manager of J.R.’s Bar and Grill. “This pandemic has been rough, but we’re so lucky he’s been on our side. He’s helped us with the process of getting this wonderful streatery. He’s broadened the sidewalks for social distancing and when elected he’ll be the only openly queer member of the DC Council.”

Randy for Ward 2 Campaign

For immediate release: September 17, 2020

Contact: press@randyforward2.com