I would like to thank all my family, friends, volunteers, and supporters for believing in the AllenforDC campaign from the beginning, and for your unwavering support even as we close the campaign. I appreciate all the DC residents who signed our petitions and supported the idea that I should be on the ballot.
It is a risky proposition for any citizen, particularly first-time candidates, to put themselves forward for public office. The amount of scrutiny, pressure, detractors and distortion of record are all realities in the current system. Any petition gathering process that encourages and enables these negative characteristics of campaigns only serves to discourage people from stepping forward as candidates.
I want to be clear, while I take responsibility for my campaign, I did not knowingly or in any way sanction fraudulent petition collection. Many people who know me or have met me during this campaign have given me words of encouragement and assurance that they know and believe that we pursued this campaign in good faith and with integrity. That is the case and I thank them.
The fraud perpetrated by outside consultants, Strategies for Change, was identified by the DC Board of Elections, and is a systemic problem that caused the will of thousands of DC residents to be thwarted in my campaign and others’ and it must be addressed. I plan to offer my insights to the DC Board of Elections about how the petition collection process can be improved so that DC residents can be more reliably verified in real time or have the opportunity to register for the first time, using relatively inexpensive technologies that already exist today.
This election was never about me but about my hope that we would have more voter participation and a more representative local government. I value all the insights I gained and the lessons I learned in this process. Though this is an unfortunate end to our campaign, I am as committed as ever to being a good neighbor, a problem solver, bridge builder and a contributor to our city’s progress. I look forward to seeing you around town.
S. Kathryn Allen