John A. Wilson (politician)

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John A. Wilson (September 29, 1943, Baltimore, Maryland – May 19, 1993, Washington, D.C.) was an American politician.

Politician[edit]

He grew up on the Eastern Shore.[1]

In the 1960s, Wilson was active in the civil rights movement, first with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and then with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).[2] He moved to Washington, D.C., as associate director of the National Sharecroppers Fund. He was also co-chaired the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee and was elected to represent D.C. on the Democratic National Committee in 1992.

Wilson served in 1974 as the chairman of the drive to approve the referendum to adopt the Home Rule Charter for the District of Columbia. The charter allowed residents for the first time to elect both a mayor and a 13-member city council called the Council of the District of Columbia. After approval of the charter in 1974, Wilson successfully ran for election to the council, representing Ward 2, which at that time was the most diverse ward in the city. He represented Ward 2 until he was sworn in as chairman of the council on January 2, 1991. He served as chairman until his death by suicide in 1993.

During Wilson's tenure as the Ward 2 council member, he chaired the Committee on Finance and Revenue and was widely acknowledged as an expert in municipal finances. His early warnings about government overspending proved prophetic, eventually leading the U.S. Congress to establish a financial control board to oversee the city's finances for a number of years.[3]

Wilson's legislative record includes controls on converting rental housing to condominiums, gun control, rent control, and expanded medical coverage for women and children. He wrote the District's tough anti-hate crimes laws as well as its human rights law, which is one of the most comprehensive in the country.[4]

Academia[edit]

During his council years, Wilson was a Harvard Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government at Harvard University.

Legacy[edit]

The John A. Wilson Building was then named after him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Wilson". The Washington Post. 20 May 1993. p. A22. 
  2. ^ "Guide to the John A. Wilson papers, 1974-1993, Collection number MS2190". George Washington University. 
  3. ^ Sanchez, Rene (20 May 1993). "John Wilson Found Dead in Apparent Suicide: Friends Cite Depression, Anxiety About Career". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Kara Swisher; Brooke A Masters (17 Sep 1989). "Police, Gay Activists See Rise In Assaults on Homosexuals: Better Statistics on 'Hate Crimes' Sought 'Gay Bashing' On the Rise, Police Say More Hate-Crime Statistics Sought". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Council of the District of Columbia
First Ward 2 Member, Council of the District of Columbia
1975–1991
Succeeded by
Jack Evans
Preceded by
David A. Clarke
Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia
1991–1993
Succeeded by
David A. Clarke