WASHINGTON - The newest member of the D.C. Council is also the youngest - and he's got big shoes to fill.
Trayon White ran unopposed in the Ward 8 race after defeating LaRuby May in a primary earlier this year. He will take the seat once held by former mayor and former councilman, the late Marion Barry.
White visited FOX 5 Monday to discuss his plan to serve some of the city's most under-served population.
"One thing I learned from Marion Barry is if you put the power to the people you can win. So I galvanized the hearts and minds of people in Ward Eight," White said. He said coming up short in the first election gave him and his supporters extra motivation to get involved.
He said many of those who supported him were young citizens – some of which had not participated in previous elections.
RELATIONSHIP WITH BOWSER
Even though Mayor Muriel Bowser heavily supported his opponent, LaRuby May, White says the two have a good relationship and will work with her to move forward.
"I think this is a new time for D.C. We have a new lot of new council members coming in with big visions for Ward Eight. So it’s imperative that we all work together."
White says he hopes to work with President-elect Trump on ways to improve the situation in Ward Eight – which at this time has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. "I think anybody that gets in office – we’ve got to push the envelope and make we are a priority in D.C."
White says he is optimistic about what is ahead. He says he wants to make sure the focus is on education and jobs. "We're pushing our people in the direction where they can afford to live here and grow here, "White said. Crime, White said, is one of the biggest obstacles Ward Eight faces.
A D.C. native, White says he is hopeful to build on the energy Marion Barry once had to help move Ward Eight forward. "I’m not Marion Barry. I'm Trayon White," he said. "People believe in me, trust me and are behind me."
"Parts of what makes me successful is I look like the population I serve," White said. "They see hope in me. I want to get them to tap into the potential that God has for them and start doing something with their lives."