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David Catania

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David Catania
Washington, D.C. City Council, At-large
Former Officeholder
In office
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sGeorgetown University
J.D.Georgetown University
Place of birthKansas City, Missouri
Campaign website
David Catania is a former Independent, at-large member of the Washington, D.C. City Council. He held the position from 1997 to 2015.[1]

In 2014, Catania was an Independent candidate for Mayor of Washington, D.C. He lost to Muriel Bowser (D).


Catania is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a B.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.[2]


Party affiliation

Catania began his tenure on city council as a Republican, but in September 2004 he changed his party affiliation to Independent. Catania cited the Republican party's stance on same-sex marriage as of the primary causes of his decision to switch his party affiliation, saying, "On a personal level, this is extremely painful and difficult, because for many years the members of this party have been like family to me, especially here in the District. It's a difficult choice but one I feel I have no choice but to make. I will no longer rationalize my association with a political party that has so badly betrayed my values and principles."

Leading up to Catania's announcement in September 2014, he had been a prominent supporter of former President George W. Bush (R) and had been selected as a member of the Washington, D.C. delegation to the Republican National Convention. After Bush called for a constitutional amendment to same-sex marriage in February 2004, however, Catania publicly withdrew his support and endorsed the 2004 Democratic nominee for President, John F. Kerry. Following Catania's endorsement of Kerry, Republican officials in D.C. removed his name from the list of delegates.

When asked why he did not become a member of the Democratic party, Catania responded, "I felt like I've been stung by one party. I'm not eager to join another. But mostly, being an independent just suits me."[3]

Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Catania addressed the following issues:[4]


  • Excerpt: "The future of the District of Columbia depends on excellent schools that prepare students for success in life. Solving many of the District’s major challenges, from reducing income inequality to creating a robust economy, will require improving the way our students are educated. Every resident in every neighborhood has a stake in the success of our public education system, whether they have children in school or not. We all bear the costs of educational failure."


  • Excerpt: "For eight years, David chaired the Council’s Committee on Health. In that time, he oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment in healthcare facilities – primarily in Wards 7 and 8. David cut through an entrenched bureaucracy, demanded accountability, and used his skill as a legislator to expand healthcare to tens of thousands of District residents. He reduced the number of uninsured District residents by half and dramatically expanded services and access for District children. David led the charge to save the District’s only safety-net hospital in Ward 8, while others were indifferent to its continued operation. He brought new resources and focus to the fight against HIV/AIDS, which resulted in dramatic declines in new AIDS cases and deaths from the disease. He restored cuts to the District’s Healthcare Alliance, which serves the city’s immigrant population. And he overhauled a previously dysfunctional licensing system to ensure District residents receive high quality and safe healthcare."

The Economy

  • Excerpt: "David was the first District leader to make attracting technology-based industries to locate and stay in the District of Columbia a top priority. To achieve this goal, he authored the “New E-Conomy Transformation Act” in 2000 (NET 2000). The law provides targeted assistance in three key areas: workforce development; affordable facilities; and financial incentives. Key components included relocation cost credits, employee wage credits, lease guarantees, and various tax incentives. The most recent data show that Catania’s legislation benefits over 100 qualified high technology companies in the District."

Urban Housing

  • Excerpt: "In 2001, David authored the first property tax cap in District of Columbia, which limited the amount that property taxes could increase in a one year period. Again, in 2004, he authored the “Owner-Occupant Residential Tax Credit and Exemption Act,” which further reduced the maximum annual real property tax increase a homeowner pays from 25 percent to 12 percent. The Act also raised the annual Homestead Exemption. David is championing additional housing options for individuals with mental illness and those living with HIV/AIDS. As Chair of the Committee on Health, David has directed millions of additional dollars to these efforts. David initiated the D.C. HomeStart Initiative in 2000 to examine the District's housing policies and regulations. He created a task force of housing experts to examine how best to strengthen the city's affordable housing opportunities. The group ultimately produced legislation the David introduced. David worked with then Mayor Anthony Williams, who also introduced legislation, to combine efforts to produce the most significant affordable housing legislation in a generation. Among other things, the legislation created a dedicated funding source for the recently established Housing Production Trust Fund."

Same-Sex Marriage

  • Excerpt: "In 2009, Catania was the architect and driving force behind the District’s push for marriage equality. His legislation, the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009,” secured equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. On March 9, 2010 the District became the 6th state or jurisdiction to permit same-sex couples to marry. Importantly, the legislation authored by Catania also protects the religious freedoms enjoyed by churches and clergy who choose to perform or recognize same-sex marriages."



See also: Washington, D.C. mayoral election, 2014

Washington, D.C. held mayoral elections on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on April 1. Muriel Bowser defeated incumbent Vincent Gray, Carlos Allen, Christian A. Carter, Jack Evans, Michael Green, Reta Jo Lewis, Vincent Orange, Luis Poblete, Frank Sewell, Andy Shallal, Octavia Wells and Tommy Wells in the Democratic primary. Faith was unopposed in the D.C. Statehood Green Party primary, while Bruce Majors was unopposed in the Libertarian primary.

In the general election, Bowser defeated face Faith, Majors, David Catania (I), Nestor Djonkam (I) and Carol Schwartz (I).[5][6][7]

Mayor of Washington, D.C. General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMuriel Bowser 54.5% 96,666
     Independent Nestor Djonkam 0.3% 460
     Independent David Catania 34.6% 61,388
     Green Faith 0.9% 1,520
     Independent Carol Schwartz 7% 12,327
     Libertarian Bruce Majors 0.7% 1,297
     Other Write-in 0.9% 1,612
     Other Under and Over Votes 1.2% 2,088
Total Votes 177,358
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington D.C. Democratic Mayoral Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMuriel Bowser 43.4% 42,045
Vincent Gray Incumbent 32.6% 31,613
Jack Evans 5% 4,877
Andy Shallal 3.3% 3,196
Reta Lewis 0.5% 490
Vincent Orange 2% 1,946
Carlos Allen 0.1% 120
Tommy Wells 12.8% 12,393
Write-in 0.2% 235
Total Votes 96,915
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections



"Why I'm Voting for Muriel Bowser."

"I'm Running for Mayor."

"DCTV Meet the Mayoral Candidates."

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Political offices
Preceded by
Washington, D.C. City Council
Succeeded by
Elissa Silverman