Paul Zukerberg Becomes First Candidate on Ballot for Vacant City Council Seat

The lawyer is running on a ticket to decriminalize marijuana.

By: Harry Jaffe

Pot has not made Paul Zukerberg slow to collect signatures to get on the ballot for the April 23 special election.

Zukerberg, running on a ticket to decriminalize marijuana, says he filed 3,091 verified signatures at the Board of Elections today to become the first candidate on the ballot for a vacant DC City Council seat.

The board must certify the signatures.

“We’ll be making a supplemental filing next week just in case,” Zukerberg wrote by e-mail. “But the response we have been getting is really encouraging.”

Zukerberg, 55, is an attorney who has defended marijuana possession cases for 27 years. He believes the District should follow in the path of Colorado and Washington, two states that are in the process of making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal.

He is the first in a crowded field of potential candidates. Anita Bonds, a veteran in DC politics going back to Marion Barry’s mayoral days, intends to run. She’s occupying the seat on a temporary basis. Michael Brown, who lost his at-large seat in the last election, is eying another run. Elissa Silverman has announced for the seat. A former journalist, she’s now an analyst and communications director for the DC Fiscal Policy Institute.

Republican Patrick Mara also hopes to mount a campaign.

But Zukerberg, who’s running a broad campaign on education reform, is the first to submit his petitions.

If nothing else, he’s putting marijuana decriminalization on the table—and on the question list at the inevitable candidate forums.