Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 27, 2018

AU student runs for DC Council

AU student runs for DC Council

Ryan Sabot (left) poses for a picture with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (right).

Correction appended

School of Public Affairs junior Ryan Sabot announced his candidacy for the Council of the District of Columbia on Nov. 1. He will run as the Ward 3 representative, an area that includes AU.

Though the District is run by the federal government, the D.C. Council is the city’s legislative branch that controls the day-to-day operations of the District. It is responsible for passing local laws and ordinances with the approval of the federal government, according to its website.

The primary election for Ward 3 Council will be held April 1.

Sabot is running as a Libertarian on the platform of the new D.C. Libertarian Party (DCLP). One of his goals as a councilmember is to eliminate regulation because it deters small businesses from opening, according to his official campaign website.

D.C.’s demographics make it a fertile place for startups, but many are discouraged by the District’s high level of regulation, Sabot said. He plans to change this if elected to the D.C. Council since the legislative body is not tackling regulation reforms, he said.

One of his most controversial opinions is his belief that everything should be legal unless it hurts another.

“You should be able to do what you like so long as your decisions cause no harm to others,” Sabot said. “The only person who knows what is best for yourself is yourself; you should be free to make your decisions accordingly.”

Sabot said he defines harm as actually committing “physical harm” to another.

If elected, some of other goals Sabot plans to carry out include:

  • ensuring D.C. statehood
  • legalizing marijuana
  • improving parents’ choice in what schools their kids will attend
  • deregulating D.C. cabs so that startups like Uber can grow

Sabot decided to run due to his history with the Libertarian party over the past three years. He ran the D.C. branch of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign office, served as chairman of the DCLP and helped get the DCLP permanently onto the local ballot.

With the recent founding of the DCLP, they are attempting to gain further legitimacy and get as many candidates on the ballot as possible, according to Sabot. This will help diversify D.C.’s two party system and offer residents an alternative to what the District has now, Sabot said.

Correction: A former version of this story stated Sabot’s stance was pro-abortion, when it is actually the belief that everything should be legal unless it hurts another.

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