"Dustin, why weren't you the President?" - My principal, the late Dr. Rebecca Newman said aloud at a student government meeting during my senior year of high school.
If elected the next Mayor of DC, I'll turn 34 years old during my first week in office. High school is a distant memory, but the public display of support by one of my mentors (my principal) is something that has never left the forefront of my mind.
She saw me leading at a young age, and clearly knew which 'buttons to press' to make sure that her students went on to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
If she was still alive today, and if I become elected Mayor (knock-on-wood), I've thought many times that it'd be fitting for her to hold the book that I take the oath on during inauguration.
I think she'd be proud of my run for Mayor, and even prouder to know that the first set of donors to contribute to my campaign were high school classmates of mine.
Dr. Newman is the second most influential woman in my life, second only to my mother. My early supporters told me that I should get out ahead and share my life's story ... How does one even begin to summarize a life? ... so I brought my confidant John to meet my mother in the Spring of 2017, and to review my family photo albums.
John and my mom had a blast looking at all the photos, from the day I was born til the present moment. John was enthusiastic to see that my mother had documented so many memories, and he was elated to have access to these photos.
John is my biographer. Here is what he wrote ...
Written by John, Friend of Dustin
The following biographical account was collected by the author during a series of informal personal interviews with Dustin Canter in May and June of 2017.
The New York Times asks… 2016: Worst. Year. Ever? – and it was quite a roller coaster. In Washington DC, the 2016 presidential election loomed large and despair fell upon most of the city once the election returns began to roll in. Negative waves of emotions – from shock, to panic, to fear, and so on – afflicted so many of us as we faced the prospect of a future that we never dreamed could become a reality.
I asked Dustin Canter what he felt during that time that we all remember. I asked him how he processed the events of that day in light of his decision to run for Mayor of Washington DC. I asked him if it changed anything for him, since he hadn’t told anyone about his decision to run for mayor at that point.
“Yes of course it was shocking, and there are so many things for all of us to be extremely worried about after the loss in that election. The thing that bothers me the most is the uncertainty – where we just don’t know what he’s going to do next.”
“I had told my family and close friends about my calling to run for Mayor. Everyone’s reaction was positive but some of my people suggested I think about running for DC City Council instead. I took the opinions of those close to me very seriously and I was considering whether which path would be a better option.”
But after the events on Election Day 2016, Dustin knew his decision. He posted on Facebook