AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley
Amid rising violent crime in the nation’s capital and an ongoing epidemic of “minor” crimes like shoplifting and carjacking, Democrat D.C. City Council Member Charles Allen – one of the leading proponents of far-left criminal justice “reforms” in the city – is now facing a recall effort. If organizers reach the required signature threshold, it would mark the first time in D.C.’s history that a city council member would face a recall election.
Violent crime in D.C. has continued to spiral out of control since the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots that saw dozens of businesses looted and many historic public parks and statues in the city vandalized and destroyed. 2023 was the deadliest year in D.C. since 1997, with a total of 274 murders – right on the heels of 203 murders in 2022 and 226 in 2021.
Meanwhile, property crimes have also continued to be a major issue in the city. As AMAC Newsline recently reported, thieves have completely cleared out dozens of convenience stores around the city – only for the criminals to turn around and sell their stolen goods in pop-up shops on the street, sometimes just a few blocks away from the stores they just robbed.
The carjacking craze which has gripped major cities throughout the country has also been particularly acute in D.C., with 959 reported incidents in 2023 – more than double the number from 2022. Most of the offenders have been juveniles, some as young as 12 or 13 years old.
Yet despite the ongoing crisis, the D.C. City Council has advanced legislation reducing penalties for crimes and making it more difficult for police to do their jobs. Last year, over the veto of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the council passed a radical overhaul of the city’s criminal justice code that would have slashed prison sentences and virtually stopped the prosecution of many crimes. The bill was ultimately blocked by Congress in an unusual move that reflected just how extreme it was.
The chief architect of that bill was Allen, who represents Ward 6, which includes the affluent neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Allen notably has been a major proponent of cutting police funding and pushed hard to reduce sentencing guidelines for carjackers in the midst of rising carjackings.
Another bill Allen championed which did pass was the 2020 “Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Act” – the D.C. government’s response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The bill took square aim at police officers in the city, including restricting police officers’ right to collective bargaining and outlawing a number of common procedures used to stop and question individuals suspected of committing a crime. Following the bill’s passage, D.C. saw a mass exodus of police officers, with the size of the city’s police force reaching a 50-year low last April.
Yet despite all the chaos and tragedy wrought by Allen’s “reforms,” the three-term incumbent remains unapologetic, denying that his policies have anything to do with rising crime. “I never take the support of my neighbors for granted, but I also know I share their values and provide leadership they’re proud of,” he said in a statement to Axios.
Jennifer Squires, a government worker and longtime Capitol Hill resident, launched the recall effort against Allen in December. Squires has admitted she voted for Allen during his most recent re-election campaign in 2022 – when he won with more than 90 percent of the vote running unopposed – but now says she has had enough and is spearheading an attempt to remove him from office.
In order to force a recall election, the recall committee will first have to collect signatures from 10 percent of all registered voters in Ward 6, estimated to be around 7,500 people. If they are able to do so, the D.C. Board of Elections will call a special election to decide Allen’s fate.
The recall effort does appear to be gaining some momentum. An X account with the name “Recall Charles Allen” has grown to nearly 1,400 followers, and local news outlets are now covering the proceedings.
However, the D.C. residents looking to boot Allen from office face some daunting challenges – most notably the D.C. Democrat Party, which is sure to back Allen. The recall effort could get a major boost from the D.C. police union, which has yet to get involved. Union chair Gregg Pemberton has said of supporting the recall, “It’s certainly something our executive board will consider if the effort progresses.”
Despite decades of dealing with the disastrous consequences of liberal rule, D.C. residents have refused to change course, instead doubling down on failed policies and empty promises. Whether they choose to take it or not, voters will now have yet another chance to hold their leaders accountable.