|Member of the Council of the District of Columbia|
from Ward 2
|John A. Wilson|
October 31, 1953|
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, U.S.
University of Pennsylvania|
University of Pittsburgh
John K. "Jack" Evans III (born October 31, 1953) is an American Democratic Party politician and lawyer. He has represented Ward 2 of Washington, D.C. since 1991, making him the D.C. Council's longest-serving lawmaker. Evans serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. He ran for mayor in 1998 and 2014, but lost the Democratic primary both times.
Evans was born in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, the son of a florist and a school teacher. He received an economics degree with honors (cum laude) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1975, and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978. He began practicing law in Washington, D.C. at the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Enforcement.
Evans was elected to the D.C. Council in 1991 in a special election to replace John A. Wilson, who had run for council chairman and won. He was sworn in on May 13, 1991. He had previously served as a member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B in Dupont Circle. Evans was elected to serve as chairman of the ANC from 1989 to 1990. He is currently the Councilmember for Ward 2, which includes Chinatown, Logan Circle, Blagden Alley, Dupont Circle, Sheridan-Kalorama, Foggy Bottom, the West End, Georgetown, Burleith, Hillandale, and much of Downtown Washington (including the White House and the National Mall).
On the D.C. Council, Evans serves as chairman of the council's Committee on Finance and Revenue, which oversees the District's finances and tax policy. The city has balanced its budget for 20 consecutive years and improved from a B- to a AAA bond rating. Evans authored the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Schedule H reforms.
Evans was a delegate at the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, as well as D.C. co-chair of the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign, the 1992 and 1996 Bill Clinton presidential campaigns, the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign and the 2008 and 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns. He was a Presidential Elector for the District of Columbia in 1992, 2004, and 2016. He also served as D.C. Democratic Party treasurer from 1988 to 1991 and board chairman for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in 1995 and was elected the Democratic National Committeeman who represents the District on the Democratic National Committee in 2018.
Evans first ran for mayor in 1998, coming in third behind Anthony A. Williams and fellow councilmember Kevin P. Chavous. Evans opened his second campaign for mayor on June 8, 2013. By December 10, his campaign had raised over $1,000,000, making him the top fundraising candidate and the first to break the million-dollar mark. On January 27, the campaign had turned in more than 10,000 petition signatures, the largest collection of signatures by a mayoral candidate in the 2014 race. Evans finished in fourth place with 4,039 votes.
During his time on the D.C. Council, Evans' outside employment includes work as an insurance executive for Central Benefits Mutual Insurance Co., as an of counsel attorney at the Squire Patton Boggs law firm from 2001 until 2015, and earlier as a partner with the firm BakerHostetler. In October 2015, Evans became Counsel to the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. He resigned from the firm in November 2017.
Evans has been criticized for using his constituent service funds to purchase tickets to sporting events. Such funds are also used to help needy constituents with expected and unexpected expenses, such as funerals.The Washington Post calculated that Evans had spent $135,897 on sporting events and directed $101,564 toward charitable organizations over the previous decade. Evans explained that, as a major advocate of local sports, he used funds for the benefit of Little League Baseball teams and other constituents that cannot afford to attend sports events. In 2016, the council approved a $20,000 increase to the funding limits of constituent services funds.
In 2018, the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability opened an investigation into Evans's dealings with digital sign company Digi Media, to determine whether Evans had violated the Council's code of conduct by lobbying on the company's behalf. Evans denied violating ethics rules.
Evans supports gay rights. According to the Washington Blade, "Evans has been the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of virtually every LGBT-supportive bill that has come before the legislative body." In 2009, Evans co-sponsored the bill that legalized same-sex marriage in D.C. The nation's capital became the first jurisdiction in the United States south of the Mason-Dixon line to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Evans supported the Verizon Center, which opened in 1997 in his ward and became home to the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, and Washington Capitals as they moved from suburban Maryland to downtown Washington, D.C. He played a key role in the negotiations that brought the Montreal Expos franchise to Washington, D.C., in 2005, and in the Council's 2004 decision to finance a stadium for the Washington Nationals. In 2016, Evans stated that he opposed proposed legislation that would impose a cap on public funding for a new Wizards practice facility.
In 2001, Evans introduced successful legislation to overturn a 1994 referendum that had limited members of the D.C. Council to two terms. Evans argued that by denying voters their choice of candidates, term limits were undemocratic.
Evans has several times introduced legislation to ban Council involvement in the contract procurement process, a practice which Evans has described as "a recipe for mischief", and which Washington Post said in 2015, "practically invites losing bidders and their lobbyists to attempt an end run."
In July 2012, Evans sponsored legislation to delay the direct election of D.C.'s attorney general. Voters had previously approved a charter amendment making the post an elected, rather than appointed, position. Evans expressed concern that the city was not ready for the scheduled 2014 vote, noting among other things that no candidates had emerged for the position. In June 2014, a federal appeals court invalidated the legislation and ordered that the vote take place as scheduled.
In 2013, Evans co-sponsored introduced emergency measures to keep application-based services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar street legal.
Evans favors the return of the Washington Redskins to the District of Columbia, and has said that neither the personality of the team's owner, Daniel Snyder, nor the controversy over the team's name should be relevant to that effort. As he explained, "whatever it's called, whoever owns it is not relevant, because that will change over time."
In 2016, the D.C. Council considered legislation that would provide paid family and medical leave to employees in the District of Columbia and fund the benefits by new taxes on all District businesses. Evans opposed the new tax, calling the proposed legislation an "absurdity" because most of the benefits would be received by residents of neighboring Maryland and Virginia, not the District, whose businesses would be taxed. As an alternative, Evans co-introduced legislation which would have afforded the same paid leave, but in lieu of a tax, would have required private employers to pay employees for the time off. Although supported by the Mayor and major business groups, the alternative failed, and the original proposal passed the Council by a vote of 9-4.
Evans has twice served as the primary director from the District of the Columbia on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, first from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2015 through the present. He has served as chairman of the board three times (1994, 1997, and 2016). During his current tenure, Evans has advocated reform of the agency and additional funding from the federal government. In November 2016, Evans urged that Metro's challenges should be addressed by a federal takeover, in an arrangement akin to the control board that rescued the District from financial crisis in the 1990s. Evans stated that Metro's current 16-member board was cumbersome and unworkable. Evans also cautioned that establishment of a control board would face major legal and political challenges, and acknowledged that the proposal was unlikely to win much backing.
Evans currently serves on the following committees:
Evans married Noel Soderberg in 1994. The couple had three children together, triplets. Soderberg died in September 2003 after a long battle with breast cancer. His second marriage, to Michele Seiver, ended in divorce. Evans is a member of the Christ Church in Georgetown and the Foundry Methodist Church in Dupont Circle, for which he served as Chair of the annual AIDS fundraiser from 2001-03.
|Jack Evans (D) 31%|
|Jim Zais (D) 27%|
|Bill Cochran (D) 11%|
|Clarene Martin (D) 11%|
|Anthony Williams (D) 50%|
|Kevin P. Chavous (D) 35%|
|Jack Evans (D) 10%|
|Harold Brazil (D) 4%|
|Sylvia Robinson-Green (D) 0%|
|Jeff Gildenhorn (D) 0%|
|Osie Thorpe (D) 0%|
|Muriel Bowser (D) 43%|
|Vincent Gray (D) 33%|
|Tommy Wells (D) 13%|
|Jack Evans (D) 5%|
|Andy Shallal (D) 3%|
|Vincent Orange (D) 2%|