Real estate professional Marcus Goodwin has emerged as one of five challengers in the race for the at-large Democratic Washington D.C. Council seat currently occupied by well-respected five-year incumbent Anita Bonds.
The 28-year-old is a first time Council candidate and an executive at development company Four Points, where he works on acquisition, valuing and underwriting purchases for apartments and condos in Washington D.C., New York, Carolina and beyond.
The Washingtonian prides himself on knowing his hometown’s neighborhoods inside out.
“I tell people there is not one intersection you could name and me not have a precise idea of where it is, from the residents, the cultural implications, the economy and the development potential. That focus gives me a really good perspective.”
After having focused on urban studies at the University of Pennsylvania and real estate at Harvard, Goodwin worked in investment banking in New York before returning to D.C.; and with that finance knowledge, he is proving highly adept at fundraising for his Council seat run, aiming for $100,000 in funds by the end of January, which eclipses those of the other candidates. Goodwin says he has raised funds through that good old real estate staple — yard signs.
Goodwin name some influential D.C. Realtors in his sphere, starting with his own personal agent, Boucie Addison of Washington Fine Properties, who has contributed to his campaign fund. The political aspirant also moves in the same circles as Keller Williams D.C. powerhouse Bo Menkiti of the Menkiti Group; and David Cox of the Cox & Cox Group at Keller Williams Capital Properties is a neighbor and supporter of the issues Goodwin will be campaigning on.
Goodwin also belongs to a networking group of ambitious, young African American real estate professionals under 40 called The Young Real Estate Council.
Addison is not surprised by Goodwin’s political ambitions. Her son and Goodwin have been friends for years, and when he was in seventh grade he had “more people in his Rolodex” than she had from all her years in real estate.
“I am extraordinarily proud of Marcus and what he has accomplished,” said the agent of 40 years. “He would be a great asset on the Council. He works really hard, he is not just a one-issue person, he is very passionate about different things,” she said.
Goodwin’s platform is highly influenced by his grasp of real estate issues and his background as the fifth of eight children. If elected, one of his big focuses will be to push for more renters to become homeowners. Having purchased a home in Sixteenth Street Heights a couple years ago, homeownership has been a revelation for him.
“Buying a home has been the “biggest marker of my maturity and growth,” he said. And he would like to buy more homes to create generational wealth.
Goodwin has accumulated student debt, but that didn’t stop him from investing in a home, and he plans to promote homeownership and financial support to more young professionals. He would also like to see a high school curriculum that promotes financial literacy.
Another concern of Goodwin’s is gentrification, which he believes should be faced head on. Gentrification gets a bad rap sometimes, but it creates opportunities and jobs in communities that lacked them, and it enriches people in the process, he says.
“It’s about creating access to those opportunities — that’s the piece that gets missed — so it is a positive force instead of something negative.”
As the son of an elementary school teacher, Goodwin sees a strong need for affordable housing for service providers in new housing developments.
“It matters to live and work in communities you serve,” he said. Around 55 percent of people who work in the D.C. district aren’t residents there.
One of the downsides of affordable housing units is the government-calculated cap on price. That cap prevents owners from being able to sell for market price like they would a regular unit. A fair fix, Goodwin says, would be a bill from the Council that allows homeowners to sell for market rate after occupying the home for 10 or 15 years.
“Then you are creating an asset after being in the community for 10 years,” he said.
The people will vote on June 19.