Washington City Paper: Erin Palmer Is Looking to Unseat D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson

Story by Mitch Ryals, Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Palmer is a mother of three children and was elected an ANC in 2018—both characteristics shape her thinking. In an interview with Loose Lips, she highlights her work on the ANC pushing for changes to solar panel installation guidelines on historic homes and for transparency around HVAC installation and repairs in schools.

Palmer’s views on institutional accountability are largely shaped by her work as an ethics lawyer. But she’s also driven by a more personal experience. She was sexually assaulted in high school and has endured sexual harassment from co-workers, one of whom was a partner at a law firm where she worked.

“While it doesn’t define me, it’s part of how I see the world,” she says. The debate over Initiative 77, which would have eliminated the lower, tiered minimum wage for tipped workers, was largely about workplace power dynamics, from Palmer’s perspective. “It does play a role in how I see issues.”