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DC ANC 3C03 Commissioner

Duties: Serves as a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). Commissioners represent the views of residents of their Single Member District (SMD). After deliberation and votes, the ANC Commission advises the Mayor, Council and executive agencies in local matters such as parking, zoning, traffic, liquor licenses, permits, etc.

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    Janell Marie Pagats
    (NON)

Información Biográfica

What is the most important issue facing your Single Member District and how do you intend to address it?

How will you engage with residents to be an effective Commissioner, especially reaching those who are unfamiliar with the role and value of ANCs?

Is there a question you wish we had asked? If so, what is the question and how would you answer it?

Qualifications I am a huge nerd when it comes to history, the built environment, obscure and fun facts about the District. Love hearing more stories along these lines from folks who have been around and look forward to meeting more people who might share that interest in while this role. My professional experience has also helped in this role. I work for a global, independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of today’s built environment as a professional services marketer. I do not do the technical stuff but do know a little about a lot! I work for this firm because of their commitment to a number of initiatives that are important to me including diversity, equality and inclusion; a myriad of climate change commitments; and the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (UN SDGs - https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/) - a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. We, as a firm, are using the UN SDGs as a guide to deciding what projects we are willing to pursue because of our commitment to shaping a better world. These goals also guide my thinking and reasoning while serving on the ANC.
Campaign Twitter Handle @https://twitter.com/Janell105Janell
The biggest issues involve a very loud minority of people blocking change - from housing to bike lanes to a single-family homeowner putting a pool in their backyard. I give credit for turning up consistently and unrelentlessly. I do hear from many people who do not participate in the process because they are terrified of being bullied in public meetings, listservs, etc. What I can and have done is try my best to make participating and commenting a somewhat more welcoming space. Equality, diversity, and inclusion matters. What I do, and will continue to do, is consider the voices and needs of those not present and commenting at meetings or on the public record. The oath one takes as an ANC is that I “will consider each matter before me from the viewpoint of the best interest of the District of Columbia”.
I wish we (ANCs) had support and or guidance with websites, newsletters, etc. anything really regarding large engagement with the community. This is a volunteer gig. I love doing it but I have only so much time to give to it and choose to spend that time where it is most impactful. To me, that is not building my own website or curating my own newsletter. We should have guidance and templates provided by OANC so that each ANC throughout the District has a starting point. Many ANC sites get lost in handovers since each one is responsible for doing its own thing.

As for how I engage with residents, I like to get out in the community and get to know people, their needs, and concerns. I do think that the online meetings are more welcoming and inclusive and as a result made ANCs matter more.
Why would you want to serve in this role? My answer is - A commissioner colleague answered this question when someone else asked with “if not me, who?”. It is not an easy gig if you truly care. I care a lot. I look at the present, past, and future when I make decisions. I have learned a lot and will continue to do so. This is the most taxing, rewarding while unrewarding and thankless position I have ever volunteered for. I have no regrets. I enjoy serving my community. I have been able to meet so many neighbors and made so many friends and learned so much. The girl scout in me just really thrives on meeting people where they are and trying to do my best to improve upon that.