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,
I have been privileged to serve as ANC Commissioner for ANC3/4 Single member district two for the past two years. My first term was very fulfilling, and I can leverage that service to be an even more effective Commissioner for this community. Experience counts. My journalistic experience in covering local and national government has also been a benefit in for my ANC work. Serving a second term will also provide continuity within the Commission. Here are some specifics about my service: SENIOR ISSUES: I have been a Chevy Chase DC resident for more than 40 years. Two years ago, my wife and I moved from our DC home to the Knollwood senior living complex on Oregon Avenue NW. Thus, I am very tuned in to issues related to senior citizens. PUBLIC TRANSIT: During my term I was a leader within our ANC in restoring the M-4 bus service to the Chevy Chase, Hawthorne and Oregon Avenue bus route while continuing to urge WMATA to restore the E6 bus. EDUCATION: I contributed to our ANC’s efforts to seek alternative locations for the Lafayette School Pre-K which resulted in a DC policy change to leasing needed facilities. CHEVY CHASE FUTURE: With other Commissioners I was highly engaged in and contributed to our ANC’s response to the D.C. Small Area Plan for ensuring more citizen engagement in the future of the commercial area on Connecticut Avenue. RESOURCES: As Treasurer of our ANC I voted for and administered ANC grants to: • the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club for Rock Creek Park trail maintenance. • the Chevy Chase Citizens Association for its outreach technology. • the International Women’s Democracy Center “Feed the Family” program in ANC3/4G to assist the needy, • Historic Chevy Chase D.C. for the preservation of original police and fire call boxes along Connecticut Avenue. Our Commission achieved a great deal in the past two years. I am proud to have served on our ANC team, and I look forward to serving in my next term.
Our challenge is to keep up with the demographics. We must ensure that longstanding residents are given full attention in areas such as safe streets, mobility, and access to all city programs for supporting them in retirement. On the other hand, we need to keep our district open to growing families with top notch educational services, recreational opportunities, and a true sense of neighborhood cohesion and community life. Good cities must change with the times. But keeping a balance between the old and the new means that change should be achieved with thoughtful and deliberate action and community involvement.
I would like to see the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions – OANC -- follow through on support mechanisms for all ANC’s to leverage improvements in communications technology for neighborhood connections and will bring this to the attention of the City Council. The ANC is also constantly refining its community outreach through its website and social media.
Yes, my question is: Why are you running?
My answer: With my wife and sons spending their careers in public service and the example of my new acquaintances at the Knollwood life care community, which honors public service careers, I decided I could “give back” to my community.
I’m not an aspiring politician, I’m just a neighbor. My wife and I have lived in Chevy Chase, DC for 25 years. We’ve raised our three children there. We plan to retire there. I advise international media organizations on free press and free expression initiatives in places like Nigeria, Pakistan, and Cuba. For several decades before, I was a senior executive – head of strategy, research, marketing, and development – for all US government-funded international media, includ-ing Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Having traveled the world to foster free, democratic societies, I’m now turning my attention to nurturing democracy in our own neighborhood. The ANC is compelling to me for the very reason my career work has been – to make government responsive to the citizens and to give the citizens an effective voice in their community’s affairs.
The most important issue currently facing my Single Member District is traffic and pedestrian safety. Our district includes three of the busiest streets in ANC 3/4G: Utah, Nebraska and Oregon. The current enrollment at Lafayette Elementary is roughly 950, and many of these children are walking or biking to and from school. Too many cars are driving too fast through our neighborhood streets.
To address these concerns, I will do what I have already started to do; convene small groups of neighbors with traffic experts resident in our own community to consider the particular aspects of each area of our SMD. There is no one size fits all solution, but DDOT has many tools in their toolbox to address traffic issues, in accordance with the Mayor's Vision Zero goals. I will listen to neighbors' concerns, convene neighbors and experts to consider solutions and reach consensus, and shepherd them through the process with the city.
To engage our residents:
· I will be available anytime by email, text, or phone.
· I will continue to walk the streets to meet neighbors in person.
· I will host monthly a Commissioner's Corner at one of our neighborhood's intersections.
· I will hold periodic Zoom listening sessions for expanded citizen input.
· I will use ad hoc online surveys on specific ANC issues.
To keep our residents informed:
· I will publish a monthly email newsletter on key ANC business and decisions.
· I will do email alerts on any urgent issues.
· I will appoint neighborhood liaisons for a cross-community network.
As community concerns coalesce:
· I will convene our neighbors to brainstorm remedies and develop action proposals.
· In doing so, I will draw on expertise resident in our very district.
In short, I’ll be the catalyst, connector, and convener to solve problems and build community.
Do you feel your ANC is fulfilling its statutory role?
The ANCs’ “main job is to be their neighborhood's official voice in advising the District government (and Federal agencies) on things that affect their neighborhood.” Over time, however, many ANCs have become mediators of government policy – mini-City Councils, in effect – as opposed to medi-ums for citizen feedback on government policy. Citizens’ views have thus become subordinate. With this shift of focus has come reduced citizen engagement and a decline of public interest. In ANC 3/4G, out of some 14,000 residents, only 30 or so neighbors attend a typical meeting. It is time for our ANC to revisit its core mission of being the neighborhood’s voice and to mount a new, concerted effort to inform and engage the citizens.