DC ANC 8F03 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 on local matters such as parking, zoning, traffic, liquor licenses, permits, etc.Salary: None
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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?
Unfortunately, I’d say the most important issue is the spike in crime over the past couple of years. Between the shootings near Nationals Park, a recent spate of carjackings, and general lawlessness from large groups of people gathering near Capitol Quarter in the middle of the night, some residents are even considering moving out of the neighborhood altogether. ANC commissioners can try to facilitate better communication between residents and the various DC government agencies that may be able to impact the situation. For example, our current ANC commissioner (currently SMD 6D07, about to be redistricted) organized a meeting between residents of Capitol Quarter and representatives from MPD, MOCRS, and two city councilman’s offices to discuss the recent spike in crime. Community engagement is essential and I would support having more discussions like this – perhaps on a semi-regular basis for the time being – to at least give residents some face time with the appropriate agencies.
My SMD is quite small by area, and over 90% of the residents (per the 2020 census) live in one of three condo/apartment high-rise complexes: The Collective (where I live), Capitol Hill Tower, and Harlow. The remaining 10% is one block of the aforementioned Capitol Quarter townhouse development. I’d like to host semi-regular “office hours” where people could come talk to me directly with questions or concerns. I’ll work with the management of the three high-rise complexes to set up and advertise these types of events to their residents. If an ANC event shows up in a building’s event calendar, it would be a good way to meet and familiarize those who attend with the role and value of ANCs. I’d also like to do something similar in Capitol Quarter, so I’d work with the other ANC commissioner covering the townhouses (they’re split between two SMDs) to set up some community events. And of course, I will try to be as responsive as possible if contacted directly by any residents of my SMD.
I wish that there was more of a discussion about election reform in DC. I’d like to see DC get rid of the party primary system, replace it with a nonpartisan blanket primary, and conduct the general election either using ranked choice voting or a top-two system – something like the mechanism that Alaska recently adopted, or what California and Washington (state) are currently using. In very blue (or red, for that matter) jurisdictions, winning a party primary is tantamount to winning the election. However, primary elections are consistently lower-turnout affairs than general elections. We should always want the higher-turnout general election to be the decisive event that puts people into office. It's not great when someone can squeak through with about a third of the vote in a low-turnout DC primary – and effectively secure themselves a seat on the council that way – when only a vanishingly small sliver of the electorate ever actually voted for them.
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