City Paper Widget

Friday, October 31, 2014

ANC Candidate Interview Roundup

Early voting ends today (Friday, October 31) and Election Day is next Tuesday, November 4. Here is a roundup of SALM interviews of candidates with links, grouped by ANC.

Don't know your ANC district? There are two search tools: one by the DC government, the other by Code for DC.


District 01

Marvin L. Johnson

District 12

Colleen Costello


District 02

Jennie Nevin (withdrew from race)

Ellen Nedrow Sullivan

District 03

Patrick Nelson

District 04

Kevin Cain

District 07

Juan Lopez

Jessica Laura Smith

District 12

Matt Abbruzzese

John Green

Additional joint interview with Abbruzzese and Green


District 04

Thomas B. Martin

William K. Smith


District 02

Daniel Warwick

Jonathan Padget

District 05

Jonathan Jagoda

Abigail Nichols

District 08

Robert Sinners

District 09

Noah Smith


District 06

Charlie Bengel

Danielle Pierce

Interview with Marvin Johnson, Candidate for ANC1A District 01

This is a written interview with Marvin Johnson, who is running for Commissioner of district 01 of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1A/Columbia Heights-Park View.

Johnson's opponent is Lester Cuffie. On October 23, I sent Cuffie (and Johnson) an email to the addresses they supplied to DC election authorities. I asked for responses to the written questions below. Cuffie did not respond.

District 01 is a compact district in the north of ANC1A -- see upper left of map. It is bordered by 14th Street NW on the east, 16th Street on the west, Ogden Street on the south, and Spring Road on the north.

Don't know your ANC district? There are two search tools: one by the DC government, the other by Code for DC.

-- Where can voters go to find out more about you?

There are several ways voters can find out more about me. I am hosting a Get Out The Vote Rally at LA CabaƱa Restaurant, 3614 14th St., NW on Monday, November 3rd between 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Folks are welcome to stop by and chat with me and other neighbors. Our neighborhood is stronger when residents and neighborhood businesses work together so the rally presents an excellent opportunity to mix and mingle. Voters can also find out more about me at:

My email address is: or I can be reached by phone at: 202-417-8010.

-- Sixteenth Street borders your district on one side. What do you think about the proposed 16th Street dedicated bus line? Will a lane make 16th Street more congested, or less? Will it be easier or more difficult for commuters in your district to get to downtown jobs?

I have not owned a car in fourteen years and rely on public transportation to get around so I support bus lanes on a personal level. However, I empathize with residents who are concerned about the loss of off-street parking and drivers who want two lanes open for cars in each direction. The question is if we can accommodate all of those “wants” on 16th Street.

Currently, parking is restricted during rush hour which allows the curbside lane to carry traffic that could be used as dedicated bus lane. North of Arkansas Avenue and south of W Street, 16th Street is configured with just the four lanes, which leaves out a dedicated bus lane as a solution there. However, one idea I have heard of suggests using a five lane configuration that allows the curbside lane to be used for buses only during rush hour which seems to present a “win-win” situation for almost every side of the issue. The center reversible lane would remain as a 2nd general lane.

At least for the near future, the aforementioned is just wishful thinking since the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is planning a transit priority study scheduled to start in 2015 to “examine various alternative approaches for improving transit along the 16th Street NW Corridor.” This study presents the opportunity for residents and the ten ANCs (including 1A-D, 2A-F, 4A-D, and 4G) which are affected by the route to weigh in on the matter.

As the ANC Commissioner for 1A01, I would like to see and will advocate for an improved system for the movement of buses which also includes cross-town bus services that better connect neighborhoods. Increased service frequency along 14th Street is also of concern and I support the proposed MetroExtra Route 59 limited-stop service outlined in the October 2012, Metrobus 14th Street Line Study – Final Summary Report developed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in partnership with DDOT.

My ultimate goal is to support a comprehensive transit plan that not only decreases congestion on both the 14th (52, 53 and 54) and 16th Street Lines (S1, S2 and S4) but makes it easier for commuters to get to and from downtown as well as across town.

-- Public safety is always a big issue. Can ANCs do anything to make the streets safer for people? Is there anything the police might try to improve safety?

As Commissioner for ANC1A01, I will advocate for increased neighborhood foot and bike patrols during “peak” hours when neighborhood bars and restaurants along the Ogden to Spring stretch of 14th Street are busy and after they close.

While foot and bike patrols will make residents feel safer, it is important that even given our busy schedules that we get to know our neighbors and promptly report suspected criminal activity. Together, we can create a safer, friendlier community. Another goal for ANC1A01, which directly relates to public safety, is to facilitate partnerships with the Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA) and non-profit organizations to address alcohol/substance abuse issues exhibited along 14th Street where individuals have literally “passed out” on the sidewalk. As a neighborhood we must not become a gruesome illustration of the “bystander effect” – where people are less likely to intervene if others are present because each witness assumes someone else has already taken action.

-- Recently, the DC Office of Planning has proposed new regulations that would, if implemented, seriously cut back on the ability of residents to add “pop ups”, and for developers to buy row houses and convert them into multi-apartment units. Do regulations like that unfairly infringe on the rights of homeowners to do what they want (within reason) with property they own? If we don’t allow people to create more housing, how can we expect the price of housing to become more reasonable?

Zoning regulations should be revisited and considered with the overall character of the neighborhood and to ensure we are zoned correctly. The R-4 Zone is of concern to many today. The intent of R-4 is two unit, multi-bedroom housing. Some areas in Ward One that are currently zoned R-4 should be rezoned as R-5 to allow for block-wide high density development. We must have housing options for everyone, at all socioeconomic levels.

-- Parking is always a hassle. Everybody wants on-street parking for free, but the fact is that there are more cars than there are places on the street. What role does the ANC have in making parking less of a nightmare?

Parking is such a hot button topic in DC and will continue to be as the city becomes more densely populated. As I mentioned earlier, I have not owned a car since 2000. One of the reasons I decided to give up the car was because of parking. While I did have a zoned Residential Parking Permit (RPP), I still found myself circling my block several times and when I did find a spot it was always a pretty tight fit. I am certain my neighbors and their car bumpers were quite happy I stopped driving.

On a serious note, zoning for residential parking in Ward 1 which is the District’s densest ward is near the max with likely but albeit temporary solutions being raising fees for parking permits and/or making the zones smaller. The use of public transportation, bicycles, and car sharing can help ease the parking burden. However, as the city continues to grow parking will become even more of a challenge and it becomes impossible to have enough street parking to meet the demand.

-- How are the relations between liquor licensees and residents in your district? Do you think the current method of community input through ANCs for liquor license applications and renewal is working OK? Do residents have the ability to make the system work in the case of “bad actors”?

I believe that neighborhood is stronger when residents and businesses work together. Relations between the two stakeholders have improved and both realize that balancing economic growth along the Ogden to Spring Road corridor with the peace and sanctity of the residential streets is required to ensure the neighborhood reaches its maximum potential. Residents support a variety of neighborhood and specialty establishments which will undoubtedly include more bars, restaurants, and taverns that will require liquor licenses. One of my primary goals is to work with ANC1 to attract small business to fill vacant commercial property and facilitate effective collaboration between neighbors, businesses, and government agencies such as the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Agency (ABRA).

One of the corridor’s best assets is the expansive sidewalks, which are as wide as 20 feet. This presents a unique opportunity for local businesses to enhance landscaping and provide alfresco dining or find other appropriate ways to bring the activity from within the business to the outside.

I am pleased with the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act which went into effect in 2013. In my opinion, this bill allows for ample community input through the ANCs for liquor license applications and really clarified the provisions that are permitted to be included in a Settlement Agreement. I also liked the fact that it created a new permit for Wine Pubs and would encourage such a business in my ANC district. I also think the ABRA orientation training for new licensees as well as the general public on existing ABC laws and regulations, noise abatement and sound management, and working proactively with ANC is beneficial.

-- Is there any question that I should have asked you but didn’t?

Yes. What made you decide to run for ANC1A01?

I have lived in this ANC district since 2005 and support the neighborhood restaurants, bars, dry cleaner, corner stores and want to see more small businesses fill vacant commercial property. The neighborhood is a great place to live and I would like to make it even better. I am also very interested in learning how my neighbors would like to see the area grow.

My great-grandmother had a saying: “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason – to listen as much as you talk.” As Commissioner for ANC1A01, I promise to do just that by hold block by block listening sessions and working with homeowners, tenants, and neighborhood businesses. I won’t have all the answers or enough expertise on every issue, but I am willing to listen, learn, and strongly voice neighborhood concerns to the most appropriate source.

I have the time to devote to the work of the commission and believe in giving back to the community and feel this is the best way to do so. Public service means availing yourself to those who have entrusted you as their voice. I strive to be accessible and responsive to the needs of the neighborhood and I am asking for your vote. In turn, I promise to respond to your inquires, listen to your concerns and heed your advice once elected.

End of interview.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, but early voting centers in nine neighborhood areas (including Columbia Heights) opened on October 25. There is also early voting downtown at Judiciary Square. Today (October 31) is the last day of early voting.

Thank you to the candidate for responding to my questions.

Interview with Noah Smith, Candidate of ANC2B District 09

This is a written interview with Noah Smith, who is running for Commissioner of district 09 of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle.

Smith's opponent in the race is Edward Hanlon. On October 14, I sent Hanlon (and Smith) the questions below, and set a deadline of October 28. At an ANC candidates' night on October 16, Hanlon told me he intended to respond. On October 28, he sent me an email asking for a few more hours to consider his answers. I was happy to grant this very reasonable request. Since then, I have not received answers from him. I have sent him two reminders. Given that the election is next Tuesday, I am publishing Smith's response.

District 09 is bounded by 14th Street NW on the east, S Street on the south, and U Street on the north. Its eastern boundary is mostly New Hampshire Avenue. See a map of ANC2B right.

Don't know your ANC district? There are two search tools: one by the DC government, the other by Code for DC.

– Where can voters go to find out more about you and your campaign?

Since I was elected ANC Commissioner in 2012, I have maintained a neighborhood website and listserv. There you can learn more about me, what’s happening in our community and how you can be part of it’s continuing improvement. Of course anyone can email or call me anytime at and 202-688-5416.

– Parking is always a hassle in DC. People feel that free or nearly free on-street parking is close to a constitutional right. Meanwhile, merchants must tell their customers that, basically, if they have a car, they are out of luck. Developers are chipping away at parking minimums by routinely asking for exemptions. What can ANCs do to inject a note of sanity into the discussion?

Parking remains a serious concern of residents in our neighborhood because of the high demand from residents, business patrons and visitors. Earlier this year I established the Transportation and Public Infrastructure Committee within the Dupont Circle ANC to build consensus on neighborhood transportation issues and act to improve them. The ANC is committed to pilot testing innovative parking solutions in our neighborhood and DDOT has committed to coming to us first.

In August we brought in the DDOT citywide parking manager, Evian Patterson, to discuss the feasibility of options to address these issues, like reducing the size of residential parking zones or piloting parking policies in our commercial corridors that raise or lower prices based on demand.

Why not just reserve all residential streets for residential parking?

Enhanced residential parking restrictions have been tested in many parts of the city with limited success. Our own test case, Caroline Street, has led to some increase in residential parking but extremely limited visitor parking for when friends come over for dinner or repairs are needed on a home. DDOT is no longer accepting petitions for enhanced parking restrictions until a city-wide plan is developed. Changing one block’s parking policies just pushes the problem down another block and isn’t a neighborhood-wide solution. There is no silver bullet.

– I believe your entire ANC district is also a historic district. Is it too much of a hassle for homeowners to renovate or expand their own properties? Have DC historic preservation authorities been sufficiently customer friendly to homeowners who need to navigate the bureaucracy? How can ANCs help make the process more transparent?

The ANC’s role in historic preservation applications is just as much about the process as the outcome. While I have helped several residents through the bureaucracy, I’ve been most proud of leading over a dozen applicants and their neighbors to compromises that work for everyone and the historic neighborhood we all enjoy. As ANC Commissioners, we bring neighbors together to make sure that everyone understands what is being proposed and how their opinions can be heard.

We’ve done a good job of keeping this transparent. Meeting agendas are posted weeks in advance on the ANC’s website and on my neighborhood blog. I knock on doors and make sure people are aware of what is being proposed, and I set up meetings to get questions answered. As Chair of the ANC, I’ve tried to focus on the quality of life impact these projects have and not just the architectural design.

– You have several liquor licensees in your district. What's your opinion of the liquor licensing process? Do residents have sufficient leverage when they have a problem with a local licensee? Are restaurants and bars at the mercy of small groups of unreasonable individuals?

The liquor licensing process is difficult and bureaucratic; my experience makes me a strong advocate for residents who live nearby (or on top of) bars and restaurants in our neighborhood. One example is that we are in the process of negotiating a new liquor license agreement right now with Art Soiree, which is opening an art gallery and event space at 1832 14th Street. I posted the draft agreement and explained the process on my blog. Low-key venues and art galleries are a perfect example of what makes our neighborhood a great place to live.

There can’t always be compromise though – I was at an Alcohol Beverage Control Board hearing until 2am with the ANC and neighbors protesting a proposed new bar on the residential block of Swann Street at 18th. The ABC Board listened to the ANC and flat out denied their application.

We’re also working hard to address late-night noise in our neighborhood. I’ve worked with the DC Noise Task Force (Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)) to get more enforcement on U Street and 14th Street and I successfully lobbied MPD to add ten new foot patrol officers on U Street on weekend nights.

– Sixteenth Street runs through your district. What do you think about the proposed dedicated bus lane on 16th Street? Is the District Department of Transportation dragging its feet on this proposal?

Anyone who has waited for a bus and watched one (or two or three) pass them by on 16th Street while trying to get to work can tell you that there is a clear need for more buses that move more quickly. I established and chair the ANC’s Transportation and Public Infrastructure Committee to bring neighbors together on issues just like this.

As early as February, the ANC acted and sent five requests to DDOT to improve bus service on 16th Street; routes that have seen a 25% increase in ridership over the last five years. Since then, DDOT has increased the number of busses and the size of busses (using the articulated type when possible) and folks are reporting a noticeable improvement. Where we haven’t seen progress is on prioritized signaling for buses so they can make it through lights more easily, and studies on the impact of a part-time dedicated bus lane on stretches of 16th Street. I’d like to see a stronger push to implement the tactics already studied, like prioritization, as a stopgap while dedicated lanes are studied.

– The Reeves Center is in another ANC, but it also is a stone's throw from your district. What do you think about the proposed land swap? Is the city getting the most possible value out of the deal as currently proposed? Assuming the deal goes through, how can ANCs ensure that whatever comes after the Reeves Center is what the community needs?

I have several concerns about giving away our most valuable piece of land in the city to a developer without any public input on how that space will be used. There are so many neighborhood priorities for that space, which have never heard the light of day because of the sole-source nature of a land swap. Though this seems great for development of Southwest, I’m not sure our neighborhood is getting the best deal.

Our neighborhood worked hard to preserve the Post Office in the Reeves Center and there is a real risk that it could be lost. I’m equally concerned about the DC Center for the LGBT Community, which the ANC strongly supported in its move to the Reeves Center. I’ve asked both major mayoral candidates to take a fresh look at the swap upon taking office and they were amenable to it. I look forward to a more open process, with ANC involvement, with a new mayor.

– Is there any question that I should have asked but didn't?

Yes, what have you accomplished in your time as ANC Commissioner and why are you running for re-election?

I ran for ANC in 2012 because I wanted to meet more of my neighbors and have a positive impact on our community; I have accomplished both! Together, we have:

  • Helped to pass a law that protects pedestrians and cyclists from dangerous and inconvenient construction;
  • Improved pedestrian and cyclist safety by expanding bike infrastructure and maintenance so cyclists feel safe on the street and leave more space for pedestrians on sidewalks.
  • Held a series of public safety listening sessions to gather input from residents on exactly what the crime and traffic safety concerns are in our neighborhood.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done collaboratively to improve our neighborhood, and it’s because of this work I was recently elected by my colleagues as Chair of the Dupont ANC.

I’m running for reelection to make our transportation system more effective no matter how you travel, to improve the safety and beauty of our neighborhood, and to provide a voice of reason in city decisions where logic does not always prevail. This is work that impacts every person every day.

Advocating for your needs requires knowledge, relationships with key city officials, and practice. In short: experience matters. I’m excited to represent you for two more years.

End of interview.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, but early voting centers in nine neighborhood areas opened on October 25. There is also early voting downtown at Judiciary Square.

Thank you to the candidate for responding to my questions.

ANC1B District 12 Candidates Hand in Their Homework

Matt Abbruzzese and John Green, candidates for district 12 of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street, have turned in their homework.

There was not enough time at an October 16 ANC Candidates' Forum for all of the questions that were submitted in writing. So the sponsors, the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association, sent the candidates home with some of the questions that went unanswered. Below are the responses from Abbruzzese and Green.

-- There are a lot of people moving into DC but do not change the registration of their cars. How do you address neighbors who avoid paying DC taxes by failing to register their cars in DC?

Abbruzzese: The specific District of Columbia government agency responsible for Registration of Out-of-State Automobiles (ROSA) enforcement is the Department of Public Works (DPW).  As a city, we must first step up our ROSA patrols.  DC could give $100 fines to those who try to swindle DC law. Otherwise, a potentially effective way to address this issue is by telling the person who hasn't transferred yet that you know about it.  Using positive peer pressure in these types of situations can be quite effective.

Green: More than likely, individuals who do not register their cars in DC will get ticketed frequently or rent private parking spaces to avoid these fines. We all can agree that the Department of Public Works (DPW) does a fine job of ticketing, towing, and booting non-registered and registered cars. If elected to the ANC, I would work closely with DPW enforce the District’s parking regulations.

-- How have you/will you promote unity within our community?

Green: This is a great question. I will work with community leaders, churches and civic associations in our community to build more unity. I would like to see the ANC sponsor an annual block party to benefit a local charity and work to plan, promote and seek community assistance for such an event. I will be a leader that promotes community involvement at the grass-roots level.

As my campaign flyer states: “The U Street Corridor is more than a place where people go for entertainment. It is a community.” I stand by my statement 110%!

Abbruzzese: Bringing community and people together is my forte. As Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 1B12, I will continue to promote unity within our neighborhood by hosting single member district 1B12 (SMD 1B12) meetings on a quarterly basis. There is a lot of tension between residents of the U Street Corridor that isn't addressed by our local community leaders. Fights aren't breaking out frequently between neighbors; however, there's a certain silence that blankets over much of our community. With roughly 1,000-1,200 people moving into the District every month, many of them are attracted to the increasingly densely populated neighborhoods around 14th and U. I love living in a diverse urban environment where the number of new transplants versus long-term and native Washingtonians, and its cultural and socio economic diversity is vast. But still silence between neighbors on the streets prevails. We need a leader who can and will work hard to turn that around. A leader who values unity and understands that face to face communication is key to achieving a better corridor for more Washingtonians.

My vision is one in which more community engagement achieves more. 1B12 neighborhood meetings should absolutely take place at the very start of 2015. Ideally, meetings will be hosted in locations more conducive to a higher turnout of attendance from residents and local business owners. The day and time in which these meetings take place is certainly a critical factor to high attendance, as well. For example, meetings to discuss and inform on the issues and opportunities affecting our neighborhood and all other community events might take place in the morning to early afternoon hours on a Saturday in the community room at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments or in the community areas at other residential properties within SMD 1B12. Face to face communication between more neighbors will bring us closer. I know that a closer, friendlier community can lead to a more informed, safer environment for those who live and work within it. And it might make for a more effective local government, too!

--  Do you favor mandatory restrictions not allowing residential parking permits for new condos and rentals?

Abbruzzese: I favor strict enforcement of the mandatory restrictions not allowing residential parking permits for new condos and rentals that already have those restrictions in agreements already in place.  I do not favor mandatory restrictions for future development projects, because we don't yet have enough proof on record that this city (i.e. - DMV, MPD) has the capabilities to effectively enforcing them.  I need to see a better organized operation that uses more advanced technologies to centralize information between agencies in order to feel comfortable enough to favor proposed project plans that include this type of restriction.  As a Commissioner, I'll advocate for real "smart growth".  It isn't smart to a strike deal with a developer on a deal that favors high density living without enough space allocated for parking.  More people = more cars.  Let's not be fooled and finally elect the most experienced candidate with a backbone to lead an effective fight to maintain our good neighborhood quality of life.

Green: Yes, for developments that do not provide parking for residents or obtain parking variances from the city. This is a thorny issue that will only get worse if we as a community do not address it head-on. The ANC can lead on finding a solution for parking, but we need a strong voice to advocate for 1B12. I am that strong voice.

-- ANC 1B fails to have quorum at many of its meetings, and therefore no decisions can get made. What can the ANC itself do to improve? What should the City Council do to improve them?  Should ANCs be abolished or defunded?

Green: The ANCs should not be abolished or defunded. The ANC as a whole should amend their by-laws to address commissioners who chronically miss meetings. It is a travesty certain elected officials cannot satisfy the basic function they were elected to preform. We need to hold them accountable.

I am the only ANC candidate who has publicly pledged the following: “If elected ANC 1B12 Commissioner, I will not miss a single monthly ANC 1B meeting during my term. In the event that I do miss a meeting, I will not seek reelection. That is my promise to voters, residents of 1B12, and the community, period.”

Abbruzzese: ANC 1B Commissioners need to collaborate more to work more like a team and in a much better fashion than ever before.  One of the top reasons I'm running is because I'm deeply afraid of the next 2 years playing out like the last 2.  All 12 of ANC 1B's Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners need to know each other better and trust each other more.  The DC Council could work closer with ANC bodies across all 8 wards to learn more about what works and what doesn't.  More resources need to be leveraged and in much smarter ways to begin resolving our government's operational issues.  We must also be informed voters when we cast our ballots on election day!  Putting the right person in the right job will make a difference.  And no, ANCs should not be abolished.

End of candidate responses.

ANC1B, in addition to U Street, includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, Shaw, University Heights, and lower Georgia Avenue.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, but early voting centers in nine neighborhood areas opened on October 25. There is also early voting downtown at Judiciary Square. Today (October 31) is the last day of early voting.

Don't know your ANC district? There are two search tools: one by the DC government, the other by Code for DC.

Cheater's Guide to Dream City -- Part 23 (Afterword)

This is the twenty-third installment of a series (see the first installment here) summarizing the 1994 book Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood. This book has recently been republished as an ebook and a paper book. HBO has plans to use material from the book to make a movie about the life of Marion Barry.

Afterword (one of four)

The first edition of this book ends in 1994. For the 2014 issues, the authors wrote a long afterword, speeding through the last 20 years of DC politics. During that period, there were four mayors: Marion Barry, Anthony Williams, Adrian Fenty, and Vincent Grey. This installment of the summary covers the final (so far) term of Marion Barry.

"As the 1994 race for mayor of the District of Columbia unfolded, the nation was aghast that the city was on the verge of electing Marion Barry once again" (Kindle location 5840).

"The city remained segregated by race and class.... Ambulances didn't show up when called. School buildings still were falling apart, and classrooms were failing to educated their children. Young thugs with guns fighting over drug turf controlled the streets in Shaw, Trinidad, Congress Heights, and scores of other neighborhoods.... In that tense and unsettled landscape, Marion Barry recognized familiary political terrain. He was 58, fit, and had reassembled his political team" (l. 5854).

Opposition to Barry was split between unpopular incumbent Sharon Pratt Kelly and buttoned-down at-large city councilmember John Ray.

"It didn't take polling or deep political insight for Barry to realize that he could rack up more votes than either Kelly or Ray: They would split the opposition... Barry's core constituency of African American voters east of the Anacostia River believed he had been run out of office by federal prosecutors in 1990. On the campaign trail, he portrayed himself as a flawed individual who had overcome his problems and was ready to lead the city once again" (l. 5889).

"In the September primary, Barry trounced his competitors. He won with 66,777 votes, 47 percent of the total. John Ray came in second with 37 percent. Sharon Pratt Kelly got just 13 percent of the vote, a measly show for an incumbent in
any election nationwide" (l. 5900).

"...[H]is victory was split along sharp racial lines. In largely white Ward Three, only 586 of the 17,333 votes went to Barry. In Ward Eight, where Barry punched up registration, 10,497 of the 12,791 ballots were cast for him" (l. 5901).

In the general election, Barry beat city councilmember Carol Schwartz with 58 percent of the vote.

"In the early months of [Barry's] term, congressmen read banner headlines projecting a $722-million deficit in the District's $3.2-billion budget, most of which he had inherited from Kelly. The Congressional Budget Office in February declared the District 'technically insolvent' " (l. 5926).

Congress "establish the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority. Under the law, a five-member board had the authority to regulate DC spending, disapprove labor contracts, and delve deeply into agencies to reform the government. It reduced Barry's influence and rendered the 13-member council essentially powerless" (l. 5939).

Barry had the authority to appoint a chief financial officer for the city. On the advice of Jeffrey Earl Thompson, Barry appointed Anthony Williams.

"...Tony Williams seemed to be the perfect choice for Barry's purposes. Williams came across as shy and mild-mannered to a fault. He had few local connections.... A California native, Williams had a gold-plated resume: undergraduate degree from Yale, law degree from Harvard, master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a stint in the Air Force.... His only flirtation with politics had been his election as an alderman in New Haven when he was at Yale. Tony Williams seemed meek, wore bow ties, often spoke in a mumble" (l. 5950).

"Marion Barry complained when Tony Williams got the authority to hire and fire, but the mayor was powerless to intercede. Williams drastically reduced the city work force that Barry had padded in his three terms" (l. 5975).

"Marion Barry was no longer having fun. On May 22, 1998, the 'Mayor for Life' summoned reporters and supporters to the DC council chambers to call it quits" (l. 5985).

The career politicians who declared themselves candidates for mayor did not inspire. A genuine grass-roots "draft Williams" campaign emerged. Williams resisted, then succumbed.

Williams won 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary against three opponents, and easily outpolled Carol Schwartz in the general election.

"In conversations on the streets and in barber shops, African Americans still wondered if Williams was 'black enough' to represent their interests.... But the majority of voters where interested in a mayor who could manage a city ready to emerge from federal control...." (l. 6023).

Cheater's Guide to Dream City continues

Further installments will appear on successive Fridays. All posts are cross-posted on the ad-hoc "Cheater's Guide to Dream City" blog.

Full disclosure: I have a commercial relationship with Amazon. I will receive a very small portion of the money people spend after clicking on an Amazon link on this site.

This is a great book and well worth reading in its entirety.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ANC1B Candidate Withdraws From Race

Jennie Nevin, candidate for district 02 of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street, said in an email yesterday that she will be dropping out of the race for personal reasons. Nevin said she submitted her paperwork confirmed her withdrawal to DC election authorities this week.

This means that the only other candidate on the ballot, Ellen Nedrow Sullivan, will almost certainly be elected. See a written interview by SALM with Sullivan here.

District 02 contains some of the fastest-developing territory in the U Street NW corridor. It extends from 12th Street in the west to 8th Street in the east. The southern border is S Street. The northern border is a jagged line, mostly defined by Florida Avenue. See bottom center of the map at right

Nevin's withdrawal means there is now only one candidate running in eight out of 12 ANC1B seats.

ANC1B, in addition to U Street, includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, Shaw, University Heights, and lower Georgia Avenue.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, but early voting centers in nine neighborhood areas opened on October 25. There is also early voting downtown at Judiciary Square.

Don't know your ANC district? There are two search tools: one by the DC government, the other by Code for DC.

Reply by ANC2B Candidate Ed Hanlon to Yesterday's SALM Post about Temporary Protection Order

Yesterday (October 29), I published a post about a Temporary Protection Order taken out against an ANC candidate by a neighbor. Today, I am publishing the candidate's complete and unedited reply, as I promised.

Dear Mr. McAuley:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to assertions that I and a neighbor were acting improperly when we attempted to observe and document the on-going construction of a large outdoor deck and carport which covers 100% of an entire back yard in the 1500 block of T Street. This deck blocks the view of other neighbors, crosses over a century old right-of-way that serves four other dwellings and nine other households, and violates multiple sections of the building code. When completed, this deck will have outdoor speakers and lights sitting atop 4 poles more than 18 feet above the ground.

I and other neighbors have opposed the construction of this deck and we are currently taking legal action to halt its construction or alter its design. Because of our successful efforts, DCRA revoked the previous permit issued for this deck.

The homeowners who have built this deck have filed various complaints against multiple neighbors over the last 12 months, not just me, and are presently involved in litigation with at least four other neighbors over this deck. And they have repeatedly complained to the police about a number of their other neighbors. The police have repeatedly told these homeowners that I and other neighbors have the legal right to be where we were and do what we were doing. The police investigated the numerous complaints and have told the deck owners most recently in writing that "[M]embers of MPD determined that no crime had been committed." The deck owners after learning that the police had investigated their numerous accusations and found no wrong doing on my part or on the part of any of their other neighbors, nevertheless, got upset with the police and went down to the Superior Court and filed their own baseless handwritten accusations against two of their neighbors when the police refused to do so, and even after the police told them there was no wrong doing.

But there’s something even more serious and disturbing I wish to address here. As you know, I am a candidate for ANC Commissioner in ANC2B09. This is a serious election and my campaign message has been received with considerable enthusiasm. And, this has frustrated some of those who support my opponent.

Surely as a reporter, you must have thought it strange that you received court documents 'thrown over the transom' at night, a week before the election from a source that you said wishes to remain "Anonymous" with no police report thrown over the transom with them supporting any of the alleged and fabricated incidents. That is because there is no such police report.

This neighborhood deserves a serious debate on the issues affecting our community, not dirty tricks. The reason I am running for ANC commissioner is that I have seen how frivolously building and zoning code variances are endorsed by our current ANC commissioner that negatively affect the historic and residential character of our neighborhood, and the lives of its people. This is something I hope to change. I also want to do something proactive about our rising crime problem, and our horrible parking situation. And I want to help protect the residents living near commercial establishments from trash, rodents and excessive noise.

These are the things I intend to focus on, not unfounded complaints or mischievous political games.



Ed Hanlon

End text of reply.

See a .pdf file of the original letter here.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, but early voting centers in nine neighborhood areas opened on October 25. There is also early voting downtown at Judiciary Square.