City Paper Widget

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Interview with John Green, Candidate for ANC1B District 12

This is a written interview with John Green, who is standing for election for Commissioner on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B/U Street. Green is seeking to represent district 12. District 12 represents the most heavily commerical section of U Street. It is bounded by S Street NW to the South between 14th Street and 12th Street, then 13th Street to the east, V Street to the North, and then follows Florida Avenue, U Street, and 14th Street to the east (see lower left of map below).

District 1B12 is in the lower left corner
Green's opponent in the election is Matt Abbruzzese. An interview with Abbruzzese was published yesterday.

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.

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

-- Where can potential voters go to find out more information about you? What will they find when they get there?

First, I would like to thank local blogger and founder of Short Articles about Long Meetings (SALM), David McAuley, for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to the community. I know readers of SALM are civic minded and locally invested, and I appreciate the opportunity to engage with them.

I am running to be the next ANC Commissioner of 1B12. You can find out more about my campaign at my website There you will find a brief bio about who I am and why I am running, as well as my ideas and solutions to our neighborhood’s biggest issues.

You will also find links to all my social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and my personal LinkedIn page. I look forward to connecting with all residents and potential voters. I can also be reached directly via email at if anyone in the community has any questions, concerns or wants to meet me in person.

-- What sets you apart from the other candidate?

My passion and goal is to make the U Street community stronger. My partner and I have put down roots and recently decided to buy the home we have rented in the U Street Corridor. I am the best candidate to represent the unique needs of the 1B12 neighborhood because I offer focused leadership, integrity and feel that I am better in touch with the needs of the community.

I am already engaged in the ANC process and the community. I currently serve on the ANC 1B ABC Committee and am a member of the U Street Neighborhood Association, taking an active role in the summer movie series by raising $750 to benefit the Harrison Recreation Center.

I also have the endorsement and support of current ANC 1B12 Commissioner, Zahra Jiliani, and ANC legend, Phil Spalding, as well as others. I love U Street and believe that my policy training, background and experiences will help me better connect with voters. My motto is Leadership on Day One.

-- What is the biggest problem in the neighborhood?

Balancing the growth of U Street with the needs of the community. My goal as the next ANC Commissioner is to put the interests of residents above developers, and to encourage the building of more mixed-income housing. For example: The next big thing on U Street: Replacing Portner Place Apartments

The current Reeves Center/DC United land-swap deal presents the community with a number of issues and community input is needed to determine what should replace the Reeves Center. A unified voice representing ANC 1B12 is essential to tackle this and other major issues.

I believe that whatever replaces the Reeves Center should benefit the neighborhood and offer a place to bring the residents of U Street together as a community. I support a space for the farmers market and other outdoor gatherings, a post office, a building that would increase more daytime business like a hotel or offices, and realistic and attainable mixed-income housing.

-- What, if anything, should be changed concerning on-street parking for residents of your district?

In addressing the issue of parking, I will not support a parking garage that adversely impacts my district without public backing and adequate input from my constituents.

Under my watch, condominiums will have to meet minimum parking space requirements for their residents under current law. Also, I will encourage the use of public transportation and car sharing options, and I actively support keeping Capital Bikeshare in 1B12.

If residents want to change specific rules concerning on-street parking, I welcome any proposed suggestions once elected. The key to being a good ANC representative is being a good listener.

-- What's your position on the new attempts to limit density in residential neighborhoods?

Our district is unique. It has historical single-family homes, like Duke Ellington’s former residence, multi-unit dwellings like The Harper and the Ellington, and small condominium association like the one I live in.

There are two new apartment buildings that will begin construction in the fall and next year in our single member district: 13 & U and the Elysium Fourteen. I will work to hold these developers responsible for the promises they made. I will also work with neighbors to address any noise, traffic, waste, or rodent issues that arise because of these projects.

My position on rooftop additions or “pop-ups” is to support and advocate for more transparency in the process. I praise the Historic Preservation Review Board’s one-year trial of requiring properties to disclose information on public hearings via placarding requirements. Detailed information should always be provided to the public in advance of any public discourse for new rooftop additions and changing the fa├žade of a home. I believe efforts to increase density should focus on large residential units versus jeopardizing the integrity of our historical district(s).

-- What is your opinion, generally speaking, about liquor license protests by the ANC?

I am proud to be a member of the ANC 1B ABC Committee. The ABC Committee reviews and recommends actions to the ANC on all issues affecting liquor, restaurants, retail and entertainment licenses. Under the leadership of chairman Nick Baumann, our committee has done great work in being proactive addressing protests, reaching positive resolutions through Settlement Agreements (SAs) and holding bad license holders accountable.

Unfortunately, a few elected ANC 1B Commissioners have failed on more than a few occasions to attend meetings in order to meet quorum requirements. Failure to make quorum means my committee’s recommendations, SAs and protests cannot be voted on by the ANC.

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.

-- Is there anything I should have asked you but didn't?

Yes. If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus? Why?

ANSWER: I would like to see more residents in my district become more active and invested in our community. I want to lead by example.

If elected, I will address issues of public safety and street pollution head-on, by asking for extra police officers during peak traffic hours and by establishing a sustainable recycling program by facilitating the creation of a Business or Community Improvement District (BID or CID). There are currently 9 BIDs in DC. Why not have this type of community investment here in the U Street Corridor?

BIDs and CIDs are public-private partnerships that collaborate and work together to do great things for neighborhoods. Many BIDs or CIDs have introduced initiatives to pay for extra police officers to patrol streets, helping create public recycling programs, and a range of planting and maintenance services.

End of interview.

The election will take place on Tuesday, November 4. Thanks to all candidates for responding to my questions.

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