The deadline for filing to run for a seat on DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission is past, and election time is right around the corner.
In the Borderstan area, there are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions: 2B/Dupont, 2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.
So now it is time to meet the candidates in the six contested races. Here at Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors, campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will provide follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.
Bevan Mace is running for ANC 2B-o3 and will face Stephanie Maltz on the ballot; long-time incumbent Bob Meehan is retiring. Essentially, the 2B-03 district runs from the west side of 17th Street, west to Dupont Circle/Connecticut Aveneue NW and from Q Street north to Riggs Place, with one section going as far north as Swann Street (see the map below).
Borderstan: Why did you decide to run in your neighborhood’s ANC race this year? Also, have you run before and/or been an ANC commissioner before?
Mace: Dupont Circle is a great neighborhood to live and work in. With all our diversity brings great opportunity, as well as challenges to find solutions that best serve the interests of everyone in our community – business and residents, single family dwellings and large multi-family buildings, and people of all backgrounds and ages. I decided to run for ANC commissioner this year to bring my experience with diverse teams to find creative solutions to address residents’ concerns and to improve our way of life in our neighborhood. This is the first time I have run for ANC commissioner.
Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?
Mace: I have lived in our neighborhood (ANC 2B-03) for six years and in the DC metro area for over 10 years.
Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?
Mace:I have served on our building’s condominium association board for the last three years, currently as Vice President. As a member of the board, I have worked to find solutions to building issues and residents concerns, given limited funds and varying expectations of the ideal solution. While a DC resident I have also participated in business organizations within our community, including the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) and Washington Building Congress (WBC), as well as supporting charitable efforts such as Winterhaven Homeless Standdown, Help the Homeless Walkathon, K-9 Lifesavers, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?
Mace: There are three areas of focus that I think will help make positive impact to our neighborhood:
First, increase awareness of community issues and resident concerns through more transparent communications and systems, such as the DC 311 service (311.dc.gov). With more residents using the 311 system, the ANC can better look for trends and service issues to improve responsiveness to resident issues.
Second, focus on working with the community to address issues together versus as individual residents or buildings. A good example is some of the thefts that occurred in buildings over the last year. Our building discussed how to solve the package theft problem internally; where the power of the community could yield more effective results.
Third, working with DC government to make residents more aware of the programs that could help them directly. For example, DC is striving to become the most sustainable city in the country and as part of that established the Sustainable Energy Utility (www.dcseu.com), which aims to help residents and business through energy programs – specifically to reduce building energy consumption and associated utility costs.
I spent time talking with my constituents to learn about their neighborhood concerns. I understand that preventing crime, reducing pollution and other improvements are needed to keep Dupont Circle a safe and unique place to spend time. I look forward to collaborating with the commissioners to address these important issues.
Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?
Mace: I hope to make the community more aware of the ANC, how it can help them as well as make resident issues more transparent to the broader community so together we can find solutions to make our neighborhood better for everyone. I’ve setup a website (www.facebook.com/Mace4ANC) as a collaborative site for residents of ANC-2B to identify questions and concerns that are important to them. I can also be reached directly by email at bkmace+ANC@gmail.com.
Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate running in your district?
Mace: I think it is important for ANC commissioners to understand how to effectively implement change. Change is hard and new ideas or programs often fail not because the idea or program is bad but because of a lack of communication or training about how the idea or program will benefit the community. It is very important once decisions are made to over communicate what is happening, why it will be a benefit and what the expectations are for everyone. I have direct experience in working on leading change in a large organization and I think this experience will be very valuable to my neighbors.
I work with a variety of teams across the world that provides a unique opportunity to learn about new ideas and share best practices across the community. I also have a very holistic approach to solving problems and continually search to understand the root cause of issues to work towards solving the problem as quickly as possible.
Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?
Mace: I work for a global designer and builder of social and civil infrastructure. My role is to integrate teams of owners, users, architects, engineers, suppliers and contractors to make the team’s vision a reality. Teams regularly face numerous demands (various definitions of user needs/ program, time and money) and the team has to work hard to find innovative solutions that don’t compromise one for the other. This same approach of integration and innovative thinking I believe will serve me well in working with other ANC commissioners, businesses and residents to continue to make Dupont Circle the best place to live and work in the city.