From Rachel Nania.Â Check out her blog,Â Sear, Simmer & Stir.Â FollowÂ NaniaÂ on TwitterÂ @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.
Bevan Mace is running for the ANC 2B-03 seat. (Courtesy Bevan Mace)
There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs:Â 2B/Dupont,Â 2F/LoganÂ andÂ 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Bevan MaceÂ (seeÂ Know the Candidates in ContestedÂ ANCÂ Races). He facesÂ Stephanie MaltzÂ for the ANC 2B-03 seat.
Now, itâ€™s Question and Answer Time on the issues.
Borderstan:Â What will be your first priority/new initiative if you are elected to ANC 2B and why?
Mace: Increasing the communication between residents/ businesses and the ANC would be a top priority. The development of the ANC website is a great resource but we need to continue to find effective ways to directly connect with constituents in our neighborhood. This is important because constituents may not be aware of the issues and topics being discussed that impact them and therefore represent missed opportunities to get their perspectives to inform the ANC’s decisions and actions.
Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?
Mace: Continuing from the previous question I believe we need effective formal and informal methods to engage our constituents and provide a better network of information distribution. One specific formal method I would like to see is a direct link between the ANC, neighborhood associations and the major residential buildings via the presidents of the homeowner/ condo associations. This would provide a quick way to proactively communicate upcoming issues to a large portion of our constituents. One informal method would involve partnering with businesses to help advertise to residents specific upcoming topics or issues, where to go for more information and how to provide feedback to decision makers.
Borderstan: How will you work to help bring process and transparency to decisions that impact the DuPont neighborhood, such as the renovations for Stead Park, so that the diversity of the community as a whole is reflected?
Mace: Given the complex nature of neighborhood decisions they need a formalized decision making process similar to the informal one we follow when making personal decisions (weigh pros and cons and choose the option we believe meets our needs the most). I strongly believe in collaboratively discussing all stakeholder needs and goals at the onset of any major issue or project. Once needs and goals are established then metrics should be identified that allow planners, designers and decision makers to rank various options and ideas. This ranking provides two benefits: 1Â â€” allows the group to see what solution has the most advantages (pros) and 2Â â€” provides transparency on how a decision was reached that can be used to easily communicate the decision making process to others.
Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide and how do you plan to interact with them?
Mace: The neighborhood associations provide a great direct link to both residents and businesses and are a critical part of the community network to increase two way communication between the ANC and constituents. I would meet with the leadership of the neighborhood associations and develop ways to promote increased communication about issues and awareness of needs to inform my decision making.
Click for a larger map of ANC 2B. (DC Board of Elections)
Borderstan: The East Dupont Liquor License Moratorium, which affects 17th Street NW, comes up for renewal in 2013, and ANC 2B will have an opportunity to weigh in by offering an advisory opinion to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on its renewal. Do you support renewing the moratorium? If so, why? If not, why?
Mace: Many constituents have voiced a desire to not see the moratorium renewed. I believe the moratorium is a temporary solution and we need to proactively engage all stakeholders to address the real needs and issues of businesses and residents in this area. By addressing the real issues in a collaborative way I hope we can develop long term innovative and sustainable solutions that integrate businesses and residents needs and can be a model for other neighborhoods.
Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?
Mace: I believe the voluntary agreement provides a solution to reaching a mutual agreement when all parties act in good faith for specific issues that could not have been concieved or addressed with broader policies or regulations. However, the current process can allow a small number of people to disproportionally affect a larger group of constituents. I believe this process and any changes need to considered as part of the long term solution to the issues currently addressed by the Moratorium.
Borderstan: Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 17thÂ Street, 18thÂ Street and Connecticut Avenue corridors, is adequate, especially on weekends?
Mace: I think public safety and police presence is an issue that is constantly changing and strategies need to evolve and adapt with that change. I think the police presence is improved but we can always do betterÂ â€” we still have residents with safety and security concerns that need to be addressed.
Borderstan: Are there types of business in the neighborhood that stand out as something we need more of in the area? If so, can you name three?
Mace: For the last six years I have enjoyed the diversity of our neighborhood that makes it the best place to live in DC! We have a great variety of small and large businesses, landmarks, museums and, of course, restaurants. One thing that stands out is the need to develop the Dupont Underground. Certainly this is a complex topic but one with a lot of opportunity. I look forward to hearing from constituents about potential needs to adapt to current trends and maintain our neighborhood’s diversity.
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