From Michelle Lancaster
Borderstan is covering four contested Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) races in the three local ANCs: ANC 1B02, 1B04, 2B09 and 2F06. The general election is Nov. 2. Today’s interview is with William Girardo, who is challenging five-term incumbent Deborah Thomas in ANC 1B04 (see Borderstan interview).
1B04 is on the northwest side of the U Street neighborhood and covers a swath from 12th St. to New Hampshire Ave. south of Florida Ave., running along U Street from 14th to 15th St. NW. You can learn more about the district at the DC Citizen Atlas. ANC 1B has 11 commissioners and covers a large geographic area to the north.
ANC commissioners are elected from Single Member Districts (SMDs) in the city’s 37 ANCs. While the number of commissioners in each ANC varies, each SMD has approximately 2,000 residents. (See links to related posts at bottom.)
Borderstan: Please provide your name, age and a brief biography, including number of years residing in D.C. and ANC district.
Girardo: William Girardo, age 40. I have lived in Washington, D.C. since 1996 and have lived in ANC1B-04 with my fiancé since 2008. I work at the Aspen Institute, focusing on micro-enterprise and small business development in the US and assisting local community development organizations in DC. In 2007, I helped start-up a small business and understand the difficulties that small business owners face.
Borderstan: How – and how often – would you reach out to constituents, both residential and business?
Girardo: I consider communication to be the most important job for an ANC commissioner. If elected, I would create an ABC 1B-04 listserv where information would be posted and shared. I would also hold quarterly meetings with the ANC 1B-04 community. I would attend neighborhood associations and other meetings that impact ANC 1B-04 and report back to the community. And finally, I would walk the neighborhood and introduce myself to my neighbors.
Borderstan: What do you see as the most important three functions of an ANC commissioner, in order of priority?
Girardo: (1) Communication: This is the most important function of an ANC Commissioner. (2) Economic Development: ANC 1B-04 is changing and we need to make sure we have a voice in what is happening. (3) Safety: According to MPD Crime Statistics, in 2010 there have been 618 crimes reported within 1,500 feet of 14th and W Streets NW. We need to continue to work with DC police to ensure the safety of our neighborhood.
Borderstan: What is your vision for the 14th & U corridor?
Girardo: I would like to see the 14th and U corridor become a day and night destination. I want to see a variety of commercial entities, hopefully including a bagel shop that appeals to locals and visitors. The neighborhood needs shops that will attract local customers but will also draw patrons from out of the area.
Borderstan: Who are the three owners of three local businesses in your district (or the entire ANC) that you turn to for advice on business-related issues?
Girardo: Having helped start a business in D.C. and currently working in the economic development field, I believe I have a well-rounded grasp of business-related issues facing local businesses. I would prefer to talk with all of the business owners in the district. Each business is unique and has their specific needs, thoughts, and advice.
Borderstan: What is the most important thing voters should know about you prior to the election?
Girardo: I will always try to maintain constant communication with them. If elected, they will know who I am and how to contact me. They will know what is going on in the community because I will meet with them regularly. I will establish meetings specifically for the ANC 1B-04 community to truly understand what the neighborhood cares about and take my direction from them.
ANC Candidate Interview Series
- Know a Candidate: Mike Benardo, ANC 2F06 (Oct. 23, 2010)
- Know a Candidate: Peter Raia, ANC 1B02 (Oct. 22, 2010)
- Know a Candidate: Sunit Talapatra, ANC 2B09 (Oct. 21, 2010)
- Know a Candidate: Deborah Thomas, ANC 1B04 (Oct. 20, 2010)
- Know a Candidate: Tucker Gallagher, ANC 1B02 (Oct. 19, 2010)