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 ANCs: 2B/Dupont, 2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.
So now, it is time to meet your candidates. 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 have follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.
Joel Heisey is running for ANC 2F-04, the Logan Circle ANC that has seen significant growth in recent years, in both residents and new businesses. SMD 04 runs from Logan Circle, south down Vermont Avenue, along N Street NW and up 12th Street NW. Here’s a little bit more about Heisey, who is facing John Fanning on the ballot.
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?
Heisey: Four (of six) of the ANC’s most experienced Commissioners are not running for reelection this year. I have worked with the ANC in a supportive role for several years, and I feel it is time for me to step-up and contribute in a leadership role. I considered running for Commissioner when I first moved to the neighborhood, but I traveled a lot for work at the time and it would have been impossible to adequately do the work required at that time.
Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your ANC neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?
Heisey: I’ve lived in Logan Circle for 20 years. I moved to Marion Street (Shaw neighborhood) after grad school in 1991, bought my first house on 12th Street NW in 1992 and have lived here since.
Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?
Heisey: I have been actively involved as an At-Large Member of the ANC’s Community Development Committee (CDC) for the past two years, where I’ve provided my professional qualifications and expertise. I was a Board Member of the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) and have served on various committees since 1997. I was one of the original members of LCCA’s Historic Review Committee and remained a member until the committee’s functions were merged with the ANC’s CDC. I am also active with the LeDroit Park neighborhood and have an advisory role on the ANC 1B’s Design and Planning Committee in the 14th Street and U Street Corridors.
Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?
Heisey: My primary concern and area of expertise is architecture and urban design. I want to continue my participation in guiding new development in the Logan Circle area. The type of businesses and residences and their design are important to the historic character and cultural diversity of the area. The resurgence of the 14th Street Corridor has been amazing, and providing additional development that adheres to the Arts Overlay District principles ensures retaining the character and diversity of this important district.
Quality of life issues such as safety, parking and graffiti/trash are ongoing interests. The community has made great strides over the years to eliminate prostitution and drug activities. I will continue working with the PSA officers to ensure those gains are not lost and to protect the safety of residences and the patrons visiting the area.
Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?
Heisey: My primary goal is to continue helping to guide the development of the ANC and the principles that retain the architectural interest of the neighborhood needed to maintain the area’s vibrancy. Corollary to that is ensuring the quality of life and safety achieved over the past decade to retain the livability of the neighborhood.
Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?
Heisey: I am currently on the Community Development Committee (CDC) of the ANC and know the current commissioners. I have been working on the issues affecting Logan Circle (prostitution, drugs, historic preservation, and new development) for the 20 years I have lived here. This institutional knowledge will help inform future decisions.
Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?
Heisey: I am self-employed and work from home as an architect, with additional degrees in Urban Design and Public Policy. I use this background and experience everyday to address neighborhood issues of livability and sustainability. I take people’s thoughts and ideas and make them realizable for their homes. The process involves lots of listening, understanding their wants and needs to come up with a solution that works functionally, aesthetically, emotionally and financially. I use these same skills when working on the issues affecting the neighborhood and public policy, in general.