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 provide follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.
John Green is running for ANC commissioner in 1B-12, a new seat that was carved out of SMD 1B-02, due to rapid population growth in the area in the last decade. A total of four candidates are running for this seat, including Erling Bailey, Zahra Jilani and Dan Wittels and Green.
This seat is currently held by Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling who won a special election late in 2011 after Aaron Spencer resigned. Lewin-Zwerdling is not seeking a full term. The SMD includes the much discussed 14th and Wallach residential building and the JBG hotel-turned-apartment project on the Rite-Aid site at 13th and U Streets, NW.
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?
Green: My motivation is simple: I am passionate about our community and I believe I can be an effective public servant who can help improve and make the 1B-12 neighborhood even greater than it is today. I offer solid leadership, new ideas and relentless advocacy for everyone who has a stake in our neighborhood. I’ve held numerous leadership roles throughout my life. This is my first time running for ANC commissioner and I bring the same dedication and enthusiasm to this race. I was the first candidate to file my intent, and enlisted at least one resident from every street in my single-member district to sign a petition nominating me. I am grateful for the tremendous support I’ve received and humbled by how strongly my neighbors care about the issues our community faces.
Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?
Green: The U Street NW Corridor has been my home for almost three years. Before that, I lived in the nearby Shaw neighborhood for more than five years. The DC metro area has nurtured me since I was a toddler. It defines me today. Hail to the Redskins!
Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?
Green: One way I’ve been involved in my community is through volunteering and raising money for a local non-profit that assists children living with HIV/AIDS. I find this kind of hands-on helping extremely rewarding and beneficial. As your next ANC commissioner, I would work to promote volunteering opportunities and make sure everyone has a chance to participate in activities that improve peoples’ lives and strengthen our community.
Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?
Green: An effective ANC commissioner must hear the concerns of the residents in our district – not political elites and developers, or the loudest voice in the room. U Street is going through a period of unprecedented economic growth. My candidacy supports a growth strategy that balances the needs of our growing city and the aspirations of businesses, while respecting the integrity of our community and the desires of the people who live and work in our neighborhood. It will be my goal to make U Street the best place in the city to live, raise a family, work and be entertained.
Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?
Green: I will work to reduce violent crime and property damage, ensuring that U Street is a safe and enjoyable environment for for all. I also support initiatives to improve the appearance of our streets and will aggressively hold the city’s sanitation and maintenance authorities accountable. Furthermore, I will look for ways to bring more public art and green space to our neighborhood for us to enjoy. Together we can do better.
Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?
Green: I am uniquely qualified to represent the needs of the diverse constituency that calls U Street home. I hold a master’s degree in public policy, with a focus on regional economic development, which helps me understand and navigate the zoning, commercial and legislative issues facing our residents and businesses.
I have also worked as an Equal Opportunity Employment specialist for five years and am sensitive to the plight of our community members who struggle to find an equal voice and fair representation in government. Most importantly, from being an active, attentive and outgoing member of the neighborhood, I understand the specific challenges and concerns of the community. Together, we made this a thriving place to live and work, and we need to make sure that community participation always shapes the decisions affecting us.
Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?
Green: I work for American Bridge 21st Century as a political content manager. The knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my professional and academic careers, along with my passion for community involvement in the democratic system, make me a strong candidate to serve as our next ANC commissioner. I will do so with know-how, dignity and an open ear.