From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.
Candidates in the four-way race for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B’s Single Member District (SMD) 1B-12 gathered for a forum last week to introduce themselves and give attendees a chance to ask questions. The forum was sponsored by the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. (See New Citizens’ Organization Seeks Different Path for 14th and U about SDCA).
The four candidates are Erling Bailey, John Green, Zahra Jilani and Dan Wittels. Organizers also invited Noah Smith, the candidate from neighboring SMD 2B-09 (Dupont) which falls into the boundaries of the SDCA, and is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by 10-year incumbent Ramon Estrada.
SMD 1B-12 is a new, additional district for ANC 1B and includes blocks from 12th Street NW to 14th Street and from S to V Streets, plus a panhandle composed of the blocks on the north side of U and south of V Street from 14th to New Hampshire Avenue. Due to a large growth in population in the U Street corridor, ANC 1B-02 was essentially split into two parts to create the new SMD 12. Incumbent Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling is not seeking a full term in ANC 1B-02.
The SMD is home to some high-profile restaurants and landmarks including Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Black Cat, Busboys & Poets, Cafe Saint-Ex and the Lincoln Theater. The area also includes two large residential development; a apartment building currently under construction at 14th and Wallach Place, NW and a proposed apartment at 13th and U on the site of the Rite Aid drugstore.
Doug Johnson, an SDCA Board Member, moderated the evening and had three pre-arranged questions for the candidates. At the start of the forum Johnson pointed out that candidate Dan Wittels is also a Board Member of the SDCA, but was removed from planning for the forum. Johnson also allowed attendees to ask questions of the candidates.
Questions during the evening covered topics such as experience with DC agencies, communication strategies and views on business development. Responses to questions on business development brought up the topic of the liquor licences and diversity of commerce in the area and highlighted the differing viewpoints of the candidates. 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 will be sending the candidates additional questions which will be published in the weeks leading up to the election.
The general election is Tuesday, November 6. Check with the DC Board of Election and Ethics for information on registering to vote and voting locations.