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.
Dan Wittels 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 John 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?
Wittels: I decided to run for ANC because I felt the constituents in my ANC were not being well represented. I haven’t ever run for, or served in an ANC position before.
Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?
Wittels: I’ve lived in DC for little over 22 years and I’ve lived in my current neighborhood for over 15 years.
Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?
Wittels: I’ve been a member of the U Street Neighborhood Association in the past and was a block captain one year back when they used to do the big spring clean ups and replant the tree boxes. Currently, I serve on the board of the Shaw DuPont Citizens Alliance and regularly attend neighborhood meetings concerning various development projects and other issues in the area.
Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?
Wittels: I plan to make my main focus constituent concerns and making sure the constituents’ views are accurately represented to the ANC and, when appropriate, the city council. Also, I hope to improve the transparency of the ANC 1B as a whole.
Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?
Wittels: My goal is to do the job well, which includes helping neighbors with issues they are concerned about and making sure their views are accurately represented to the ANC as a whole.
Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?
Wittels: I’ve lived in the neighborhood a long time, I’ve been actively involved with many issues in the neighborhood and I have many friends here. I also enjoy getting to know my neighbors and discussing the issues with them.
Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?
Wittels: I do intellectual property work and I work from home mostly, which allows me a good deal of flexibility to be able to attend meetings during the day if necessary.