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. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Martin Espinoza (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). Espinoza will face Stephanie Sheridan and Kishan Putta on election day.
Now, it’s Question and Answer Time on the issues.
Borderstan: What will be your first priority/new initiative if you are elected to ANC 2B and why?
Espinoza: Initiative, “All Things Digital” by creating a central one stop shop for neighbors to communicate to one another and find out news & events in Dupont, this would also include any downloadable applications or resources like the DC311 application.
Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?
Espinoza: Using the “All things digital” approach, I would be very transparent in always posting issues that are being addressed across all digital platforms allowing neighbors to comment and provide their feedback on their own time.
Borderstan: How will you work to help bring process and transparency to decisions that impact the Dupont neighborhood, such as the renovations for Stead Park, so that the diversity of the community as a whole is reflected?
Espinoza: Read answer #2. But really, it’s about sharing everything you know at any given time, even if it is small bits. People appreciate knowing the same level of information you have and that makes everyone a part of the process.
Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?
Espinoza: Associations provide great value to the community by bringing people together through community events and meetings. I’ve been involved and will continue to be involved in all associations providing the same transparent information available.
Borderstan: The East Dupont Liquor License Moratorium, which affects 17th Street NW, comes up for renewal in 2013, and ANC 2B will have an opportunity to weigh in by offering an advisory opinion to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on its renewal. Do you support renewing the moratorium? If so, why? If not, why?
Espinoza: Three years ago when the moratorium was up, the Commission was unanimous in its continuation due to the anticipated disruption caused to restaurants by the renovation of 17th Street. However, the Commission relaxed the moratorium to allow for an additional license and two lateral expansions (which ultimately became three lateral expansions). The general consensus among commissioners was that the moratorium would not be renewed again. 17th Street still has a liquor license for the former Chaos space that has not been used in three years. It appears that an equilibrium has been reached which negates the need for extending the moratorium, which is meant to be temporary.
Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?
Espinoza: The voluntary agreement process could be improved to provide consistency across all agreements creating a fair environment to all businesses and residents.
Borderstan: Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 17th Street, 18th Street and Connecticut Avenue corridors, is adequate, especially on weekends?
Espinoza: Law enforcement should be a neighborhood priority, but effective crime fighting begins with vigilant and active residents. We all want to feel safe and we do most of the time, but when a crime is reported in our own neighborhood we recognize there is always room for improvement. That starts with knowing our neighbors and depending on them to look out for one another.
Borderstan: Are there types of business in the neighborhood that stand out as something we need more of in the area? If so, can you name three?
- Cafe/lounge settings to work in or outside providing wi-fi to customers.
- Deli’s: We need more neighborhood grab and go deli shops.
- Redbox: We don’t have one but we should!