by Borderstan.com November 9, 2012 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

"anc"

There were six contested ANC races in the neighborhood on Tuesday. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

For complete vote counts from Tuesday’s six contested ANC races, see Contested ANC Races: Some Clear Winners, Some Narrow Leads.

Now that the media buzz surrounding the national election has started to subside we can take a closer look at the six contested races in the Borderstan area for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner seats (ANC) to represent Single Member Districts (SMD).

ANC 1B (U Street)

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. (It was formed from 2B-02, where the population doubled between 2000 and 2010.) Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling has held the seat since a special election in October 2011, but declined to run for a full term in 2012.

The SMD includes two large residential developments which have been the subject of heated debate at community meetings. Specifically, an apartment building now under construction at 14th and Wallach Place, NW and a proposed apartment at 13th and U NW on the site of the Rite Aid drugstore.

In a city where ANC races often only have one candidate, it is testament to the issues facing the blocks around 14th and U, that four candidates were on the ballot. Zahra Jilani apparnently won the race with 36% of the vote and an 18 vote lead over the next closest candidate, John Green (provisional and absentee ballots have not yet been counted).

Site excavation is well underway at 14th and Wallach and the 13th and U project is moving closer to reality, yet  the debate on development and the inevitable alcohol licensing battles are far from over. Safe to say, Jilani’s vote on issues before the ANC will be closely watched.

ANC 2B (Dupont Circle)

In ANC 2B there will be several new faces since long-time residents and Commissioners Bob Meehan (2B-03), Phil Carney (2B-07) and Victor Wexler (2B-05) decided not to run for re-election. However, Wexler withdrew after the ballots were printed and he technically won the race over a write-in candidate — the next steps to fill the seat in January are unclear at this point.

Two important events affecting the neighborhoods east of Connecticut Avenue in Dupont are the planned renovations to Stead Park on P Street, and the East Dupont Liquor License Moratorium, which comes up for renewal in 2013.

In the contested Dupont Circle races, Stephanie Maltz  won the race in 2B-03 by a wide margin, with 77% of the vote. This SMD includes blocks along the east side of Connecticut Avenue from Dupont Circle to R Street then jogs over to include the S Street Dog Park to the north and the northwest corner of 17th and Q on the south.

The three-way race for Jacobson’s seat in 2B-04 was won by Kishan Putta who garnered 62% of the votes. Putta’s SMD is bounded by 15th and 17th Streets on the east and west, S Street to the north and Q Street on the south. Current Commissioner Jack Jacobson (2B-04) did not run again and was elected as Ward 2 Representative to the DC State Board of Education.

ANC 2F (Logan Circle)

ANC 2F grew from six to eight seats after the 2010 U.S. Census. The SMDs comprising Logan Circle’s ANC 2F are a diverse mix and include the condo lined 1400 block of Church Street, the historic townhouses surrounding Logan Circle and even a few blocks of office buildings south of Massachusetts Avenue. The agenda for 2F meetings are always heavy with issues relating to development, public safety, alcohol licensing and parking.

SMD 2F02, which runs from 15th Street to 13th Street NW and from Rhode Island Avenue on the south to Q Street on the north, had a three-way race for Commissioner. Walt Cain won the race with a comfortable margin over Adam Stempel and James Baker.

The race was a little tighter in SMD 2F-04 on the east side of Logan Circle. John Fanning, who had served on the ANC in the early 1990s, apparently defeated another long-time resident, Joel Heisey by 14 votes (absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted). In SMD 2F-08, incumbent Matt Connolly holds a comfortable lead over challenger Howard Marks.

Winners of the races will take office in January 2013 when the new redistricting changes — necessitated by the 2010 Decennial Census results — take effect. Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B had no major changes in boundaries, ANC 1B will now have an additional SMD and ANC 2F will have two additional SMDs.

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by Borderstan.com November 7, 2012 at 9:15 am 1,293 3 Comments

"ANC"

Waiting for the provisional and absentee ballot count: Four winners, two races questionable in local ANC races. (Collage Luis Gomez Photos)

All 143 DC Precincts have reported in, but provisional and absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Even with some votes still to be counted by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, there seem to be four clear winners — and two races that could depend on the uncounted votes — in local contested races for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats in 1B, 2B and 2F.

According to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE), provisional and absentee ballots must be counted no later than 10 days after an election. As of early Wednesday morning, DCBOEE was unable to say how many such ballots are outstanding in DC.

Tuesday Morning ANC Race Results

  • U Street: In the four-way 1B-12 race, Zahara Jilanni has 263 votes with her nearest competitor, John Green, holding 245 votes, an 18 vote difference. Erling Bailey and Dan Wittels finished further back. The question in this race comes down to those outstanding votes.
  • Dupont: In the 2B-03 race, Stephanie Maltz holds a commanding lead over Bevan Mace, 404 to 102; Maltz has 78% of the vote.
  • Dupont: In 2B-04, Kishan Putta has 62% with 497 votes. Stephanie Sheridan is in second place with 208 votes and Martin Espinoza has 87 votes.
  • Logan: In 2F-02, Walt Cain holds a 51 vote lead over Adam Stempel, 292 to 241.
  • Logan: In 2F-04, John Fanning has a 14 vote lead over Joel Heisey, 299 to 285. Again, could provisional and absentee ballots change the result?
  • Logan: In 2F-08, Matt Connolly holds what is probably a comfortable 47 vote lead over Howard Marks, 235 to 188.

ANC 1B-12

  • Erling Bailey: 127
  • John Green: 245
  • Zahra Jilani: 263
  • Dan Wittels: 85
  • Write-In: 9

ANC 2B-03

  • Bevan Mace: 102
  • Stephanie Maltz: 404
  • Write-In: 147

ANC 2B-04

  • Martin Espinoza: 87
  • Kishan Putta: 497
  • Stephanie Sheridan: 208
  • Write-In: 7

ANC 2F-02

  • James Baker: 75
  • Walt Cain: 292
  • Adam Stempel: 241
  • Write-In: 6

ANC 2F-04

  • John Fanning: 299
  • Joel Heisey: 285
  • Write-In: 12

ANC 2F-08

  • Matt Connolly: 235
  • Howard Marks: 188
  • Write-In: 6

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by Borderstan.com November 6, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,176 0

"Election"

Lots of options for following election day/night coverage online, after you leave the polls. (Luis Gomez Photos.)

Election Day is finally here and the polls are open. If you are unable to set up a televised monitoring station in your office cube during working hours, but want to follow the day’s developments, we’ve got you covered.

Below are some top blogs and resources (for Democrats, Republicans and everyone in-between), that will keep you updated on numbers and commentary throughout the day and night. Feel free to add your favorites in the Comments section! Also, here is a map from DailyKos that shows the poll closing times in each state.

Newspaper, TV and Other Online Sites

Blogs for Democrats and Liberals

Blogs For Republicans and Conservatives

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by Borderstan.com November 5, 2012 at 11:00 am 0

"election information"

DC Voter Guide from Board of Elections. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Need election information for Election Day 2012 in DC: What are the polling place hours? Where do I vote? Can I register to vote on election day?

  • Poll Hours: The polls in D.C. open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.
  • Finding Your Polling Place: Don’t know where you vote? Go to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) Polling Place Locator, put in your home address and get your polling place information. Precinct locations for the Dupont-Logan-U Street area also listed below. You can also check the DOBOEE maps with precincts for Ward 1 (U Street area) and Ward 2 (Dupont-Logan).
  • Same-Day Voter Registration: If you are not registered to vote, you can register and vote on Tuesday. Here is what you need to bring to your polling place on Tuesday — if you are not already registered — according to BOEE: “To register to vote during early voting or on Election Day, you must bring a driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, government check or paycheck, or other government document showing your current name and address and cast a special ballot subject to verification by the Board.”
  • Check Your Voting Registration Status: DCBOEE has a page on its website where you can check your registration.
  • Who/What Am I Voting for Tuesday: The DCBOEE has a list of all offices on the ballot on November 6, including sample ballots by Ward. Check out the Voter Guide.

Voting Precincts and Locatons in Dupont-Logan-U Street

DCBOEE has Ward maps with precinct boundaries; local precincts are in Wards 1 and 2. Here are 14 selected precincts in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Remember if you are not sure, check this page on the DCBOEE for election information.

Dupont Area

  • 4 –  West End Public Library, 1101 24th Street NW
  • 13 – Our Lady of the Americas, 2200 California Avenue NW
  • 14 – St. Thomas Episcopal Church Parish, 1772 Church Street NW
  • 15 – Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th Street NW

Logan-Shaw-Downtown Area

  • 16 – Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, 1701 15th Street NW
  • 17 – Metropolitan AME Church, Douglas Hall, 1518 M Street NW
  • 18 – Kennedy Recreation Center, 1407 7th Street NW
  • 21 – Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Community Library, 1630 7th Street NW
  • 129 – Martin Luther King Library, 901 G Street NW

U Street Area

  • 22 – Garnet-Patterson Jr. High School, 2001 10th Street NW
  • 23 – Rita Bright Community Center, Gymnasium, 2500 14th Street NW
  • 24 – Marie Reed Learning Center, 2200 Champlain Street NW
  • 137 – Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S Street NW
  • 141 – Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th Street NW

by Borderstan.com November 4, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,155 1 Comment

"ANC"

Where do the  ANC candidates stand on local issues? (Collage Luis Gomez Photos)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.

Six of these 21 seats are being contested by at least two candidates. The contested races are as follows — in the Dupont area: ANC 2B-03 and ANC 2B-04; in the Logan Circle area: ANC 2F-02, ANC 2F-04, ANC 2F-08; and in the U Street area ANC 1B-12.

Earlier this fall, we ran candidate profiles and then posted Q&A interviews with candidates on specific issues related to their ANCs, with the last Q&A running Saturday. (On election night, you can get the results of ANC races on the DC Board of Elections and Ethics website.)

Here is your chance to compare the candidates’ stands on various issues. Candidates in all races were asked the same six questions. However, candidates in the 2B and 1B races were also asked special questions related to their areas. For example, 2B candidates were asked about the East Dupont Liquor License Morarirum (17th Street), ANC 2F candidates were asked about parking issues, and both ANC 2F and 1B were asked questions about development and a possible liquor license moratorium; the full is list is below the chart.

Compare the ANC Candidates’ Stand on the Issues

ANC 2B-03 / Dupont

ANC 2B-04 / Dupont

ANC 1B-12 / U Street

ANC 2F-02 / Logan Circle

ANC 2F-04 / Logan Circle

ANC 2F-08 / Logan Circle

Questions on the Issues

Candidates in all six races were asked these questions or a variation of them.

  1. What will be your first priority/new initiative if you are elected to the ANC?
  2. How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?
  3. Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?
  4.  Do you believe that the police presence is adequate in your area?
  5. Are there types of business in our neighborhood that stands out as something we need more of in the area? If so, can you name three?

Special Questions for ANC 2B Candidates

  1. What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

Special Questions for ANC 2F Candidates

  1. Do you support the new restricted Residential Park Permit pilot program implemented through ANC 2F in late summer/early fall 2012? Tell us why or why not.
  2. Of the many possibilities being discussed to alleviate parking constraints in ANC 2F is the construction of parking garages along or near the 14th Street corridor. Do you support these efforts?
  3. Becoming “the next Adams Morgan” is a consistent fear expressed in the neighborhood. Would you support a liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor? If so, why? If not, why?
  4. The pace of development is rapid in the area, especially along 14th Street NW. Do you think more commercial buildings would be good for the area, as opposed to more residential buildings?

Special Questions for ANC 1B Candidates

  1. What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?
  2. Becoming “the next Adams Morgan” is a consistent fear expressed in the neighborhood. Would you support a liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor? If so, why? If not, why?
  3. The pace of development is rapid in the area, especially along 14th Street NW. Do you think more commercial buildings would be good for the area, as opposed to more residential buildings?

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by Borderstan.com November 2, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,203 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"ANC"

Kishan Putta is running for the ANC 2B-04 seat. (Courtesy Kishan Putta)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Kishan Putta (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). Putta will face Martin Espinoza and Stephanie Sheridan on election day.

Now, it’s Question and Answer Time on the issues.

Bordestan: What will be your first priority/new initiative if you are elected to ANC 2B and why?

Putta: Priorities: I have been working as your public safety liaison through the ANC and the experience has reminded me of the importance of soliciting community input and being accessible. If elected, I will immediately work to meet again with neighborhood representatives and leaders – ideally together with residents in a casual setting (i.e. I’d like to host a post-holidays neighborhood potluck luncheon to be followed by a discussion of neighborhood issues, concerns, and ideas).

This introduction and relationship would be fostered further by monthly meetings and online discussions (please see Question #2 below for more on this). You can always contact me anytime about neighborhood issues by phone or by email and I will respond within 24 hours. Last, but not least, I can often be found walking the neighborhood and at community events and am always happy to stop to talk, and will follow-up with you.

Initiatives:

  • Crime:  As your safety liaison, I already have established good relationships with police leaders and will work with them and with you to keep you aware of incidents/issues, to prevent crimes, and to be your advocate to get your concerns addressed by the police and the District.
  • Road Safety:  I will continue my current work to make our streets and sidewalks safer for walkers, drivers, and bikers. Recently, I was honored to co-host a successful Dupont-Logan public meeting on bicycle safety issues where we heard from many residents about how valuable the 15th Street protected bike lane has become to bike-commuters who previously were wary about biking to work. I am already working with my colleague Noah Smith to get the District to repave and smoothen this important transportation artery running through our neighborhood. It’s good that more people are biking, but they need to know and follow the rules and therefore, I will work toward more/improved signage and education as well.
  • Rat Abatement:  Dense urban neighboods like ours often have issues with rats and some of our alleys are particularly problematic for many of our neighbors’ homes and sometimes for pedestrians as well.  Other neighborhoods have addressed this issue and I want to learn what they did and see what can be done to address this here.

Bordestan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?

Putta: I have asked this question of the residents whose doors I have knocked on and whom I’ve met around the neighborhood. They all say they would want to make sure there is more community input in decision-making and that the decision-making processes be as transparent as possible, and a combination of in-person meetings and email/web updates/discussions.

If elected, I would like to host an informal monthly potluck/pizza discussions so that residents know they can come and be heard without waiting through a formal meeting agenda. I promise to be responsive to emails and phone calls about any neighborhood issue within 24 hours and will work to get you connected to the right officials/resources and to get you answers and work for solutions. I will post salient information/updates on my website and also work to establish a yahoo-groups style bulletin board for our immediate neighborhood. I will be accessible and, as I mentioned above, can often be found walking the neighborhood and am always happy to stop and talk.

Lastly, I will propose that ANC meetings and jargon be made a little more understandable to the public. After a year of attending ANC meetings, I have come to the conclusion that they would be a lot more helpful for public observers if there was a glossary available at each meeting – and if commissioners were a little more conscientious about laymen attendees who would get a lot more out of the meetings with some simple accommodations (even, just short 30 second pauses to explain something quickly and promise to follow-up later if needed). I am a former community journalist and am very conscious about making complex issues understandable to a lay constituency.

Bordestan: 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?

Putta: I’m glad you referenced the diversity of the community. The best communities work to ensure all residents can enjoy its resources.  Community leaders have the responsibility to reach out to all sides and stakeholders and to work together as much as possible. I am a former community journalist with years of experience covering community issues, soliciting input from all sides, and treating all stakeholders fairly in my coverage (if I did not, I would hear it from the stakeholders, the readers, and my very strict editors!). If elected, I would draw on that experience and make sure to reach out to all sides on each important issue and listen and work together with them to find solutions.

In the case of Stead Park, the board of the park has worked hard for many months to try to make the park more useful and enjoyable to more members of our community (athletes, parents, children, and seniors) and recently held a public meeting with more meetings to come.  But some in our community formed opinions without all the facts. This caused unnecessary tension and confusion that could have been avoided by better outreach and communication by all sides.

I have spoken to the Friends of Stead Park board and they admit that they could have been more transparent and are trying to improve in that regard. They are happy to work with all sides to ensure everyone has the correct and full information and to reach mutually acceptable solutions. I hope that, going forward, this is the approach we adopt on all similar issues.  That is how I plan to serve you if you grant me the honor of representing you.

Bordestan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?

Putta: Neighborhood associations have a long history of positive impact on our city. Often, they have deep institutional knowledge of neighborhoods that is very valuable. As your public safety liaison through the ANC, I’ve already been working with both the Dupont Circle Citizens Association and the Urban Neighborhood Alliance. I have very good working relationships with both groups because I have attended many of their meetings – and, not least, because leaders of both organizations just happen to live in my building. If elected, I fully intend to maintain those strong relationships as we work together on community issues.

Bordestan: 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?

Putta: This is a very important issue. I have consulted many residents and stakeholders about this and I have read the 2009 report and recommendations from the Ad Hoc ANC Committee on the liquor moratorium, ably chaired by Jack Jacobson – the current commissioner who is retiring from the seat I am running for. If elected, I will bring to this issue the same level of thoughtfulness that Jacobson and his colleagues applied in 2009.

I will request to chair or co-chair a committee to study what has changed since 2009 and come up with new recommendations – with extensive input from residents, associations, and stakeholders. I know this will take possibly hundreds of hours of work, but I am committed to doing this right. My approach would be: a) actively solicit as much input from the community as possible; b) operate in a transparent manner and be accessible to residents; c) strike a balance that allows flexibility.

I am a pretty social person who likes a drink with my meal and enjoys the occasional happy hour or bar-night with friends, and I am very sensitive to how difficult it can be to maintain a business in this difficult economy. But I also enjoy the generally moderate noise level and safety on 17th Street, such that strolling with my wife even on a weekend evening is generally peaceful and pleasant. Until an extensive updated study is conducted (which I will ask to spearhead), I cannot say for sure how I will vote. The current moratorium wisely has some flexibility built into it. Whatever solution is proposed should have flexibility as well, and I promise to solicit your input and to listen well and to work hard to represent you well.

"ANC"

Click for a larger map of ANC 2B for the 2012 elections. (DC Board of Elections)

Bordestan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?

Putta: I have read up on the history of this process and have consulted with several residents and stakeholders. Yes, I believe the voluntary agreement (VA) process should be revisited and revised. A business that respects our community is one that will not allow for excessive noise and will work with the community to address significant issues. If a business operates respectfully and responsibly, the VA process should not cause long, costly delays, as it unfortunately did for Hank’s Oyster Bar recently. Currently, VAs can be proposed by the ANC, a group of five-plus residents (only three-plus residents in moratorium zones like 17th Street!), or a recognized neighborhood association.

I, and most residents I spoke with, believe that we democratically elect ANC commissioners to represent our community. Therefore, of the available alternatives, our neighbors’ voices are most likely to be represented accurately by the ANC commissioners if they operate transparently and with ample opportunities for community input. If ANC commissioners do not represent residents appropriately, residents have the power to replace them.

Therefore, I believe that, if an ANC decides to propose its own VA, it should be deemed to have more weight than VAs proposed by other groups that are not democratically elected. That said, if I am elected, I will never forget that I work for you and on your behalf. I promise to seek your input and be accessible and responsive.  I would be honored if you would entrust me with this responsibility.

Bordestan: Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 17th Street, 18th Street and Connecticut Avenue corridors, is adequate, especially on weekends?

Putta: As your public safety liaison through the ANC, I have already have good working relationships with the police department including the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit and the organization Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV-DC). I know who to call about different safety issues in different parts of the community. I believe that the side streets and alleyways off of these corridors need more patrolling (by car, bike, or foot), but I also believe that the police force usually serves us well within the limits of their budget. I and my colleague Noah Smith have been working to get more community input on sentencing for those convicted of harming our residents, but I am mindful that we have a wonderful and welcoming community and we want it to stay welcoming to all who agree to respect each other and the law.

Bordestan: 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?

Putta: We have it pretty good, but I do have some wish-list items, and I’ve heard many from other residents as well!  I think 17th Street could use a place to pick up quick but healthy bites and meals for under $10 on your way home from work or while walking your dog, etc. (I’m a huge fan of both Julia’s baked empanadas, for example); we could also use a salad place, I think. A great example of a community-oriented business is Redwood Realty. They have opened their walls to local artists and opened their doors to the community to come enjoy the local artists’ works. I also want to take my hat off to the Dupont Circle Business Incubator at 17th  and R.  It is a wonderful community resource of thoughtful, conscientious entrepreneurs seeking sustainable business ideas to benefit the city and the world – kudos.

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by Borderstan.com November 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,518 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"Martin Espinoza in Washington DC"

ANC 2B-04 candidate Martin Espinoza. (Courtesy of Martin Espinoza)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/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.

"ANC"

Click for a larger map of ANC 2B for the 2012 elections. (DC Board of Elections)

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?

Espinoza:

  • 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!

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by Borderstan.com October 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,180 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"Stephanie Maltz ANC"

Stephanie Maltz is a candidate for ANC 2B-03. (Courtesy Stephanie Maltz)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Stephanie Maltz (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). Maltz will face Bevan Mace 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?

Maltz: My first priority when I am elected will be to continue to make myself available to all of those who live in ANC2B-03. I want everyone to know that I am accessible and that I am interested in knowing about any issues faced by our residents. Accessibility is important because the more information I have regarding the concerns of the community, the better I will be able to represent what our neighborhood really wants.

Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?

Maltz: I believe that the sharing of information is key and I will do everything I can to make my neighbors aware of any upcoming projects, events or activities that will have an impact on our community. I will work hard to give everyone equal opportunities to provide feedback to ensure that the responses I receive represent the diversity within our community. I will engage constituents through personal meetings, open discussions, opportunities to see the ANC in action, as well as via email and phone calls.

Borderstan: How do you plan to 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?

Maltz: By proactively reaching out to all members of the community — not just those who attend ANC and other community meetings — I will ensure everyone is not only aware of upcoming developments in our neighborhood, but also has an opportunity to express their views on the important issues we face together. I will offer a number of ways for residents to provide their opinions including online surveys, flyers, and open forum discussions. I am looking forward to sitting down one-on-one with my neighbors to truly understand their concerns.

"ANC"

Click for a larger map of ANC 2B for the 2012 elections. (DC Board of Elections).

Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?

Maltz: I believe neighborhood associations provide an opportunity for community members to become involved with specific local issues. I support working together with these groups to support activities that benefit our neighborhood and already have experience doing so — I helped the Urban Neighborhood Alliance (UNA) with the 17th Street Festival and I am a Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) member. I will continue to attend the neighborhood association meetings and provide opportunities for an open dialogue.

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?

Maltz: I do not support renewing the East Dupont Liquor Moratorium in its current form. There has only been one new liquor license application since the West Dupont Liquor License Moratorium was relaxed one year ago. I believe that non-renewal would have a similar result on 17th Street.

Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?

Maltz: From my experience as the liquor liaison for ANC 2B-06, I see there would be value in standardizing the voluntary agreement process. The Dupont ANC has taken steps towards this with its public space standards. I think we should more broadly standardize other parts of the language to be fair to both 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?

Maltz: I applaud the work of our current police force. Unfortunately, I feel their effectiveness has been hampered by the new boundaries which split Dupont into multiple Police Services Areas (PSA).

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?

Maltz: I support, whenever possible, using the same space for multiple businesses and it is great that this is happening in our neighborhood. For example, on 17th Street, Mr. Yogato’s has a new pop-up coffee shop (Vigilante’s) that is open in the morning. The Dupont Business Incubator on R Street provides a collaborative working space for a number of businesses. Stead Park, while not a business, also has multiple purposes for a number of people. I would like to see more multiuse space in our neighborhood and support expanding our local business community this way.

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by Borderstan.com October 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,386 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"ANC"

Stephanie Sheridan is a candidate for ANC 2B-04. (Photo credit: Bill Rice)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Stephanie Sheridan (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). Sheridan will face Martin Espinoza 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? 

Sheridan: The ANC is responsible for fulfilling certain duties in the regulatory and approval processes of the city. The single most important thing for the ANC is to continue to expand direct engagement with constituents so that its decisions reflect constituent wishes.

Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?

Sheridan: I will offer multiple communication channels: Traditional (office hours, phone, meetings) as well as technology based solutions (you can currently reach me at @S_Sheridan and sheridan4anc.com). That is to say, if you are interested in reaching me, you will be able to get in touch. My goal is to engage with and reflect a representative body of the neighborhood. Currently, voters are able to submit comments via my campaign website. In addition, I attend neighborhood events and meetings to interact with both residents and businesses. Because of my professional experience, I know and engage with a lot of business owners in the neighborhood and the city as well.

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?

Sheridan: Transparency is imperative to good governance.  Best practices are all moving towards maximum transparency and I support this. As to diversity, if elected, I will be a woman on the ANC that has been almost exclusively male.

"ANC"

Click for a larger map of ANC 2B for the 2012 elections. (DC Board of Elections)

Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them? 

Sheridan: I love my civic association. The Dupont Circle Citizens Association is celebrating its 90th year, and the 45th year of the Dupont Circle House Tour. As a member and a contributor on the House Tour Selection Committee, I interact with residents that deal with a range of concerns, including supporting local non-profits, restoring the tree canopy and organizing against rodent infestation.

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?

Sheridan: Yes. The moratorium allows the community to decide what “oversaturation” is, allows the neighborhood to influence the number and types of businesses it wants to see. If everything is a liquor license, are we leaving room for expansion in other areas? We have two moratoriums, one on P Street and one on 17th Street. Both moratoriums helped calm down the neighborhood. The renewal process is positive and allows for flexibility.

Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?

Sheridan: No. The voluntary agreement process was streamlined several years ago. From my understanding, it is in fact much faster than it used to be to reach a conclusion. By and large the process works well in Dupont, with an outstanding exception that has itself flourished under a voluntary agreement. Albeit, groups of five, ie. “The Gang of 5” should be limited to live within a certain proximity and not the entire city; to those residents who are disproportionately impacted given their proximity to a given business.

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?

Sheridan: Businesses that engage meaningfully with the community in general are strategic assets to the neighborhood. This includes both retail and service companies in the neighborhood. Two restaurants include Circa Dupont, who successfully engaged with the neighborhood to install a trash compactor to discourage rats, and EatWell DC, another local business that sets a standard for food sustainability. A service company example is the Dupont headquartered iStrategy Labs, a high growth company instrumental in the growth of the tech sector in Washington.

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by Borderstan.com October 25, 2012 at 9:00 am 0

"election"

It’s election season in DC. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

The November 6 election is two weeks away, and while the nation’s eyes are on the presidential election, the nation’s capital is gearing up for several local elections.

If you’re a DC resident, here’s what will appear on your ballot this year:

  • Electors of President and Vice President of the United States
  • Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia (two to be elected)
  • Ward 2, 4, 7 and 8 Members of the Council of the District of Columbia
  • At-Large Member of the State Board of Education
  • Ward 2, 4, 7 and 8 Members of the State Board of Education
  • United States Senator (“Shaddow” Senator)
  • United States Representative (“Shaddow Reprsentative)
  • Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (296 to be elected citywide)
  • Three proposed charter amendments

Early Voting

For those who may be out of town on election day, early voting began at One Judiciary Square (441 4th Street NW) on Monday, October 22 and will continue to Saturday, October 27. Hours of early voting are from 8:30 am until 7 pm. Beginning on Saturday, October 27, voters will be able to cast ballots at their choice of eight satellite locations (one in each Ward):

  • Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street NW
  • Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren Street NW
  • Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue NE
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street SW
  • Dorothy Height/Benning Library, 3935 Benning Road NE
  • Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, 701 Mississippi Avenue SE

For more information on voting, visit the DC Board of Elections and Ethics.

Local ANC 1B-12 Candidate Meet and Greets

Here at Borderstan.com, we’ve introduced you to the local ANC candidates. Several of these candidates have participated in candidate forums, but a few candidates are hosting individual Meet and Greet sessions.

  • ANC 1B-12 candidate, John Green, will host a meet and greet session on Friday, October 26 at Ulah Bistro (1214 U Street NW) from  6:30 to 7:30 pm. At-Large Candidate for D.C. Council, David Grosso,will also attend. For more information, visit John Green’s website.
  • ANC 1B-12 candidate, Zahra Jilani, will host a meet and greet on Sunday, October 28 from 2 to 3:30 pm at 1346 Wallach Place NW. For more information, view her online flier.
  • ANC 1B-12 candidate, Erling Bailey, will host a meet and greet on Sunday, October 28 from 1 until 2:30 pm at 1335 T Street NW. For more information, visit Bailey’s website.

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by Borderstan.com October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,278 0

"yoga"

Join YOGAVOTES this weekend for a one-of-a-kind call to action. (Photo credit: Kristin Adair, courtesy of YogaVotes)

From Melanie Hudson. Email her at melanie[AT]borderstan.com. 

What do politics and yoga have in common? Except for both being very popular among Borderstan readers, not much, right? Well the organizers of YOGAVOTES think differently. They believe the same values yogis embrace on the mat – mindfulness, connection, compassion, awareness – should be an essential part of yogis’ lives off the mat, as well.

YOGAVOTES is a project of Off the Mat, Into the World and is a nonpartisan push for greater electoral participation among the 20 million Americans who practice yoga. By motivating people to think about why voting is important, YOGAVOTES and Off the Mat hope to encourage yogis to practice “mindful” voting.

This Sunday that idea will be tested here in DC with an event they are calling “Yoga the Vote: Vote Your Heart.” This “yoga variety show” will include a free yoga class with several teachers including Kerri Kelly, a concert by Mike de la Rocha, who is a musician activist touring with Rock the Vote, and a talk and meditation by internationally known teacher and author Max Strom.

Along with the yoga celebrities in attendance, participants will be encouraged to ask questions of themselves: what do I stand for and how? Why will I vote and what am I voting for? Why is it important to me to be active in my community? Ultimately, the organizers hope, yogis will unite around the ideas of voting from their hearts, getting connected, getting involved – and expressing those values of compassion, mindfulness and awareness.

Kristin Adair, a yoga instructor (in northern Virginia and at Embrace in Adams Morgan) and DC Community Builder with Off the Mat, has said they expect 100-150 people to turn out this weekend. Her background as a Hill staffer, presidential campaign aide, and lawyer and lobbyist for nonprofit causes has prepared her well for this new role encouraging more active civic participation and awareness.

“I had lots of opportunities to see inspiring aspects in my work, but also disheartening aspects. Yoga and politics can go together – they aren’t separate. We need to bridge the gap between knowledge about the political process and our yoga space.”

She is also aware of her critics, some of whom are yogis unconcerned or uninformed about politics. Kristin says that your individual yoga practice can influence your participation, and that you can get involved in a way that is meaningful to you.

For example, when thinking about elections, many of us have a very partisan view and often a very negative view of the other side.  YOGAVOTES encourages bringing mindfulness and unity and compassion into the lens through which we view politics, and actually listening to people on the other side of a debate.

“It’s interesting to think about yoga: everyone is welcome – all abilities, all viewpoints, it doesn’t matter. That is different than politics. So if we bring a mindset of being present and listening to the other side, and not assume because they are on other side they are wrong – this is a revelation for me.”

For me as well.  I could have used that advice so far in this campaign cycle.

To find out how you can get involved:

  • Download materials including a voter’s guide, workshop curriculum, debate watching guide.
  • Visit a VOGAVOTES partner studio supporting the campaign to gather more information and join fellow yogis in debate watch parties and discussion.  Borderstan studios include Yoga District (two locations: 1635 Connecticut Avenue NW; 1910 14th Street NW ) and Flow Yoga Center (1450 P Street NW).
  • Pledge to vote on the YOGAVOTES website and vote in a mindful way in November.
  • Attend the Yoga the Vote D.C. event on Sunday, October 21 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at 23rd and Constitution Avenue NW (near the Lincoln Memorial). RSVP or just show up – it’s free!  Bring yoga mats and water. Beginners and experts welcome.

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by Borderstan.com October 2, 2012 at 9:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"ANC"

The new ANC 2F/Logan map for the 2012 election. (DC Board of Elections)

It’s time to meet some of  the candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats in ANC 2F/Logan: Districts 2F-01, 2F-02 and 2F-03.

On Tuesday, October 2, a forum for the candidates running in the three Logan Circle districts will take place from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Hotel Helix (1430 Rhode Island Avenue NW) in the Production Room. (The Logan Circle Community Association also held a previous candidate forum on September 12.)

The Logan Circle neighborhood had significant growth in recent years (two Single Member District seats were added to 2F to accommodate for this growth), with parking, development and restaurant zoning being the top issues facing the neighborhood.

Tuesday night’s forum gives residents the opportunity to ask the candidates questions related to these (and other) topics.

Candidates at Forum

Click on the links The candidates for this year’s race include:

The election is November 6, 2012. For more information on the forum, email tehillard[AT]msn.com.

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by Borderstan.com September 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"DC forum"

A public forum with DC Councilmembers will take place at Busboys & Poets on Sunday, September 9. (Luis Gomez Photos)

On Sunday, September 9, DC at least six members of the DC City Council will participate in a public forum with local journalists and residents from 5 until 8 pm at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street NW).

So far, Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), Michael Brown (I-At Large), Vincent Orange (D-At-Large), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) are confirmed to participate in the forum. Bowser and Evans are on the ballot this year. Mendelson is running in the special election for Chairman of the DC Council to replace Kwame Brown, who resigned earlier this year.

“Many communities feel disconnected from what ought to be their city hall,” said Nick McCoy, a local activist and moderator of the upcoming event. “We’re holding this forum to reassert the people’s right to hold our public servants accountable.”

Local media outlets such as the Washington Blade, the Washington Informer and WPFW, among others, will have an allotted time period to question the candidates. Time will also be made for members of the public to address the officials.

For more information, contact Nick McCoy at (202) 280-5403.

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