by March 14, 2013 at 6:49 am 1 Comment

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]


Sealing the ballot box at last night’s special election. Seated from left are three ANC 2B commissioners: Chair Will Stephens (08), Vice Chair Mike Feldstein (01) and Noah Smith (09). (David McAuley)

Abigail Nichols defeated Dito Sevilla in the special election for the vacant seat on Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont last night, Wednesday, March 13. The final tally was 34 votes for Nichols and 12 for Sevilla.

Nichols will fill the seat for Single Member District 05 until the next election in 2014. The seat became open after Commissioner Victor Wexler resigned after being re-elected in November. Each district has approximately 2,000 residents and there are nine commissioners of ANC 2B.

Gottlieb Simon, executive director of the District Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, acted as election manager. Simon allowed me to observe the vote count, along with Nichols. There was no representative present from the Sevilla campaign. A resolution endorsing the election results  passed unanimously after the results were reported.

Abigail Nichols new 2B05 Commissioner.(Courtesy Abigail Nichols)

Abigail Nichols. (Courtesy of Nichols)

Nichols must now be sworn in by a member of the DC council. Ruth Warner of the office of Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) was present at the meeting and offered to arrange a swearing-in before the next ANC 2B meeting.

ANC Meeting Highlights

The election was held on the sidelines of ANC 2B’s regular monthly meeting. Some highlights from the meeting:

  • The ANC unanimously authorized spending up to $100 for new signs for the park at the intersection of T, 17th and New Hampshire NW (located just north of the Dog Park). The signs will remind that this park is for humans, not for dogs. The police will enforce this rule only after signs have been placed warning citizens, and the wait for signs from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation is too long.
  • The ANC, by a vote of 5 to 0 (with one abstention), voted to endorse proposed additional bus service for lower 16th Street NW. The extra buses will run from 7:30 to 9:15 am weekdays on a short route starting at Harvard Street and ending at McPherson Square. WMATA head bus planner Jim Hamre told the meeting that the extra buses will start on March 25.
  • The ANC unanimously approved Commissioner Noah Smith’s resolution in support of the DC Council’s “Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013.” Smith represents 2B-09.

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by December 4, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,074 0

From Tom Hay and Rachel Nania. Email Hay at Tom[AT] and follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 


Alcohol Reform. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The DC Council will vote this week, possibly today, on a controversial bill addressing liquor licensing for local businesses and residents’ roles in the process.

Currently, there is no distance requirement for protesting a liquor license, meaning that a resident in Cleveland Park could protest a license application for a restaurant near Logan Circle.

The new bill would significantly change the current regulations by limiting protests of liquor licenses to those living within 400 feet of an establishment. If passed, the new bill would also allow for Voluntary Agreements (VA) negotiated by Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) to override agreements made by a group of residents.

The Current Newspaper reports that there are 43 provisions in the omnibus bill, which was constructed by a group of representatives from the alcohol industry, businesses and neighborhood groups, as well as a group focusing on noise issues. This group that provided input on the bill includes representatives from wards 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8, and Jim Graham worked as the sponsor on the bill.

A newly-formed group called the Alcohol Sanity Coalition DC, founded by Dupont Circle resident Abigail Nichols, is fighting several amendments proposed in Graham’s bill. In a November press release, the group raised concerns about a provision that would limit any resident protest if a VA were negotiated by the ANC. The group is also targeting provisions related to noise complaints and fines.

In addition to leading the Coalition, Nichols is seeking election to the ANC Commissioner seat in Single Member District 2B-05, a position now held by Commissioner Victor Wexler who withdrew from the race shortly before election day. Wexler’s name appeared on the ballot and he received over 80 percent of the votes in his District.

The DC hospitality industry has countered with its own assessment of the amendments. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) issued a plea to push for changes to reduce the regulatory burden imposed by current regulations and curtail the power of arbitrary groups to limit operations.

The RAMW release includes a quote from Hank’s Oyster Bar owner Jamie Leeds who has become the poster child for alcohol regulation gone wrong. Leeds’ effort to expand her Dupont Circle restaurant was well documented on Borderstan and citywide. Her expansion plans became a three-year regulatory and courtroom battle in which she ultimately prevailed.

Mark Lee, coordinator for DC Hospitality, published a guest column on PoPville, stating that “it’s time to end an out-of-balance licensing system that puts limits on dining, drinking and entertainment choices for the many by the few – slowing the city’s forward progress and hurting the local economy!”

D.C. Hospitality is also asking to supporters of the reform to “Tell D.C. Council + Mayor Gray to Reform Unfair Licensing Laws” on this online petition. Hank’s Oyster Bar and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) both issued statements calling for support of the proposed bill.

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[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “Hanks asks patrons to sign the reform to current DC liquor licensing regulations” on Storify</a>]

[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “DC Hospitality solicits reform support” on Storify</a>]

by November 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm 1,468 1 Comment


DC  has counted  absentee and provisional ballots from the November 6 election. (Luis Gomez Photos.)

The DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) has updated its 2012 general election page with new vote counts for the November 6 general election. The new results contain absentee and ballots and provisional ballots.

In two close races for local ANC seats, the inclusion of absentee and provisional ballots did not change the results. Zahara Jilana still leads John Green in ANC 1B-12 (by 34 votes) and John Fanning still leads Joel Heisey in ANC 2F-04 (by 38 votes). The results for the six contested races, as of November 26, are in the table below.

Voter Participation in ANC Races

How many people voted in ANC races compared to other races on the ballot on November 6? We looked at Precinct 16 (Presbyterian Church, 15th and R Streets NW) and compared the number of votes for ANC candidates versus presidential candidates.

In Precinct 16, 3,209 people voted for president. A total of four ANC races voted at Precinct 16: ANC 1F (uncontested), ANC 2F-02 (contested race), ANC 2F-04 (contested race, one of three precincts for race), and ANC 2B-04 (contested race, one of two precincts for race). ANC candidates in Precinct 16 received a total of 2,038 votes in these four races. The breakdown? Of the voters in Precinct 16 who cast votes for president, only 64% cast ballots for an ANC candidate.


 Updated Vote Count in 6 Contested ANC Races


  1. Zahara Jilani, 329 (36.3%)
  2. John C. Green, 295 (32.6%)
  3. Erling Bailey, 168 (18.5%)
  4. Dan Wittels, 98 (10.8%)
  5. Write-In, 16 (1.8%)


  1. Walt Cain, 335, 46.4%)
  2. Adam Stempel, 290 (40.2%)
  3. James Baker, 89 (12.3%)
  4. Write-In, 8 (1.1%)


  1. John Fanning, 359, (51.9%)
  2. Joel Heisey, 321 (46.4%)
  3. Write-In, 12 (1.7%)


  1. Matthew Connolly, 283 (52.9%)
  2. Howard S. Marks, 240 (44.8%)
  3. Write-In, 12 (2.2%)


  1. Stephanie Maltz, 483 (78.9%)
  2. Bevan Mace, 113 (18.5%)
  3. Write-In, 16 (2.6%)

 ANC 2B-04

  1. Kishan Putta, 563 (61.9%
  2. Stephanie Sheridan, 229 (25.2%)
  3. Martin Espinoza, 107 (11.8%)
  4. Write-In, 10 (1.1%)

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by November 9, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,352 1 Comment


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] 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 November 4, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,956 1 Comment


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 September 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm 2,707 3 Comments

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

"Green ANC"

John Green is running for the ANC 1B-12 this fall. (Photo courtesy of John Green)

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/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.

So now it is time to meet your candidates. Here at, 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.

"ANC 1B"

Click for a larger map: ANC 1B includes most of the U Street corridor. (ANC 1B website, with boundaries in effect for 2012 election)

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.

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by August 10, 2012 at 10:38 am 2,691 2 Comments

From Tom Hay. Follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann or email him at Tom[AT]

"ANC 2B"

Click for a larger image: The new ANC 2B map for the 2012 election. (DC Board of Elections)

A few weeks ago we gave you an early overview of who picked up candidate petitions for Borderstan-area Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats.

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.

The deadline for submitting petitions was close of businesses on Wednesday at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE), and the updated list of candidates who have submitted the required 25 signatures can be found on their website. Occasionally, candidates are denied ballot access when petition signatures are declared invalid. Plus, some candidates pull out of a race prior to election day.

Redistricting Changes ANC Boundaries

Registered DC voters should have received a new voter registration card in the mail which reflects redistricting changes to Ward, ANC and SMD boundaries. In the Borderstan area redistricting affected all three ANCs, particularly 1B and 2F, both of which have additional SMDs due to population growth over the past decade.

ANC 2B/Dupont

Contested races are now confirmed for SMDs 2B-03 and 2B-04 in ANC 2B, while in the other seven seats there is only one candidate.

  • The 2B0-3 slate to replace the retiring Bob Meehan has two candidates, Bevan Mace and Stephanie Maltz.
  • The 2B0-4 race for the seat now held by Jack Jacobson, who is running for Ward 2 representative to the DC Board of Education. Confirmed candidates for his seat are Martin Espinoza, Stephanie Sheridan and Kishan Putta.
  • Leo Dwyer is the sole candidate for the 2B-07 seat held by Phil Carney who is retiring.
  • Similarly situated is Noah Smith, who is running unopposed for the 2B-09 seat held by Ramon Estrada; he is not seeking reelection after 10 years holding the seat.
  • Incumbent Commissioners Mike Feldstein (2B-01), Kevin O’Connor (2B-02), Victor Wexler (2B-05), Mike Silverstein (2B-06) and Will Stephens (2B-08) have no opponents.

Click for a larger image: The new ANC 2F map for the 2012 election. (DC Board of Elections)

ANC 2F/Logan Circle

The Logan Circle neighborhood had significant growth in recent years and ANC 2F has two new SMDs for a total of eight seats. The ANC will have thee contested races, in SMDs 02, 04 and 08.

  • Current Chair of 2F, Mike Benardo, is not seeking reelection for the 2F-06 seat. The only candidate for the recently redrawn 2F-06 is Greg Melcher .
  • Longtime Commissioner Charles Reed in 2F-01 is retiring and the only candidate to file papers is Peter Lallas.
  • Candidates Chris Linn (2F-03), James Lamare (2F-05) and Greg Melcher (2F-06) face no opposition. Current Commissioner Matt Raymond (2F-07) is also running unopposed.
  • In 2F-04 are John Fanning and Joel Heisey will face off on November 6.
  • Incumbent Commissioner Matthew Connolly will face Howard Marks on election day. He currently represents SMD 05, but with the new map he is in SMD 08. Update: Ricardo Ampudia’s nominating petitions were challenged and the Board of Elections declared he lacked the necessary signature to be on the November 6 ballot.
  • Noteworthy in 2F is a three-way race for the 2F0-2 seat vacated this year by Nick Barron. Running for the seat — which includes the commercial strip along the 1400 block of P Street NW — are Adam Stempel, Walt Cain and James Baker. Note: Jack Jetmund withdrew from the race.


"ANC 1B"

Click for a larger image: The new ANC 1B map for the 2012 election. (DC Board of Elections)

There is only one contested race in ANC 1B that falls within the boundaries of the Borderstan coverage area. ANC 1B now has 12 SMDs with four of them in the U Street corridor. SMD 02 added a huge number of people between 2000 and 2010 and was essentially split in two to form the new SMD 12.

  • Longtime incumbent Deborah Thomas (1B-04) is running unopposed. Jeremy Leffler is running for the redrawn 1B-02 seat and Marc Morgan is the sole candidate running for the 1B-01 seat now held by ANC 1B Chairpeson Myla Moss, who is retiring.
  • Of particular note is the four-way race for the new 1B12 SMD which was carved out of SMD 1B-02. The candidates are John Carlos Green, Zahra Jilani, Dan Wittels and Erling Bailey. This seat is currently held by Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling who won a special election late in 2011 after Commissioner 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.

by July 31, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,622 1 Comment

"ANC 2B Dupont"

ANC 2B encompasses the Dupont Circle neighborhood. District 09 is in the northeast corner of the ANC, running to the southwest corner of 14th and U NW. (ANC 2B website, boundaries that are in effect for 2012 election)

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

The deadline for filing to run in the race for an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seat is rapidly approaching, and this past weekend, one local resident announced his candidacy for the 2B-09 seat in Dupont Circle.

Noah Smith, who currently serves as a public safety liaison for ANC 2B, is running in the local election for the first time. Ramon Estrada, the five-term ANC incumbent for seat 2B-09, has not confirmed his plans to run in the November 6 election; he had not picked up nominating petitions as of Monday.

Smith, who describes himself as having “a passion for public service,” believes that one of the most important roles of an ANC Commissioner is to be an advocate for residents when dealing with the DC government.

“I hope to serve as a liaison between the alphabet soup of government agencies and my neighbors to bring critical information to our community faster and to help address concerns sooner,” said Smith, who has lived in DC for seven years and in the Dupont neighborhood for a year-and-a-half.

Smith is a volunteer EMT and a Federal highway safety official, and hopes to bring his experience in public safety to neighborhood government.

Noah Smith

Noah Smith is running for ANC 2B-09 in this year’s election. (Photo courtesy of Noah Smith)

“I am running for ANC to build on my past work to improve the safety of our neighborhood’s roads, including for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to foster a collaborative approach to problem solving,” said Smith.

Smith is also campaigning on neighborhood development, promising to balance the (often times) delicate relationships between neighbors and businesses and work to find collaborative solutions that meet the needs of the community.

The area for ANC 2B-09 encompasses S Street, 17th Street, New Hampshire Avenue, U Street and 14th Street.

The deadline for filing to run for an ANC seat is Wednesday, August 8. Elections for ANC positions are on the November 6 ballot and are non-partisan. 300 seats throughout the city are up for reelection this year. Commissioners elected into the ANC will serve for two years.

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by July 30, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,321 1 Comment

Featured image: The new ANC 1B map with 12 districts. (DC Board of Elections)

The deadline for filing to run for an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seat is next week — Wednesday, August 8. That’s the date for potential candidates to turn in a minimum of 25 valid voter signatures from their district to the DC Board of Elections get on the November 6 election ballot for one of DC’s 38 ANCs, and file a declaration of candidacy. (See Community Service: Got What it Takes to Run for an ANC Seat?)

"ANC 2F"

One of the neighborhood ANCs is 2F, which covers the Logan Circle area. It is gaining two seats due to population growth in the area. Click to see on Google Maps. (Map by Geoff Hatchard)

The DC Board of Elections keeps a list of who has picked up petitions and it’s easy to find out who has picked up petitions by ANC and ANC district (the list is updated as of Friday).

But with only 25 valid signatures required, it is quite possible for a potential candidate to pick up the nominating petitions this week and turn in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Moreover, just because an individual has picked up petitions does not mean he or she will ultimately decide to run — and in rare occassions candidates are denied ballot access because they lacked enough valid signatures.

Each ANC has Single Member Districts (SMDs) with approximately 2,000 residents. Commissioners will be elected in November for two-year terms, with new boundaries that were drawn following the 2010 Census.

ANC Retirements and New Candidates

In the three local ANCs — 1B, 2B and 2F — there are some notable retirements and one ANC commissioner whose plans are not yet known.

ANC 2B/Dupont

ANC 2B has nine SMDs, the same as before the 2010 Census. While the districts were redrawn to meet population requirements, the changes were minor compared to 2F and 1 B.

  • Bob Meehan, elected in 2002 to the ANC 2B-03 seat is not seeking re-election. To date, only one person has picked up nomination petitions, Stephanie Maltz.
  • Jack Jacobson is giving up his seat and is a candidate for the Ward 2 DC Board of Education seat. Two candidates have officially announced they are running (Martin Espnizoa and Kishan Putta) and a third is getting ready. Stephanie Sheridan has picked up nominating petitions and confirmed with Borderstan that she is making this a three-way race.
  • Notably, incumbent Ramon Estrada in 2B-09 has not yet picked up nominating petitions; he was first elected in 2002 and heads the ANC’s ABRA committee. But, with only 25 valid signatures required, it would be easy for Estrada to still get on the November 6 ballot. (Estrada did not respond to Borderstan over the weekend regarding his plans.)
  • However, one candidate, Noah Smith, is definitely running in Estrada’s 09 district, a fact that he confirmed with Borderstan. Smith and Putta are the volunteer public safety liaisons for ANC 2B.

ANC 2F / Logan 

ANC 2F gained two seats, due to strong population growth in the area between 2000 and 2010. Come January, ANC 2F will have eight seats, up two from its current six seats.

  • Charles Reed, a long time ANC commissioner representing ANC 2F-01 (and who served as chair until recently) is not seeking another term. He made the announcement at the July meeting.
  • Mike Benardo, first elected in 2006, announced last week that he would not seek a fourth term as commissioner. Under current boundaries he represents ANC 2F-6 and is chair of 2F.
  • Nick Barron, ANC 2F-02, announced in May that he would not seek a full term. He was appointed to the seat after the commissioner who won the 2010 election resigned.


ANC 1B includes several DC neighborhoods, including the bulk of the U Street corridor. With population gains in the corrdor, it gains seat and will have 12 commissioners in 2013. Four of the 12 SMDs are in the Borderstan area — 01, 02, 04 and 12.

Come late next week, we will find out who turned in their petitions for run for an ANC seat, and learn how many contested races there are in 1B, 2B and 2F.

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by July 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm 1,922 0

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

"ANC 2F Map"

One of the neighborhood ANCs is 2F, which covers the Logan Circle area. It is gaining two seats due to population growth in the area. Click to see on Google Maps. (Map created by Geoff Hatchard)

We’re all guilty of it. “I can’t believe the city hasn’t fixed this street yet!” or “My child needs a playground in the area, there are no safe outdoor places for kids to play anymore.” Whether we like it or not, we are all active complainers when it comes to neighborhood (and city) politics and government.

While some complaining is fun now and then, there is a more proactive approach: running for a seat on one of the city’s 38 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) with a total of 300 Single Member District (SMD) seats citywide. The role of an ANC is advisory and they cannot actually pass laws or set regulations. However, DC government agencies are required to give consideration and weight to the resolutions that ANCs pass.

ANCs Represent Neighborhood Interests

Each ANC has about eight to 10 commissioners, and one commissioner represents a SMD with approximately 2,000 residents. When drawing boundaries for ANCs an effort is made to draw lines that take recognized neighborhoods into account.

ANCs work with community members, District government agencies, the City Council and some Federal agencies on a range of issues including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and the District’s annual budget.

Local ANCs in Borderstan

Locally, the following ANCs serve the Borderstan area:

Getting on the Ballot, Raising ANC Campaign Money

In fact, you could begin picking up nominating petitions on July 9 from the DC Board of Elections (DCBE) — you only need the signatures of 25 registered voters in your SMD. The deadline for turning in petitions is August 8 in order to qualify for the November 6 general election ballot; the races are non-partisan with no party labels attached to candidate names. The DCBE regularly updates the list of people of who have picked up petitions for ANC seats.

Worried about raising money? Campaign contributions are capped at $25, but you can give as much as you like to your own campaign.

Do You Have What it Takes to Serve?

If you think you have what it takes to fight for your neighborhood’s needs and concerns, then consider running for commissioner on your local ANC. If you are committed to the job, it can be time-consuming and commissioners are not paid (see ANC 2F-02 Commissioner Barron Not Seeking Full Term for a first-hand account of the duties of an ANC commissioner).

So let’s all slow down the complaining, stop making excuses, and find a way to better serve our community, one way or another.

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by May 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm 3,674 1 Comment


Ward 2 is home to 40% of all DC liquor licenses. One-third of all licenses are in four local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The onerous process of obtaining a DC liquor license is a common complaint among business owners — although you might find more varied opinions among some residents. The process often involves reaching a formal Voluntary Agreement (VA) between a business, groups of residents, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) and community organizations — which often set limitations on hours of operation, serving of alcohol on outdoor patio areas and more.

There are 1,586 liquor licenses of all types in DC, according to the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). The battles over liquor licenses in the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods are more easily put into perspective when you look at the numbers — what wards, ANCs and areas have the most liquor licenses.

Most of the Borderstan area is in Ward 2 (Dupont-Logan) while the remainder is around the U Street corridor in Ward 1. This explains why the agendas of ANCs 2B, 2F and 1B often include long lists of items related to liquor licenses.

Given the proximity of our neighborhoods to downtown DC, and the booming residential-commercial market in the area, the numbers really shouldn’t be surprising. The area has some of the city’s most vibrant commercial districts — Connecticut Avenue, 18th Street, 17th Street, 14th Street, U Street and 9th Street NW.

Licenses by Ward

Statistics from ABRA show how dominant our locales are in the ranks of DC’s watering holes: Ward 2 is home to 40% of all the city’s liquor licenses, followed by Ward 1 with 16%. In third place is Ward 6 (Capitol Hill) with 15%. It’s important to point out that Ward 2 includes Georgetown, in addition to Dupont-Logan and areas south of Dupont Circle. Ward 1 also includes Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. Other DC Wards: Ward 3 has about 11% of all licenses; Ward 5 has 7%; Ward 4 has 6%; Ward 7 about 3%; and Ward 8 about 2.5% of all the city’s liquor licenses.

Licenses in Local ANCs

A look at number of licenses by Advisory Neighborhood Commission level is more revealing. ANC 2B/Dupont is home to 14.44% of all liquor licenses in the city (229) — keep in mind that the boundaries of ANC 2B extend well south of Dupont Circle and reach Pennsylvania Avenue at some points.

ANC 2F (Logan Circle and a big chunk of 14th Street NW) has 111 liquor licenses, about 7% of the city’s total. ANC 1B has 91 licenses, about 6% of all licenses in DC — 1B includes the U Street corridor and large swath of territory to the north plus Howard University. Together, these three ANCs are home to 431 of 1,586 licenses, about 27% of the city’s total. Throw in ANC 2C/Shaw and you have another 7% of all liquor licenses in DC.

How many are in ANC 1C, home to Adams Morgan? That ANC has 84 licenses, about 5% of all the DC liquor licenses.

The exact numbers are as follows:

ANC # ABC Licenses % of All DC Licenses
ANC 1B (U Street corridor and Columbia Heights) 91 5.74%
ANC 2B (Dupont Circle) 229 14.44%
ANC 2F (Logan Circle) 113 7.12%
ANC 2C (Shaw) 111 7.00%


That means more than one-third of all DC ABC licenses are held by businesses in Borderstan. So why do I end up at the same two bars every weekend?

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by January 10, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,574 2 Comments

"Borderstan""Skate PArk"

Try skateboarding at the Shaw Skate Park, 11th and Rhode Island NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @maggiebarron.

I haven’t picked a New Year’s resolution yet. Not because I’m so perfect, obviously, but because I haven’t found one that’s the right combination of virtuous and achievable, yet is also fun. For people in the same boat, I decided to come up with a list of five resolutions that are good for you and good for your neighborhood:

1. Go to a neighborhood meeting.

 My first neighborhood meeting was an eye-opener — it made me realize how little I knew the goings-on in my small section of DC. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to one, check out the associations for U Street, LeDroit Park, Logan and Dupont. Don’t forget your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC – find yours here) and your local Police Service Area (PSA – find yours here). No need to go nuts, but resolve to check out at least one or two this year, and impress your friends with all your insider knowledge. Also, check out these two Borderstan articles on ANCs: What Exactly Do ANCs Do? and ANCs Part 2: What Do Commissioners Do?

2. Try a new restaurant.

It’s easy to get stuck in a restaurant “rut” when your local options include places like Cork, ChurchKey and Estadio. Why branch out? Because we’ve got a ton of new restaurants coming. Two of those restaurants, Boqueria and Herringbone, made Washingtonian’s list of “10 to Look Forward To.” This should be an easy resolution to keep. Remember to keep an eye out for reviews from Borderstan’s team of food writers — get an RSS feed for our Food & Drink section.

3. Move your money.

Do you know what Citibank, Wells Fargo or Bank of America do with the money you deposit? Me neither. By moving your money to a local bank or credit union, you can ensure that your money goes towards investments in local development and small business loans. Banks such as City First Bank of DC may not offer all the online perks of the big players, but many still offer free checking and no ATM fees, along with a sense of doing more for your neighborhood.  Find out more information, and a list of local banks near you, at the Move Your Money project.

4. Use the other side of your brain.

If you, like me, have a typical DC job that’s more analytics than art, start an activity that gets your creative juices flowing. There are Capoeira dance classes on U Street, improv and stand-up classes at DC Improv and drawing and painting classes at the Washington Studio School. If you’re not into a class, channel your inner high-schooler at the skate park on 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it’s different from your 9 to 5.

5. Remember to try other neighborhoods.

Last year, I went to New York City more times than I went to Georgetown. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has everything we want, I sometimes forget the other places in DC that can make a short trek worthwhile. That’s why one of my resolutions this year is to leave home and see what’s new around H Street, Eastern Market, Waterfront, Woodley Park and maybe even Georgetown.

Got any other neighborhood resolutions that you’re trying to keep this year? Let us know in the comments.


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