There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont, 2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Bevan Mace (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). He faces Stephanie Maltz for the ANC 2B-03 seat.
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?
Mace: Increasing the communication between residents/ businesses and the ANC would be a top priority. The development of the ANC website is a great resource but we need to continue to find effective ways to directly connect with constituents in our neighborhood. This is important because constituents may not be aware of the issues and topics being discussed that impact them and therefore represent missed opportunities to get their perspectives to inform the ANC’s decisions and actions.
Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?
Mace: Continuing from the previous question I believe we need effective formal and informal methods to engage our constituents and provide a better network of information distribution. One specific formal method I would like to see is a direct link between the ANC, neighborhood associations and the major residential buildings via the presidents of the homeowner/ condo associations. This would provide a quick way to proactively communicate upcoming issues to a large portion of our constituents. One informal method would involve partnering with businesses to help advertise to residents specific upcoming topics or issues, where to go for more information and how to provide feedback to decision makers.
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?
Mace: Given the complex nature of neighborhood decisions they need a formalized decision making process similar to the informal one we follow when making personal decisions (weigh pros and cons and choose the option we believe meets our needs the most). I strongly believe in collaboratively discussing all stakeholder needs and goals at the onset of any major issue or project. Once needs and goals are established then metrics should be identified that allow planners, designers and decision makers to rank various options and ideas. This ranking provides two benefits: 1 — allows the group to see what solution has the most advantages (pros) and 2 — provides transparency on how a decision was reached that can be used to easily communicate the decision making process to others.
Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide and how do you plan to interact with them?
Mace: The neighborhood associations provide a great direct link to both residents and businesses and are a critical part of the community network to increase two way communication between the ANC and constituents. I would meet with the leadership of the neighborhood associations and develop ways to promote increased communication about issues and awareness of needs to inform my decision making.
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?
Mace: Many constituents have voiced a desire to not see the moratorium renewed. I believe the moratorium is a temporary solution and we need to proactively engage all stakeholders to address the real needs and issues of businesses and residents in this area. By addressing the real issues in a collaborative way I hope we can develop long term innovative and sustainable solutions that integrate businesses and residents needs and can be a model for other neighborhoods.
Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?
Mace: I believe the voluntary agreement provides a solution to reaching a mutual agreement when all parties act in good faith for specific issues that could not have been concieved or addressed with broader policies or regulations. However, the current process can allow a small number of people to disproportionally affect a larger group of constituents. I believe this process and any changes need to considered as part of the long term solution to the issues currently addressed by the Moratorium.
Borderstan: Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 17th Street, 18th Street and Connecticut Avenue corridors, is adequate, especially on weekends?
Mace: I think public safety and police presence is an issue that is constantly changing and strategies need to evolve and adapt with that change. I think the police presence is improved but we can always do better — we still have residents with safety and security concerns that need to be addressed.
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?
Mace: For the last six years I have enjoyed the diversity of our neighborhood that makes it the best place to live in DC! We have a great variety of small and large businesses, landmarks, museums and, of course, restaurants. One thing that stands out is the need to develop the Dupont Underground. Certainly this is a complex topic but one with a lot of opportunity. I look forward to hearing from constituents about potential needs to adapt to current trends and maintain our neighborhood’s diversity.
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 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions: 2B/Dupont, 2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor.
So now it is time to meet the candidates in the six contested races. Here at Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors, campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will provide follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.
Bevan Mace is running for ANC 2B-o3 and will face Stephanie Maltz on the ballot; long-time incumbent Bob Meehan is retiring. Essentially, the 2B-03 district runs from the west side of 17th Street, west to Dupont Circle/Connecticut Aveneue NW and from Q Street north to Riggs Place, with one section going as far north as Swann Street (see the map below).
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?
Mace: Dupont Circle is a great neighborhood to live and work in. With all our diversity brings great opportunity, as well as challenges to find solutions that best serve the interests of everyone in our community – business and residents, single family dwellings and large multi-family buildings, and people of all backgrounds and ages. I decided to run for ANC commissioner this year to bring my experience with diverse teams to find creative solutions to address residents’ concerns and to improve our way of life in our neighborhood. This is the first time I have run for ANC commissioner.
Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?
Mace: I have lived in our neighborhood (ANC 2B-03) for six years and in the DC metro area for over 10 years.
Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?
Mace:I have served on our building’s condominium association board for the last three years, currently as Vice President. As a member of the board, I have worked to find solutions to building issues and residents concerns, given limited funds and varying expectations of the ideal solution. While a DC resident I have also participated in business organizations within our community, including the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) and Washington Building Congress (WBC), as well as supporting charitable efforts such as Winterhaven Homeless Standdown, Help the Homeless Walkathon, K-9 Lifesavers, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?
Mace: There are three areas of focus that I think will help make positive impact to our neighborhood:
First, increase awareness of community issues and resident concerns through more transparent communications and systems, such as the DC 311 service (311.dc.gov). With more residents using the 311 system, the ANC can better look for trends and service issues to improve responsiveness to resident issues.
Second, focus on working with the community to address issues together versus as individual residents or buildings. A good example is some of the thefts that occurred in buildings over the last year. Our building discussed how to solve the package theft problem internally; where the power of the community could yield more effective results.
Third, working with DC government to make residents more aware of the programs that could help them directly. For example, DC is striving to become the most sustainable city in the country and as part of that established the Sustainable Energy Utility (www.dcseu.com), which aims to help residents and business through energy programs – specifically to reduce building energy consumption and associated utility costs.
I spent time talking with my constituents to learn about their neighborhood concerns. I understand that preventing crime, reducing pollution and other improvements are needed to keep Dupont Circle a safe and unique place to spend time. I look forward to collaborating with the commissioners to address these important issues.
Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?
Mace: I hope to make the community more aware of the ANC, how it can help them as well as make resident issues more transparent to the broader community so together we can find solutions to make our neighborhood better for everyone. I’ve setup a website (www.facebook.com/Mace4ANC) as a collaborative site for residents of ANC-2B to identify questions and concerns that are important to them. I can also be reached directly by email at [email protected].
Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate running in your district?
Mace: I think it is important for ANC commissioners to understand how to effectively implement change. Change is hard and new ideas or programs often fail not because the idea or program is bad but because of a lack of communication or training about how the idea or program will benefit the community. It is very important once decisions are made to over communicate what is happening, why it will be a benefit and what the expectations are for everyone. I have direct experience in working on leading change in a large organization and I think this experience will be very valuable to my neighbors.
I work with a variety of teams across the world that provides a unique opportunity to learn about new ideas and share best practices across the community. I also have a very holistic approach to solving problems and continually search to understand the root cause of issues to work towards solving the problem as quickly as possible.
Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?
Mace: I work for a global designer and builder of social and civil infrastructure. My role is to integrate teams of owners, users, architects, engineers, suppliers and contractors to make the team’s vision a reality. Teams regularly face numerous demands (various definitions of user needs/ program, time and money) and the team has to work hard to find innovative solutions that don’t compromise one for the other. This same approach of integration and innovative thinking I believe will serve me well in working with other ANC commissioners, businesses and residents to continue to make Dupont Circle the best place to live and work in the city.