by March 29, 2013 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]

Two candidates are up against Graham for the Ward 1 Council seat.

Two candidates are up against incumbent Jim Graham for the Ward 1 Council seat. (DC Government)

Incumbent Jim Graham has another challenger in the 2014 Ward 1 Council race: Bryan Weaver, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, March 26. In addition to Graham, Weaver is up against Brianne Nadeau, who announced her candidacy for the position back in December.

The three will face off in the Democratic Primary next year (probably April 1).

Weaver, a self-proclaimed activist who has been a Ward 1 resident for more than 20 years, says the city needs more authentic leadership.

“Our leadership must live up to what our city’s residents deserve” Weaver said in his announcement.

According to The Washington Post, this is Weaver’s second attempt at the Ward 1 seat and his third run for D.C. Council, overall. Weaver was a candidate in the April 2011 special election to fill an At-Large Council seat, finishing fourth behind Vincent Orange, Patrick Mara and Sekou Biddle; Weaver ran well locally, carrying several precincts.

Borderstan, Bryan Weaver,

Bryan Weaver. (Luis Gomez Photos, 2011 file photo)

Both Nadeau and Weaver announced their candidacies at a time when current Ward 1 Councilmember Graham  is being questioned in the media for unethical behavior in relation to a development deal during his time spent on the Metro Board of Directors.

The Washington Post also reports that Nadeau has already raised more than $37,000 for her campaign.

Check out a detailed map of Ward 1 from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B, which includes the U Street corridor, as well as ANC 1C/Adams Morgan, are in Ward 1.

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by June 17, 2011 at 8:30 am 1,813 0

Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street NW, Borderstan

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street (mostly).

From Michelle Lancaster. Talk to me on Twitter @MichLancaster.

Duplex Diner Being Sold

The owner of the 18th and U Streets NW Duplex Diner has decided to sell this little slice of diner heaven.  But don’t cry into your biscuits and gravy! He’s selling to longtime bartender, Kevin Lee, who will be briefly closing the doors to make some renovations. Check out the heartfelt announcement and the information about their renovation festivities going on June 20 to 27.

Waterfront Safeway, the Gay Slur and an Apology

DCist has the update on the saga of Waterfront Safeway’s handling of a cashier using a gay slur as customers checked out of the store. The cashier has now apologized, sort of. Can we all agree that if someone is demanding an apology, you should NOT say that, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” If people are writing about it this much, you clearly did offend them. What happened to just apologizing? And for that matter, what happened to basic decency and not resorting to hate and name calling? Also, Washington City Paper has more information and reports that Safeway says they have attempted to contact the couple directly to apologize to them.


by April 27, 2011 at 7:03 am 2,762 0

Borderstan, Elections, Luis Gomez Photos

Another campaign is just months away. The DC Primary election for local offices is scheduled for September 2012 unless it is moved up. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades

Yesterday was the big day, folks. April 26 was Special Election Day in D.C. to elect an At-Large Councilmember. Did you get out and vote? If you didn’t you were most assuredly not alone. Turnout was only about 12%.

The winner is former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange, who snagged 12,216 votes (28%). In second place was the lone Republican in the race, Patrick Mara with 11,096 votes (26%). Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle pulled 8,842 votes (20%), Bryan Weaver got 5,665 votes (13%) and Josh Lopez had 3,079 votes (7%). Four other candidates pulled around 2,200 votes.

Orange will have to face the voters again in the 2012 primary; yesterday’s election was simply to fill the remainder of a four-year term. In other words, another campaign season is just months away. The primary for D.C.’s local offices is traditionally in September.

Both Mara and Weaver live in Ward 1, which includes the U Street area. Mara was elected to the D.C. Board of Education last November from Ward 1; Weaver ran against incumbent Councilmember Jim Graham in the Democratic Primary in Ward 1 last year.

By Precinct and Ward

In the 13 precincts in the Borderstan area, Mara won eight of them — Precincts 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 129. Weaver won the other five — 22, 23, 24, 137 and 141. Moreover, Mara finished second in the five precincts won by Weaver while Weaver finished second in four of the precincts won by Mara.

Citywide, Orange carried Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8. Mara won Wards 2, 3 and 6 while Weaver won Ward 1.

In Ward 2, which contains the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods, Mara got 46%. He was followed by Weaver with 18%, Biddle with 17%, Orange with 10% and Lopez with 6%.

In Ward 1, which contains the U Street area, Weaver got 35%. He was followed by Mara with 23%, Biddle with 17%, Orange with 13% and Lopez with 8%.

by April 22, 2011 at 6:00 am 1,882 0

Borderstan, District Condos, 14th and Swann NW

14th and Swann Streets NW: Work continues at the District Condos project. The development will have residential and retail and spans the west side of 14th Street NW from S to Swann. The facade of the former Whitman-Walker building at S Street will be incorporated. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @TomOnSwann.

Two Endorsements for Weaver in April 26 Special Election

With just days to go before the April 26 special election for the At-Large DC City Council seat, the Washington City Paper and Greater Greater Washington have endorsed candidate Bryan Weaver. Earlier this month The Washington Post endorsed candidate Patrick Mara; the lone Republican in the field of nine candidates. Borderstan profiled candidates Bryan Weaver, Patrick Mara and Josh Lopez. All polling locations will be open from 7 am to 8 pm next Tuesday.


by March 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm 2,311 0

Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

Candidate forum on March 29 at Church of the Holy City. From left: Sekou Biddle, Tom Brown, Dorothy Douglas, Joshua Lopez (at microphone), Patrick Mara, Vincent Orange, Alan Page and Bryan Weaver. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her on Twitter me @MichLancaster.

Reform was the buzzword at the At-Large City Council Candidate Forum, held Tuesday evening at Church of the Holy City, 16th and Corcoran NW. Education reform, ethics reform, zoning reform, reforming the DCRA process… all were part of a robust question and answer session attended by all candidates running for the seat. The event began with an introduction of the candidates, proceeded into a question and answer period and concluded with a brief closing statement by each candidate.

The event was well attended, as 70-plus citizens packed into the room, some standing the entire event, to hear the candidates discuss their positions. The majority of the candidates and attendees continued on to the reception graciously sponsored by Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, following the event, which offered the opportunity for one-on-one discussions with candidates. The event began with candidates Sekou Biddle, Joshua Lopez, Patrick Mara, Alan Page and Bryan Weaver. They were later joined by Dorothy Douglas, Tom Brown and Vincent Orange.


by March 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm 5,327 0

Borderstan, Bryan Weaver, DC Council

Council candidate Bryan Weaver in front of the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her on Twitter @MichLancaster.

After challenging incumbent Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) in last year’s Democratic primary, Bryan Weaver is running for an At-Large Council seat in the April 26 special election. The seat opened up when Kwame Brown was elected Council Chairman; Sekou Biddle was temporarily appointed to the seat and is running for a full term. Since a number of Borderstan readers reside in Ward 1, we interviewed the two candidates who live in Ward 1, Patrick Mara and Weaver.

The profiles of Mara and Weaver are meant to provide readers with some insights into both candidates — with an emphasis on the personal as opposed to the political. Both Mara and Weaver are among the seven candidates scheduled to appear at Tuesday evening’s candidate forum at the Church of the Holy City, 16th and Corcoran Streets NW, at 6 pm.

Borderstan: When and why did you first move to D.C.? Where have you lived in D.C.?

Weaver: I moved to D.C. in 1991 to attend Howard University. One could argue that as a resident of Adams Morgan, I live on the border of the Borderstan area, but before moving to Adams Morgan with my wife, I lived in Columbia Heights and Pleasant Plains.

Borderstan: Favorite thing about living in the neighborhood? Least favorite?

Weaver: Diversity of people, diversity of businesses, the fact that it’s a total walkable community and there are some great places to eat. My least favorite thing would be losing some of the more unique businesses like HR-57, and that we’re still dealing with high rates of muggings and property crime.


by October 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm 2,458 0

The late Jamal Coates in Guatemala in 2009 with Hoops Sagrado. (Courtesy of Bryan Weaver)

From Berrak Sarikaya

Jamal Coates was a dreamer. After spending the first part of his life wanting to be seen as a tough kid with street cred, he was finally starting to take control of his life. He was a little rough around the edges, but he was on the right path, according to neighborhood activist Bryan Weaver.

Coates’s journey was cut short at the funeral of Ashley McRae on September 28 where he he had tried to ease the tensions among attendees. The hostilities eventually led to a shootout at 11th and U Streets NW that claimed the life of the 21-year-old.

After Coates’s death, friends and neighbors wanted to know what they could do to honor his memory. His family established a scholarship fund in his name for students in Guatemala, where Coates once spent a month working with the Mayan indigenous community to develop basketball skills as part of cultural exchange.

Weaver, an advisory neighborhood commissioner and local activist, had known Coates for more than a decade. Weaver coached Coates in the Jellef Boys and Girls Club League when he was 14. Coates talked a lot about going to Guatemala with Hoops Sagrado but he didn’t want to make the commitment until 2009 when he finally lived up to the requirements and responsibilities.

Hoops Sagrado is a Washington, D.C.-based youth leadership and development that gives at-risk youth from D.C. a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a month during the summer in the highlands of Guatemala learning another language and culture, teaching their Mayan indigenous peers basketball skills, developing their sense of self and gaining a new perspective on life.

That was a turning point for Coates, who finally understood that he would need to take control of his own life to get on the right path.

“Jamal did get it,” says Weaver. “It might have taken him a bit longer to get there, but he was on his way.”

Donations to Scholarship Fund

Donations to the Jamal R. Coates Scholarship Fund will provide yearly scholarships for one boy and one girl from the village where Jamal taught basketball in Guatemala to attend high school. You can donate to the fund at Jamal R. Coates Scholarship Fund, c/o Hoops Sagrado, PO Box 21332, Washington, D.C. 20009.

by September 1, 2010 at 8:08 am 1,252 0

Online polls are not reliable; they are easily manipulated and you cannot determine the validity of the sample. We know that, but we like to run them because they’re fun and you do get some insights into your readers.

I do think you are more likely to get somewhat accurate information when you ask noncontroversial questions, such as, “What neighborhood do you live in?”

But when it comes to political races or controversial social and political issues, online political polls are, by nature, prone to “bombing.” By bombing, I mean that supporters of candidates and causes are likely to steer their people toward the poll.

We ran two reader polls on the DC mayoral race this year and we didn’t seem to see too much bombing by supporters of either Adrian Fenty or Vincent Gray. It will be interesting to see how local precincts end up voting on September 14 compared to what our readers told us. (We’re not counting on being particularly accurate.)

On Friday, August 20, we ran a reader poll on the landing page, Ward 1 Democrats: Who’s your choice for Council?, with an accompanying article. The poll choices were Jim Graham, Jeff Smith, Bryan Weaver, “Undecided even though I know the candidates,” and “Undecided: Who are these guys?”

What ended up being most interesting about our reader poll on the Ward 1 Council race wasn’t the poll results–it was the effective use of social media (Facebook and Twitter) by two scrappy campaigns fighting to get all the attention and publicity they can muster against a three-term incumbent. Yes, this type of thing is common. But this was an interesting example of how it’s done.

Through Tuesday the 23rd a total of 93 readers had voted. It was obvious that the Weaver campaign had found the poll: he got 77 of those first 93 votes. Incumbent Graham–who is heavily favored to win on September 14–had 9 votes and Smith had 2 votes. (The D.C. Wire at The Washington Post reported that Graham campaign did a July poll showing him getting 68%.)

Then on Wednesday the 25th, much larger numbers of Weaver supporters found the online poll and began voting for their guy. By Thursday the 26th Smith supporters were in the game and the number of people voting for these two candidates soared. Smith took the lead for a day but then Weaver got it back.

By the time we closed the poll Monday night, 861 readers (many of them undoubtedly not regular Borderstan readers) had voted in the Ward 1 Council poll. The results were Weaver 52%, Smith 43%, Graham 4%, and Undecided 1%.

What happened? First, local blogger Dave Stroup picked up the poll on Twitter and began commenting about it (Stroup writes about DC politics for We Love DC and Greater Greater Washington). Then, supporters of both Weaver and Smith began tweeting about the poll, posting on Facebook (and undoubtedly sending emails). My question at the time on Twitter and Facebook was, “Where are the Graham supporters?” For whatever reason, the Graham campaign decided not to drive local supporters to our reader poll. Of course, when you are the heavy favorite, you don’t feel the need to participate in online reader polls.

So, on September 14 we will be watching the results of the Democratic Primary in Ward 1 for the Council seat… to see how Graham, Smith and Weaver do. And we will keep running reader polls at Borderstan because they are often interesting and you snapshots of your readers–with varying degrees of accuracy.

by August 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm 2,235 6 Comments

DC Council Ward 1

Ward 1: If you live along the U Street corridor, you probably live in Ward 1, but part of the area is in Ward 2. (DC City Council)

Our reader poll this week is for Ward 1 Democrats: “Who’s your choice for City Council?” Yes, there’s a contest this year for the Ward 1 City Council seat: three-term incumbent Jim Graham is being challenged by Bryan Weaver and Jeff Smith. (Poll is in the right nav bar.)

While DC conventional wisdom has Graham winning the September 14 primary–which is normally tantamount to winning the November general election–both Weaver and Graham are running spirited campaigns.

Graham was the second openly gay member of the DC Council when he was elected in 1998, following David Catania (I-At Large). If he wins his Democratic primary, he will face a different kind of Republican on the November 2 ballot: Marc Morgan, who is also gay and African American.

Candidate Profiles

U Street Girl recently did wrote some short profiles pieces on the three Democratic and one Republican candidate running for the Ward 1 Council seat. Check them out (they’re good quick reads) before you vote in our reader poll.

Voting on September 14

  • Not sure if you live in Ward 1? Check your voter registration card or click here for a Ward 1 map.
  • You can also put in your address and find your voting precinct at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) website.
  • Not sure if you registered at all? You can also check your registration online with BOEE.
  • Remember that DC has closed primaries. You must be a registered Democrat, Republican, or Statehood Green party member to vote in the September primary election. (Mayor Adrian Fenty’s campaign tried to convince BOEE to allow DC’s 72,000 registered Independent voters to vote in the September 14 primaries, but were unsuccessful.)
  • It’s too late to change your party affiliation, but you can still register in person at the BOEE office or register at your polling place on September 14 (remember to bring ID). You have through this Friday, August 27, to register in person at BOEE. After Friday you must register at your polling place on September 14.

by August 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm 1,327 0

Borderstan Dupont Logan U Street

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street NW. (Borderstan)


Metrorail fare increase. It started Sunday, August 1… so when you go back to work today, remember the increase in Metrorail fares: a new 20-cent peak-of-the-peak fee during afternoon weekday travel periods, an increase in the cost of three Metrorail passes and a 25-cent increase in cost for Metrorail customers who use a paper fare card instead of a SmarTrip® card.

Meet Ward 1 candidate Bryan Weaver. There is a meet-and-greet Monday at 7 pm at Duffy’s Irish Pub, 2106 Vermont Avenue NW. Weaver is challenging incumbent Jim Graham for the Ward 1 Council seat in the September 14 Democratic Primary.

Ribbon cutting at new Shaw Library. The newly completed building housing the Shaw branch of the DC Public Library is dedicated on Monday at 10:45 am. Location is 1630 7th Street NW–the intersection of Rhode Island, R and 7th Streets by the Shaw Metro stop.


National Night Out. It’s the annual Police Night Out… locally there is an event from 5 to 8 pm in Dupont Circle. Look for details in the Crime section here at Borderstan.

PSA 305 Meets. It’s the monthly community meeting of Police Service Area 305… 7 to 8:15 pm at the DC Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Avenue NW.

LCCA Happy Hour. The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) is holding a reception and happy from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Fathom Creative, 1333 14th Street NW (former site of Jensen Brake Shop).


Community of Fire exhibit opening. The Wood Fired Potters Group is holding an educational pottery exhibit at the Foundry Gallery August 4 to 29. The opening is this Friday, August 6 from 6 to 8 pm. Refreshments will be served and works will be available for purchase. Gallery Hours are Wednesday to Friday, 1 to 7 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 pm.


Dog Days Sidewalk Sale. It’s the 11th Annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale on the 14th and U corridor, sponsored by the MidCity Business Association. More than 100 business and organizations participate and look for stores to ply their wares (with some great prices) on the sidewalk on Saturday and Sunday. Check out MidCity’s Dog Days page for to find out what stores are participating and what deals they are offering. Stop by the table next to go mama go! and say hello (if it’s not too hot, look for Lupe).


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