by Borderstan.com November 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,343 2 Comments

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

"ANC"

Walt Cain Candidate is running for forANC 2F-02. (Courtesy Walt Cain)

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 Walt Cain (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). He faces Adam Stempel and James Baker for the ANC 2F-02 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 2F and why?

Cain: My priorities as commissioner will be to promote smart growth, safe streets, and a strong community. I will be an advocate for growth that respects Logan Circle as a community of residents, and not simply a destination. This means prioritizing growth that is geared toward the everyday needs of those living within ANC 2F. I will leverage the existing positive relationship that ANC 2F has with MPD to identify patterns of criminal activity and to increase resident alertness.

The goal of this will be to make residents more aware of specific crime patterns in our area and to pass along advice on how to avoid becoming a target. I want the residents of Logan Circle to be directly and actively engaged in the development of their neighborhood.  To that end, I will partner with community and resident associations within 2F-02 to maximize my accessibility and effectiveness as an advocate and liaison for their interests.

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

Cain: In an effort to make residents aware of issues facing our neighborhood and how the ANC can serve them, I will regularly engage the community through the use of traditional and social media platforms, like:

  • Posting flyers on community boards in 2F-02 businesses and residential buildings.
  • Proactively reaching out to community and residential associations.
  • Maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts for 2F-02 so that residents can remain aware of community developments and contact me directly with concerns.
  • Partnering with neighborhood blogs to establish myself as a guest contributor to keep 2F-02 readers aware of issues in the neighborhood and ways the ANC can better serve them.

Borderstan: Becoming “the next Adams Morgan” is a consistent fear expressed in ANC 2F meetings. Would you support a liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor? If so, why? If not, why?

Cain: Given the number of establishments with liquor licenses already on 14th Street and the large number of similar businesses in the pipeline to arrive in the next year, controlling the flow of liquor licenses is one of several tools the ANC should use to tailor and safeguard the neighborhood’s atmosphere. Limiting the number of bars and restaurants on the 14th Street Corridor will open up space for other local businesses to serve the needs of our residents, not just visitors to our neighborhood.

"ANC"

Click for a larger image. ANC 2F-02 is directly west of Logan Circle. (DC Board of Elections)

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

Cain: Yes. One detail in need of revision is the provision that allows only five residents to protest a liquor license and block business development. Increasing the number of residents required to trigger the voluntary agreement process to reflect a broader community consensus is one part of the current process that needs to be changed.

Borderstan: Logan Circle and the 14th and U corridor area is now a destination spot for people throughout the DC Metro area, especially on weekends. Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 14th, Street corridor, is adequate, especially on weekends?

Cain: A stronger police presence is not only needed along 14th Street, but also the streets that surround and branch off from the main corridor. Muggings, assaults, and smash-and-grabs have been occurring far more frequently on side-streets less trafficked than 14th Street itself. The police presence is needed at all times, not just the weekends.

Borderstan: 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?

Cain: Yes, I think diversity in development is one of the keys to making 2F-02, and 14th Street more broadly, a great place to live, work, and play. I would like to see more development that offers space for entrepreneurs, non-profits, and professional groups on upper floors and retail space ideal for local small businesses at street level.  Exclusively expanding residential growth means our existing restaurants, shops, and services will become even more overloaded with customers, so a balance of commercial space is critical.

Borderstan: 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.

Cain: I think the program has been a great first step toward developing a long-term solution to ANC 2F’s parking problem. I think people who live in our ANC should have priority to convenient parking over those who are coming in for a short period of time.

Borderstan: 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?

Cain: I think there are a number of smaller, more readily achievable steps that can be taken to alleviate parking constraints and that this is where the majority of the ANC’s efforts should be focused. Specifically, formalizing the parking pilot program for residents, and encouraging visitors to make broader use of existing transportation options like Metro, the Circulator, and Capital Bikeshare.

Borderstan: 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?

Cain: I would like to see more businesses run by neighborhood residents, and more businesses that cater to the everyday life of people who live in our community. Examples include an affordable neighborhood deli for a quick bite to eat, a local coffee shop offering space for residents to work or relax, and a bookstore with mixed-use space to bring neighbors together.

“For more information visit Walt Cain

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by Borderstan.com October 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm 1,393 0

"Sandy"

The first rainfall from Hurricane Sandy began reaching DC late Sunday evening. (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. 

Hurricane Sandy is closing in on DC, and the city is preparing itself for the worst. As of this evening, the Federal Government, the DC Government and all Metro service has been suspended for Monday, October 29, in anticipation of the storm. According to a statement from Mayor Gray’s office, Metro service will only be restored when it is safe to do so. Following the storm, Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities.

DC Public Schools are also closed on Monday, and President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for DC as Hurricane Sandy approaches.

The weather and transportation closures will make it especially hard for commuters to get to work Monday morning, with bad road conditions expected. Additionally, Capital Bikeshare announced that it will be closing temporarily starting at 1 am Monday morning. According to an email alert, the system will reopen when weather conditions allow.

Streetsweeping  has been suspended through Wednesday. There is no parking enforcement tomorrow. In addition, the DC Department of Transportation has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.

All throughout the weekend, DC residents and employees were busy preparing for Hurricane Sandy. The city’s grocery stores were wiped clear of bottled water and other essentials, and the city placed sandbags in areas where flooding could be problematic. In this year’s past storms, flooding has been a problem in the Borderstan area.

According to The Washington Post, DC is expected to experience 4-7″ of rain and a long period of sustained winds above 35 mph, with peak gusts of more than 60 mph from Hurricane Sandy.

According to WTOP, several locations in DC have opened as shelters ahead of Hurricane Sandy, including:

  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue NE
  • Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100 Joliet Street SW
  • Emery Recreation Center, 5701 Georgia Avenue NW
  • Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW
  • Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • Deenwood Community Center, 1350 49th Street NE

For information on closings, delays and weather, check WTOP’s website for the latest listings.

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by Borderstan.com October 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,149 1 Comment

"Adam Stempel"

Adam Stempel Candidate for ANC 2F-02. (Courtesy Adam Stempel)

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

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 Adam Stempel (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). He faces Walt Cain and James Baker for the ANC 2F-02 seat. You can contact Stempel at adam.l.stempel[AT]gmail.com or visit his website for more information..

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 2F and why?

Stempel: My first priority will be to get more residents involved — or at least aware — of what the ANC does. It’s much easier for us to serve our neighbors if they understand who we are and what we can do for them and the rest of the community. ANC-2F needs to improve its media presence, continue to partner with community associations and other neighborhood institutions (churches, businesses, apartment buildings) and even do a little door-to-door engagement.

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

Stempel: As I said above, we need to work on building relationships with organizations that residents already trust. I will reach out to leaders of condo associations, neighborhood associations, business associations and all the other institutions that do a great job of representing their members already. I’d love for more residents to attend ANC meetings, but it isn’t just about getting people to come to us — the ANC should send representatives to other organizations’ meetings to share our work and get community input. This proactive approach, coupled with better use of Facebook, Twitter and occasional physical posters, will help engage more of the neighborhood.

Borderstan: Becoming “the next Adams Morgan” is a consistent fear expressed in ANC 2F meetings. Would you support a liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor? If so, why? If not, why?

Stempel: First of all, declaring a moratorium on liquor licenses isn’t something the ANC is really authorized to do. In order to be listened to by ABRA (the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration), we need to take a reasoned approach to license applicants. I believe the ANC can maintain the high quality of life in our neighborhood by building strong relationships with new restaurants and encouraging them to see themselves as part of the community. We should make their success our success. We do, however, need to make sure we enforce the rules of the ARTS overlay that clearly state that no more than 50 percent of the building frontage along 14th Street can be used for eating or drinking establishments.

"ANC"

Click for a larger image. ANC 2F-02 is directly west of Logan Circle. (DC Board of Elections)

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

Stempel: Voluntary agreements are an important part of ANC-2F’s role in the community. We should continue the practice of forming voluntary agreements, but we should try to make the process more proactive and transparent. In the interest of forming strong relationships with applicants, the ANC should try to complete the voluntary agreement process prior to the statutory “protest” date to save everyone time, money, and inconvenience. We should also try to standardize the agreements as much as makes sense so the process moves more quickly and applicants have an idea of what to expect. At the end of the day, however, VAs exist to maintain the community feel of the neighborhood, and they need to have that effect.

Borderstan: Logan Circle and the 14th and U corridor area is now a destination spot for people throughout the DC Metro area, especially on weekends. Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 14th Street corridor, is adequate, especially on weekends?

Stempel: I would love to have more police in lots of places in the city, including that one, but I also trust the MPD to go where they determine they are most needed. I do think that the police could work on being more visible along the 14th Street corridor (especially on weekends). We can do our part by reporting illegal activity and other tip-offs to the MPD as soon as we see it — it really helps.

Borderstan: 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?

Stempel: I don’t think there’s some magic ratio of commercial to residential buildings we should be shooting for. Personally, I think mixed-use buildings make sense in densely populated areas, with useful retail on the ground floor and residential above. But again, the key role of the ANC here is to make sure that everyone who comes here — be they a business or a resident — feels like they are part of the neighborhood community, and acts accordingly.

Borderstan: 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.

Stempel: This is the program where, on many blocks, one side of the street is restricted to residential parking at almost all times. It’s still a little early to say definitively whether it’s an effective program or not, but most of the feedback I’ve heard from residents has been positive, so I’m optimistic. It’s important for residents to feel welcome in their own neighborhood. I think the ANC should encourage DDOT to closely monitor the program and regularly collect input from residents so they can make a fair evaluation.

Borderstan: 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?

Stempel: I do. My understanding is that there is a tentative proposal to construct a parking garage in the space currently occupied by the bus parking lot on S Street between 13th and 14th Streets. I think that so long as the 14th and U Street area remains a destination for people outside the neighborhood, it would be beneficial to add a parking garage, in the same way there are many garages downtown. Clearly there are concerns about induced demand and disagreements about pricing that would have to be addressed, but the principle seems sound.

Borderstan: 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?

Stempel: I honestly think we’re pretty close to having it all in Logan Circle. We have local essentials, destination spots, household and fashion choices… I really can’t complain much, but if you have any ideas please let me know!

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by Borderstan.com October 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,583 3 Comments

"ANC"

John Fanning is one of two candidates running for the ANC 2F-04 seat in Logan Circle.

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

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 John Fanning (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). He faces Joel Heisey for the ANC 2F-04 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 2F and why?

Fanning: My first priority and new initiative will be the creation and expansion of the Business Improvement District (BID). I’ll work with JBG Co. and Councilmember Jack Evans to make sure that the expansion of the BID includes the entire 14th Street business corridor from U Street, south to Thomas Circle. The creation of the BID will allow us to improve and increase vital public and private city services, so we can have street-scape improvements, beautification and environmental education projects, increase rodent abatements and more frequent street cleaning and trash collections for our business district and the surrounding blocks.

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

Fanning: I will engage my constituents by hosting a quarterly “Meet Your Commissioner Meeting,” and if finances allow, I’ll include a mailing of a quarterly “ANC 2F-04 Newsletter -Neighborhood Business Matters.”

Borderstan: Becoming “the next Adams Morgan” is a consistent fear expressed in ANC 2F meetings. Would you support a liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor? If so, why? If not, why?

Fanning: I think we all should remain mindful of what our neighborhood once was like and what it has become today. If it wasn’t for the financial investment from our neighborhood small business owners, we wouldn’t be where we are today with the wonderful progress that has been made in our neighborhood. A liquor moratorium would just complicate and hamper the continued progress which we have made in our vibrant business district. So at this time, no, I would not support a liquor moratorium.

"ANC"

Click for a larger image. ANC 2F district 04 is on the east side of Logan Circle. (DC Board of Elections)

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

Fanning: Yes, there needs to be several changes with the voluntary agreement process. There’s been problem’s in the past with the protest process with individuals living outside the boundaries of the establishment being protested. This has caused a burden on many business owners. The ANC should be the primary stakeholders in the voluntary agreement process and take the lead and support the 400 foot radius being proposed in the ABC reform bill. We can always amend and revise a voluntary agreement to address and include the concerns of the different community organizations regarding problem establishments.

Borderstan: Logan Circle and the 14th and U corridor area is now a destination spot for people throughout the DC Metro area, especially on weekends. Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 14th Street corridor, is adequate, especially on weekends?

Fanning: I don’t believe the police presence is adequate and we are really in need of a complete new comprehensive policing strategy due to the significant population growth and new business development in our neighborhood. Metropolitan Police should increase and improve more police visibility by deploying more police bicycle and foot patrols which would assist with better crime prevention for a safer neighborhood.

Borderstan: 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?

Fanning: Most of the development has been residential on 14th Street, so I believe there’s room for some commercial building development. I do support the mixed use development for the 14th Street corridor.

Borderstan: 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.

Fanning: Yes, I’m very much in support of this parking program. As we all are aware, parking has been very limited. The new parking program has freed up parking spaces for the resident’s that reside in the neighborhood. Previously you couldn’t find a parking space without driving around the neighborhood for hours due to all the non-residents taking up all the parking spaces.

Borderstan: 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?

Fanning: Absolutely, I do. And I also support the possible construction of a Municipal Parking Garage.

Borderstan: Are there types of business in our neighborhood that stand out as something we need more of in the area? If so, can you name three?

Fanning: Yes, there are several, Buffalo Exchange, Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot and gallery plan b.

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by Borderstan.com August 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,512 3 Comments

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

The deadline for filing to run for a seat on DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission is past.  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 Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors who are campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will have follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.

Walt Cain is  running for ANC 2F-02, the Logan Circle ANC that has seen significant growth in recent years, in both residents and new businesses. SMD 02 runs from Logan Circle to 15th Street NW and from Q Street south to Rhode Island Avenue. Here’s a little bit more about Cain who is facing James Baker and Adam Stempel on the ballot.

"Walt Cain ANC 2F"

Walt Cain, candidate for ANC 2F-02 (Courtesy Walt Cain)

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?

Cain: ANC 2F-02 is a perfect microcosm of the rapid growth that the city as a whole has seen over the past several years, and it offers an excellent opportunity for neighborhood residents to actively influence how they want their community to develop. I am running for Commissioner because I want to help facilitate that involvement through the promotion of smart growth, safe streets and strong community.

Because we are home to an impressive variety of stores and restaurants, ANC 2F-02 sees an incredible amount of outside traffic coming into the neighborhood on a round-the-clock basis. These establishments are a key component of our community’s vibrant atmosphere, and are one of the reasons many people choose to live in our area. Indeed, 2F-02 is one of the geographically smallest SMDs in ANC 2F, which is a result of the significant residential footprint in our neighborhood.

This mixed-use atmosphere, paired with the continued growth our area is experiencing, creates unique challenges and opportunities for our residents. Though I have never run for or been an ANC commissioner before, I believe the commission is perfectly positioned to help residents address those challenges and opportunities. My goal as commissioner will be to serve as a conduit between residents, businesses and the city government to produce a Logan Circle that residents are proud to call home.

Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your ANC neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?

Cain: I have been in DC for three years and have lived in ANC 2F the entire time.

Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?

Cain: I am a member of the Logan Circle Community Association and have been a member of the Washington Chorus for the past two years. I am also on the board of the Washington, DC Mississippi Society.

Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?

Cain: My priorities as commissioner will be to promote smart growth, safe streets and a strong community. ANC 2F-02 has seen a significant amount of commercial and residential growth in recent years, which has helped to make it one of the most vibrant areas of the city. As Commissioner, I will encourage and support continued growth that respects ANC 2F-02 as a community of residents and not just a destination. The main way to accomplish this is through a strong voluntary agreement process that incorporates the interests of residents into the operational practices of new and existing businesses.

Safe streets are good for both businesses and residents, and the best way to accomplish this is by maintaining and promoting the strong relationship that ANC 2F already has with MPD. Awareness and communication are key elements to reducing and preventing crime. As commissioner I will maintain a close working relationship with MPD in order to serve as a direct link for specific resident concerns, as well as keeping residents aware of patterns that MPD is seeing in our area and ways to help reduce criminal activity.

ANC 2F-02 is home to renters, home owners, people who are here for just a little while and people who have lived here for years. Regardless of the category, this is our home. As Commissioner my overarching aim will be to promote a sense of pride and ownership among our residents in the growth of our community. I will encourage people to shape their neighborhood by investing their time and energy close to home. My role as commissioner is to serve as an advocate for my community and neighbors. I will do so by encouraging residents to express their concerns and thoughts in order to help me make ANC 2F-02 a better home for all of us.

"ANC"

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

Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?

Cain: In addition to the specific goals outlined above, my primary objective will be to encourage a sense of ownership and involvement among the residents of ANC 2F-02. I want the residents of 2F-02 to see themselves as active partners in the growth and development of their community. As Commissioner I will be their advocate and will depend on and welcome frequent communication on issues of concern.

Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?

Cain: I have lived in ANC 2F for the entire time I have lived in DC, and have witnessed first-hand the growth and associated growing pains; I’ve experienced the up-tick in smash-and-grabs that our neighborhood has seen. I believe that the residents of our neighborhood should be in the driver’s seat of how our community develops and that the ANC should be their front line advocate for specific issues of concern. I will bring these experiences and perspectives to the role of Commissioner and believe that they will give me an edge in representing 2F-02.

Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?

Cain: I am an attorney with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On a daily basis my job requires me to solve problems by taking into account a variety of stakeholders and interests and produce a solution that is agreeable to all parties. These skills would be indispensable as a commissioner in considering the competing interests of residents, businesses, and the city government and formulating an outcome that is in the best interest of the residents of 2F-02.

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by Borderstan.com August 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,774 1 Comment

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

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 Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors who are campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will have follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.

Zahra Jilani is  running for ANC 1B-12. It is a new, additional district for ANC 1B. Due to a large growth in population in the U Street corridor, ANC 1B-02 was essentially split into two parts to create the new SMD 12. On November 6, Jilani will face three opponents: Erling Bailey, John Carlos Green and Dan Wittels.

"Zahra Jilani"

Zahra Jilani running for the ANC 1B-12 seat.

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?

Jilani: I believe I can provide a strong voice to the residents of 1B-12, something incredibly important in a district with so much growth and change.  I can offer leadership, and will approach these challenges with transparency. I will emphasize open communication between residents, businesses and developers from day one, to ensure growth that benefits our community.

Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?

Jilani: I fell in love with DC after attending George Washington University. For four years I explored and observed different parts of the city, but was drawn to U Street because of its vibrancy and historic past. While working in community development abroad, I stayed closely connected to issues in the District and watched the way our area continued to thrive. I finally returned to settle in my current home in 1B-12, knowing I wanted to serve our community during this important time.

Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?

Jilani: I have been volunteering my time as an intern to ANC1B since February. Last month I created the inaugural publication of the ANC 1B newsletter, to foster better communication within ANC1B. I am currently working on our September edition – if you have any events or announcements that need posting, please email me at [email protected]. Communication is the key to a cohesive community, and I hope to continue open and transparent communication if elected.

Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern?

Jilani: My first area of focus is smart development. There is so much happening in 1B-12 in the next few years, and I hope to make our district a welcoming place for both residents and an eclectic mix of businesses.  If there is truly constructive discourse with businesses, neighboring districts, and within our constituency, I believe that we can foster growth intelligently while maintaining our community’s vivacity and culture.

I also plan to work closely with MPD to ensure they are aware of the day-to-day issues on U Street and that we all are in agreement on the most strategic use of police resources in our community.

"ANC 1B"

Click for a larger image: 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?

Jilani: I will be a visible, responsive, engaged representative. Constituents will know that they can count on me when they are having an issue with city services, new construction, or other issues that inevitably arise when residents and businesses coexist. On the ANC I will strive to cast my vote in a way that not only takes into account the issues we have in 1B-12, but also a larger vision for U Street.

Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?

Jilani: Through my volunteer efforts with the ANC, I have become very familiar with the local political process. I have attended every ANC meeting since I moved to the district; I am familiar with the developments occurring in our area and can recognize productive discourse.  I know that my experience and enthusiasm will allow me to make a positive difference in our neighborhood during this vital time.

Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?

Jilani: I have a deep commitment to public service and work for the American Diabetes Association by day. I am the organizer of a million dollar event for diabetes research, advocacy and education and I love what I do. My experience advocating for people with diabetes has given me the tools I need to serve as commissioner of 1B-12 and represent the voice of our community.

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by Borderstan.com August 16, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,235 1 Comment

"John Fanning"

John Fanning is one of two candidates running for the ANC 2F-04 seat in Logan Circle.

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

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 Borderstan.com, we will introduce you to your neighbors who are campaigning to represent you on the local ANCs. Closer to the election, we will have follow-up interviews with the candidates on specific issues related to their areas.

John Fanning is  running for ANC 2F-04, the Logan Circle ANC that has seen significant growth in recent years, in both residents and new businesses. Here’s a little bit more about Fanning, whose opp0nent is Joel Heisey.

"ANC"

Click for a larger image. ANC 2F district 04 is on the east side of Logan Circle. (DC Board of Elections)

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?

Fanning: I decided to run for the ANC commission in my neighborhood because of several issues that needed to be addressed: the return of street prostitution, car burglaries (smash and grab), parking and trash. Also, the seat 2F-04 became vacant due to redistricting. I have served as an ANC before – I was first elected to the ANC Commission 2F from 1990 to 1994, where I served as the Vice-Chairman.

Borderstan: How many years have you lived in your [ANC] neighborhood? How long have you been in DC?

Fanning: I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 18 years, and I’ve been living in DC for almost 30 years.

Borderstan: How are you currently involved in your community?

Fanning: I’m a member of the Logan Circle Community Association and The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.

Borderstan: If elected to the ANC, what will be your main areas of focus/concern – and why?

Fanning: Public Safety: We need a complete shift in changing the strategy with our community policing efforts to prevent crime and improve public safety in our neighborhood. Also, Logan Circle Mainstreets – Business Improvement District (BID): I would like the ANC commission to work with the City Council to implement both of these initiatives so that we can create a comprehensive strategy that addresses the variety of issues and problems that challenge our 14th Street commercial district.

Borderstan: What do you hope to contribute to your community while on the ANC?

Fanning: I plan to get the residents more involved with the ANC and keep them informed of the ANC’s progress regarding various issues that come before the commission. I will be a vocal advocate for my constituents and their neighborhood issues.

Borderstan: What do you think gives you an edge over other candidate(s) running in your district?

Fanning: My previous years serving as a commissioner, my many years of institutional knowledge and my ability to navigate the DC government and deliver city services to get things done.

Borderstan: What is your day job and is there a connection to how your day job would assist you in being a commissioner?

Fanning: I am a Community and Public Relations Specialist; my day job has allowed me to build working relationships with Executive and Legislative Branches of the DC Government.

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by Borderstan.com August 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm 0

"Borderstan" "Lincoln Memorial"

DC’s height restrictions allow for great views of the city’s monuments, such as this one from the Lincoln Memorial. (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. 

Recent debates on Capitol Hill have led us to believe that our vertically challenged city may gain a little height in the not-too-distant future.

Congress is considering a revision to the District’s building height restrictions, established over a century ago in the Height of Buildings Act. It seems that raising the roof on our city’s skyline could raise the city’s bottom line.

City officials say the District suffers a disadvantage because the federal government owns approximately 40 percent of its land, rendering it non-taxable. Therefore, adding additional real estate in the District (be it vertically or horizontally) would provide a new source of tax revenue for the city.

According to an article in the Washington Post, DC is growing at a rapid rate, thanks to a recent surge in population and a steady job market. The District boom has created an increased demand for downtown office and residential space — but DC is running out of room to expand.

In the Post article, Natwar M. Gandhi, District chief financial officer, reports that the city’s potential for growth is nowhere near exhausted, even though the city’s land is.

But have no fear – the proposed revisions will not transform DC’s signature stunted buildings and open views of the monuments into the next New York. In fact, the proposed revisions actually recommend minimal changes, leaving many city officials, architects and residents wondering if the debate is worth the trouble.

The proposed change would allow building developers to use the tops of buildings (which may currently house the building’s mechanical equipment) or roof space for interior office and residential purposes. Essentially, DC’s skyline could grow by one story.

According to the Post, Congress first approved the city’s current height restrictions in 1899, in response to the construction of the Cairo, a 160-foot-high apartment building on Q Street NW. Shortly after the Cairo controversy, Congress passed the Height of Buildings Act in 1910, which set height restrictions for buildings on both commercial and residential streets, based on the width of the street. (Buildings on commercial streets cannot exceed 130 feet and building heights on residential streets cannot exceed 90 feet.)

In addition to adding height to the city’s buildings, the potential change in legislation would give DC’s city government more authority on building height limits — a change that DC’s Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton calls a “breakthrough” in the Post article.

But on the heels of Mayor Gray’s recent scandal involving  misreported campaign funds, is DC ready to handle such an economically and aesthetically important task? Are we ready to put the fate of our skyline into the hands of a notoriously corrupt government? And is one story even worth the trouble?

A seemingly arbitrary building law established in 1910 does not allow for our city’s current and future growth opportunities. But does it have the District’s best interests (and views) at heart?

According to the Post, it is unclear whether the Congressional committee will hold another hearing or propose legislation on the limits anytime soon.

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by Borderstan.com May 21, 2012 at 8:41 am 0

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

"marijuana" "Borderstan"

The issue at hand. (Justin Schuck, Borderstan Flickr Pool)

Mark Lee at the Washington Blade takes a look at problems facing DC’s medicinal marijuana program. Even proponents of the initiative are criticizing its slow implementation process, as well as its anticipated shortcomings, once it finally does arrive in early 2013.

Lee points out how painstaking the process to bring medicinal marijuana to the District has been up to this point, with many residents waiting – in pain – for well over 10 years now. He notes that citizens groups and other neighborhood leaders have played a role in delaying and limiting the launch of the program.

The result is a program that will produce insufficient product to meet the needs of the patients expected to be eligible, Lee says. Limited availability will affect how affordable the marijuana is, forcing qualified patients to forego the product for cost reasons. Medicinal marijuana is not covered by most health insurance plans.

Additionally, tight regulations for prescribing and distributing the drug will further limit the program’s usefulness to those in need of its services. Lee points out that “the local law is considered the most narrowly structured program in the country.”

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by Borderstan.com April 23, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

"Borderstan""Hacked"

How secure are your systems? (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Last week, hackers took aim at the D.C. Government’s servers and websites. In addition to crippling sites like DC.gov and Washington.org for hours, the e-assailants posted personal contact and biographic information about Mayor Vincent Gray and his family.

According to DCist, the attackers are affiliated with a hacker group known as UGNazi and claim to be motivated by the government’s mishandling of Internet policy. Nikita Stewart at The Washington Post has more info.

Websites outside of the District, including NYC.gov, Military.com and even NASDAQ.com have been targeted in similar attacks by UGNazi and its minions. The group is also well-known for posting sensitive information about public figures, and has done so recently to the likes of Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, and Neil Patrick Harris. At least you’re in good company, Mayor Gray!

Back in February, The Hacker News reported that DC is the most vulnerable city in the United States when it comes to hacking : “Each city was ranked by the prevalence of PCs and smartphones and social media use with risk factors like unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and malware attempts.” The Top 10 were  Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Raleigh and Austin — note the number of those cities that are centers for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs.

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by Borderstan.com April 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm 1,262 0

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

Last week, Mayor Vincent Gray’s office announced the launch of DC’s new smart-phone application, DC311 See Click Fix. The app allows citizens to use their iPhone or Android mobile device to make service requests, including complaints about trash, potholes, graffiti and illegal dumping. (Potholes in the District? Never.)

"Borderstan""15th Street NW""Trash Can"

You can report a multitude of problems to the DC Government through the 311 Service Center  — including the dumping of household trash into public trash cans. (Matty Rhoades)

The DC Government’s 311 Service Center is already available online. Residents can report such issues and problems that also include sidewalk repairs, broken parking meters, dead trees and burned-out street lights –there are more than 80 different services requests to pick from.

Gray touts the free app as a step towards making good on his promise to improve the District’s responsiveness in providing services to its residents. “We continue to ensure that the District is a safe and beautiful place for all of our residents and visitors by giving them a tool for real-time collaboration with our government,” Gray said in a statement.

Like the website service, the free app uses GPS technology to pinpoint the location of the reported problem and funnels the request into a central database for action by the city. The 311 service then e-mails the user a receipt of the request to tracks its progress, providing transparency to what could otherwise be a murky, slow process. You are able to check the status of your request to see what progress has been made.

The 311 app is powered by SeeClickFix, this free download allows citizens to report service requests from their iPhone or Android mobile devices. A note to Droid-powered phone owners: If you have noticed that the app marketplace icon has disappeared from your phone, you need to go through their new app device, Google Play.

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by Borderstan.com March 23, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,305 1 Comment

No chicken on Thursday.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

We know you’re out there. You shop at Whole Foods and Yes! Organic Market by day. Then, in the evening shadows you sneak over to the Popeyes in Logan Circle for some Louisiana-style fried chicken, red rice and beans, and biscuits. At least that’s what we hear is on the menu. Not that we’d know, you understand.

So, before you make you a trip to Popeye’s at 1315 14th Street NW, call to make sure they’re open. A sign went up in the window Thursday that the franchise had its Certificate of Registration suspended by the DC Office of Tax and Revenue — not for health code violations. “No retail sales can be transacted” reads the sign.

Then tell yourself: It’s okay. I can eat Popeyes chicken and buy my produce at farmers markets.

by Borderstan.com December 29, 2011 at 7:15 am 1,136 0

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street

The DC Department of Public Works is observing the New Year’s holiday on Monday, January 2. As a result, there will be no trash and recycling collections. Parking regulations will not be enforced either.

In once-a-week collection neighborhoods, collections will “slide” to the next day. In twice-a-week collection neighborhoods, Monday and Thursday collections will be made Tuesday and Friday, and Tuesday and Friday collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday. Trash and recycling containers should be put out for collection no earlier than 6:30 pm the night before collection and removed from public space by 8 pm on the collection day.

As for parking enforcement, there is no enforcement of parking meters, residential parking, and rush hour lane violations. DPW also will not tow abandoned vehicles. Parking enforcement will resume Tuesday, January 3.

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm 0

BorderstanThe DC Department of Public Works will stop sweeping residential streets for the winter after October 31. “No Parking/Street Cleaning” restrictions will be lifted and motorists may park on posted, alternate-side, daytime sweeping routes without moving their cars on street-cleaning days.  Residential street sweeping will resume March 1.

Overnight sweeping along the District’s major roadways, e.g., Pennsylvania, Georgia, Constitution, and Independence avenues, will continue all winter, as weather permits. Motorists should obey the street sweeping signs posted along these streets.

By suspending the street sweeping program, DPW personnel can focus on leaf collection, which begins November 7, as well as the upcoming snow removal season. The 2011-2012 leaf collection season begins November 7, 2011 and will run through January 14, 2012. Leaves will be removed from treeboxes at least twice.  Loose leaves raked into the treeboxes or bagged leaves placed there will be collected and composted.

by Borderstan.com February 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm 1,913 8 Comments

Jeff Coudriet (Photo by Joel Lawson)

Jeff Coudriet on election day, November 4, 2008, in front of the Reeves Municipal Center. (Photo courtesy of Joel Lawson)

February 8 Update: A memorial service for Jeff Coudriet will be held Wednesday, February 16 at 11 am at Foundry United Methodist Church, 16th and P Streets NW. All are welcome. – from office of Councilmember Jack Evans

D.C. political activist, government leader and resident of the Dupont-Logan area Jeff Coudriet died Saturday night after a year-long fight with lung cancer. He was 48 years old.

Coudriet was well know far beyond the neighborhood and was a fixture in D.C. government, politics and gay rights organizations. Coudriet mostly recently worked for Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), serving as committee clerk for the Finance Committee. Prior to that he was director of operations for the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). Coudriet also worked for former D.C. Councilmember Sharon Ambrose who represented Ward 6.

Over the years Coudriet served as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club as well as president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. According to GLAA, Coudriet worked for U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and also represented D.C. in the 1996 Electoral College. Friends said he was one of the founders of the Lesbian and Gay Congressional Staff Association.

Coudriet was a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Cornell University.

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