by October 25, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,583 0


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

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

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

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

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

Early Voting

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

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

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

Local ANC 1B-12 Candidate Meet and Greets

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

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

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by September 25, 2012 at 9:00 am 2,346 1 Comment

"ANC 1B"

ANC 1B includes most of the U Street corridor. 1B-12 is in the southwest corner. (ANC 1B website, with boundaries in effect for the 2012 election.)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT] Follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Candidates in the four-way race for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B’s Single Member District (SMD) 1B-12 gathered for a forum last week to introduce themselves and give attendees a chance to ask questions. The forum was sponsored by the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. (See New Citizens’ Organization Seeks Different Path for 14th and U about SDCA).

The four candidates are Erling Bailey, John Green, Zahra Jilani and Dan Wittels. Organizers also invited Noah Smith, the candidate from neighboring SMD 2B-09 (Dupont) which falls into the boundaries of the SDCA, and is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by 10-year incumbent Ramon Estrada.


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. 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. Incumbent Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling is not seeking a full term in ANC 1B-02.

The SMD is home to some high-profile restaurants and landmarks including Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Black Cat, Busboys & Poets, Cafe Saint-Ex and the Lincoln Theater. The area also includes two large residential development; a apartment building currently under construction at 14th and Wallach Place, NW and a proposed apartment at 13th and U on the site of the Rite Aid drugstore.

Forum Topics

Doug Johnson, an SDCA Board Member, moderated the evening and had three pre-arranged questions for the candidates. At the start of the forum Johnson pointed out that candidate Dan Wittels is also a Board Member of the SDCA, but was removed from planning for the forum. Johnson also allowed attendees to ask questions of the candidates.

Questions during the evening covered topics such as experience with DC agencies, communication strategies and views on business development. Responses to questions on business development brought up the topic of the liquor licences and diversity of commerce in the area and highlighted the differing viewpoints of the candidates. 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 will be sending the candidates additional questions which will be published in the weeks leading up to the election.

The general election is Tuesday, November 6. Check with the DC Board of Election and Ethics for information on registering to vote and voting locations.

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by March 12, 2012 at 9:00 am 2,053 0

DC, Council, Wilson, Building

The DC Council is based at the Wilson Building, 14th and Pennsylvania NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Neighborhood residents are invited to attend a community forum for the candidates for the At-Large Democratic Primary on Tuesday, March 13 from 7 to 8 pm at the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW. Doors open at 6:30; ID required.

Participating candidates include Sekou Biddle, E. Gail Anderson Holness, Vincent Orange and Peter Shapiro.

The At-Large seat up for grabs is currently held by Vincent Orange (D). Thirteen Members make up the DC Council: a representative elected from each of the eight wards and five members, including the chairman, who are elected at-large.

If it seems to you like Orange just took office, you are right. He won a special election back in April 2011 to fill the remainder of the At-Large term that became vacant when Kwame Brown was elected Chairman in November 2010.

Biddle briefly held the seat when he was voted in by the DC Democratic State Committee to serve as interim At-Large member until a special election could be held. Anderson Holness currently is an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Ward 1. Shapiro lives in Ward 4 and had previously served on the Prince George’s County Council when he was a resident of Maryland.

What Would You Ask?

David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington will be moderating the candidate forum, and he had a story last week asking readers what they would ask the candidates. If you have questions you want answered, submit them to David Alpert directly or in the comments on his piece. A brief reception will follow at Cafe Saint-Ex, 14th and T Streets NW. If the last time around (the March 2010 candidate forum at the Church of the Holy City) is any indication, most candidates will show up to the post-forum event. It’s a great time to get the real answers to your less politically correct questions.

Sponsors of the forum are The Urban Neighborhood Alliance,, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, Dupont Circle Merchants And Professionals Association, Dupont Circle Village, Dupont Festival, Greater Greater Washington, Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, Logan Circle Community Association, Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association and the U Street Neighborhood Association.

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by June 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm 2,314 3 Comments

Results of last week’s Borderstan reader poll.

What are your top three issues/concerns for the DC? Take the Borderstan reader poll in the right navigation bar on the landing page and add your comments here.

It is less than three months until the September 14 primary elections in DC. While the general election follows on November 2, primary day is the Big Day in DC elections.

The reason? DC is a one-party town and winners for mayor and council seats (with two exceptions for council seats) have always been decided in the Democratic Primary. The general election is an afterthought–the exception being the 1994 mayoral election between Marion Barry and Carol Schwartz. (See Reader Poll: The Race for DC Mayor.) On September 14, there are also Republican and Statehood Green primaries.

Contested Races

In 2010, we have an intense campaign for DC mayor between incumbent Adrian Fenty and challenger Vincent Gray and a contested race for DC Council Chairman between Vincent Orange and Kwame Brown; both of these contests are in the Democratic Party. Two of the four At-Large seats on the Council are up this year.

Phil Mendelson is getting a serious challenge from Clark Ray in the Democratic Party, and Independent David Catania is up for re-election. Catainia holds one of the two seats reserved for the non-majority party on the DC Council.

In addition, four of the eight ward seats are up this year. Facing re-election are Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). Almost all of the Dupont-Logan area is in Ward 2, which is represented by Democrat Jack Evans. The northern part of Logan Circle and the U Street are are represented by Graham.

A Very Different City

DC is a different city than it was 20 years ago or even 8 or 12 years ago. The population has actually increased, for the first time since 1950, to around 600,000. Since 2000 there has been a tremendous amount of residential and commercial development, and housing prices and rents have soared.

DC has become a magnet city for the young, educated and creative. An issue that seems to constantly produce political shockwaves–below the surface if not always openly–is the changing demographics of DC. The population is becoming less African-American and more white, Asian and Latino–and younger would also be a good guess. Not surprisingly, this sometimes leads to tensions between long-time residents and newcomers.

What Are Your Issues?

So, what are your top issues for the city, your neighborhood? What issues–and the candidates’ positions on those issues–will be most important when your cast your votes in September and November for mayor, DC Council chair and members of the City Council?

Leave a comment and take the reader poll on the landing page in the right-hand navigation bar.

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by November 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm 1,407 0

30 a.m. - Several hundered voters were lined up to vote before my polling place opened at 7 a.m. today at 15th and R Streets. (Photo by Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

Precinct 16, 7:30 a.m. – Several hundered voters were lined up to vote before my polling place opened at 7 a.m. today at 15th and R Streets. (Photo by Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

Good evening and Happy Election Day, Borderstanians. I love election day. My parents instilled in me, and my siblings, the importance of doing your part on election day. You vote–always. No one in my family misses elections and I cannot understand people who don’t vote.

Furthermore, I am an Illinois native, a state where politics is truly serious business and lots of ex-governors go to jail. I grew up downstate and later lived 10 years in Chicago where I did my share of volunteer political work at the local level.

Growing up, one of my earliest memories is accompanying my late father to the polls on November 3, 1964, where he voted for LBJ for president. Everyone knew my dad was a loyal Democrat, but as I said, politics in Illinois was, and is, serious business. The Democratic precinct committeman (a friend of my dad) kept asking him, “Did you vote a straight ticket?” My father just kept laughing, saying, “The one thing I don’t have to tell is how I vote.” The precinct committeeman had a state job, so he had a vested interest in the Democratic governor getting re-elected. In those days, even the road mainteance crews were hired based on political affiliation. By the way, that Democratic governor, Otto Kerner, later went to jail. I think it was for accepting bribes.

We were farmers and our precinct was the entire township. We voted in the township hall, which is about 1 mile from the farm. Many more people lived in that part of rural Illinois 44 years ago, and farmers would take a couple of hours off to go vote, and then eat a chicken dinner, courtesy of the Methodist ladies, in the large hall above the general store. (I am not making up any of this stuff.)  If you went there right now, voting would be in progress. I voted there myself for the first time in 1978.

So, if per chance you read this posting before 8 p.m. today and you still haven’t voted, go vote now. It’s important. I know because my dad told me so.

by November 3, 2008 at 8:10 am 1,864 1 Comment

Borderstanians vote at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, northeast corner of 15th and R NW. (Image by Luis Gomez.)

Borderstanians vote at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, northeast corner of 15th and R NW. (Image by Luis Gomez.)

Good morning, Borderstanians. The almost-two-year presidential campaign is almost at an end. Vote tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4–and remember to vote in those down-ballot races for D.C. slots. Don’t just vote for president and run out of the polling place. DC polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

City Council Races. For example, remember that there is a hot race for two At-Large D.C. Council seats. The Washington Post has an article today on the race, “Final Push For Council Highlights D.C. Rivalry.”

ANC Races. If you live in ANC 2B-09 (outside Borderstan to the north), your ANC seat is being contested between incumbent Ramon Estrada and challenger Doug Rogers. The Borderstan posting on the race is here: “ANC Races: 2B-09 Hotly Contested.”

Voter Guides and Polling Places

by October 21, 2008 at 6:56 am 2,235 0

In-person absentee voting started yesterday in D.C. for the November 4 general election. You can vote in-person at Judiciary Square at 441 4th Street NW, at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE). You can get there by Metro; the Judiciary Square Metro stop on the Red Line is at 4th and E NW. This release from DCBOEE:

The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics reminds all eligible voters in the District that in-person absentee voting begins on Monday, October 20, 2008. DC BOEE Acting Executive Director Sylvia Goldsberry-Adams stated, “The Board hopes that all citizens who will be unable to come to their assigned polling location on November 4th will be able to cast an absentee ballot either in person or by mail.”

Registered voters wishing to vote an absentee ballot may request a ballot by mail or vote in-person at the Board’s office at One Judiciary Square (441 4th Street, NW Suite 205-North).  Mail in requests must be received by Tuesday, October 28th.

Voters wishing to vote in-person absentee at the Board’s office may do so from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. between Monday, October 20, and Monday, November 3 (including Saturdays but not Sundays). 

For more information on absentee voting or any other election-related matter, the public is invited to visit the Board’s website at or call (202) 727-2525 (TDD 202-639-8916).


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