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 Stephanie Sheridan (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). Sheridan will face Martin Espinoza and Kishan Putta on election day.
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?
Sheridan: The ANC is responsible for fulfilling certain duties in the regulatory and approval processes of the city. The single most important thing for the ANC is to continue to expand direct engagement with constituents so that its decisions reflect constituent wishes.
Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?
Sheridan: I will offer multiple communication channels: Traditional (office hours, phone, meetings) as well as technology based solutions (you can currently reach me at @S_Sheridan and sheridan4anc.com). That is to say, if you are interested in reaching me, you will be able to get in touch. My goal is to engage with and reflect a representative body of the neighborhood. Currently, voters are able to submit comments via my campaign website. In addition, I attend neighborhood events and meetings to interact with both residents and businesses. Because of my professional experience, I know and engage with a lot of business owners in the neighborhood and the city as well.
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?
Sheridan: Transparency is imperative to good governance. Best practices are all moving towards maximum transparency and I support this. As to diversity, if elected, I will be a woman on the ANC that has been almost exclusively male.
Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide, and how do you plan to interact with them?
Sheridan: I love my civic association. The Dupont Circle Citizens Association is celebrating its 90th year, and the 45th year of the Dupont Circle House Tour. As a member and a contributor on the House Tour Selection Committee, I interact with residents that deal with a range of concerns, including supporting local non-profits, restoring the tree canopy and organizing against rodent infestation.
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?
Sheridan: Yes. The moratorium allows the community to decide what “oversaturation” is, allows the neighborhood to influence the number and types of businesses it wants to see. If everything is a liquor license, are we leaving room for expansion in other areas? We have two moratoriums, one on P Street and one on 17th Street. Both moratoriums helped calm down the neighborhood. The renewal process is positive and allows for flexibility.
Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?
Sheridan: No. The voluntary agreement process was streamlined several years ago. From my understanding, it is in fact much faster than it used to be to reach a conclusion. By and large the process works well in Dupont, with an outstanding exception that has itself flourished under a voluntary agreement. Albeit, groups of five, ie. “The Gang of 5” should be limited to live within a certain proximity and not the entire city; to those residents who are disproportionately impacted given their proximity to a given business.
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?
Sheridan: Businesses that engage meaningfully with the community in general are strategic assets to the neighborhood. This includes both retail and service companies in the neighborhood. Two restaurants include Circa Dupont, who successfully engaged with the neighborhood to install a trash compactor to discourage rats, and EatWell DC, another local business that sets a standard for food sustainability. A service company example is the Dupont headquartered iStrategy Labs, a high growth company instrumental in the growth of the tech sector in Washington.