by Tim Regan October 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm 5 Comments

Vincent Orange during committee meetingA number of D.C. bars, restaurants and clubs have organized to fight back against D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange’s proposed Nightlife Regulation Noise Act.

The group, which is called the D.C. Nightlife Hospitality Association and includes 11 representatives from more than two dozen local bars, clubs and restaurants, vows to get loud against the proposed “anti-noise” bill first introduced by Orange earlier this year.

If passed in its current form, Orange’s bill would prohibit D.C.’s restaurants and bars from playing amplified or recorded music in outdoor spaces such as summer gardens and rooftop decks after midnight. The bill would also enact a new “plainly audible” standard for noise measurement that could change the way noise complaints from nearby residents are investigated.

Some residents — particularly those in the D.C. Nightlife Noise Coalition — say the proposed legislation is needed to curb nighttime noise disturbances from local bars and restaurants.

But according to the new association, the bill would set a “standard with which few businesses will be able to comply.” The association’s executive director, Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee, said today in a press release that Orange’s bill is like using a “gigantic oversized flyswatter” to swat a “tiny fly.”

Several members of the association testified before the D.C. Council’s committee on business, consumer and regulatory affairs this afternoon.

“I believe this legislation would take us backwards from the progress our business has spearheaded,” said Matt Weiss, owner of 201 Bar, Union Pub, Barrel, and McClellan’s Retreat. “People understand they live in a city, and being close proximity to open nightlife businesses is part of the deal.”

Will Eastman, co-owner of U Street Music Hall, said, “the overwhelming majority of D.C. residents support local nightlife establishments.”

“The proposed noise bill legislation risks putting our culture and nightlife back a step,” Eastman added. “While there may be a small number of noise problems in the city, the proposed rules are not the best approach.”

“In short, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” concluded Eastman.

Photo via D.C. Council webstream

by Sean Meehan September 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm 0

The D.C. Council is used to a lot of back-and-forth, but it’s not usually this literal.

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans joined seven other councilmembers for a ping pong tournament in Farragut Square this afternoon. The event was organized by at-large Councilmember Vincent Orange and the Golden Triangle BID, which holds events in the square every Friday.

Evans faced off against Orange, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson in singles and doubles tournaments.

Evans was a playful but formidable competitor, defending his home turf of Ward 2 with a gentle serve and an extensive arsenal of smack talk.

After winning his first game — an 11-5 rout against Todd — Evans said he wasn’t expecting his table tennis skills to come back to him, since it’s been more than 40 years since he last played.

“I grew up playing ping pong in the 50s and 60s, but back then everyone had homemade tables,” he said. “Your dad would get a piece of plywood and paint it green and you’d buy a set and play. I haven’t had a paddle in my hand for 45 years, but I guess it’s something you never forget, like riding a bike.”

Evans’ confidence waned after losing in the second round of the singles tournament to May.

Ultimately, it was Orange who emerged victorious.

But Evans seemed to have the last laugh: As Orange posed with his trophy for the singles tournament, Evans grabbed it and joked that Orange had been using deflated ping pong balls.

by Tim Regan August 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm 0

David Garber, photo courtesy of David Garber

David Garber has a strategy: Hit incumbent at-large D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange where he’s vulnerable. In a campaign announcement video, Garber grabbed the attention of some voters by scolding Orange’s ethics. “We simply deserve better,” Garber said. But Garber acknowledges it takes more than shaming an incumbent to win an election.

Borderstan spoke with the challenger and former Navy Yard ANC commissioner about his upcoming campaign:

Borderstan: Tell me why you’re running for Vincent Orange’s at-large D.C. Councilmember seat.

David Garber: I’m running for this seat because I want to be the advocate for communities across the District. What that’s meant for me in the past, both as an engaged citizen and as a two-term elected ANC Commissioner, has been a lot about learning the value of listening to residents as anything is happening within neighborhoods and District-wide. Making sure that, in the way the city grows and in the decisions that are being made and what’s being prioritized across the District, we’re taking a lot of our feedback from the people in these actual communities.

What will be your first priority or new initiative, and why?

The three top issues for me right now are education, public safety, and housing. I’ve had a fair amount of experience within the education sphere, whether as a substitute teacher or advocating for a new public elementary school in the neighborhood where I was ANC commissioner. That school is opening this fall.

With regards to the growth of the city, I’ve lived in three very different neighborhoods in my time in the District. I’ve lived in Anacostia, east of the river, I’ve lived in Navy Yard and I’ve lived in the Logan Circle/Shaw neighborhood. I feel like those are all pretty distinct, and have given me a pretty unique perspective for understanding how certain parts of the city have been overlooked and haven’t been served well in the past and wanting to make sure that, as we go forward, we’re being equitable about our development and our investments across the city.

Which parts of the city do you think have been overlooked?

A lot of people, especially east of the river, are concerned that real investment hasn’t been made in a lot of those communities over the years in the way that it has been other places. As a resident there, myself, what I was seeing at the time was that it was coming down to the decisions of political leadership. That was my first crash course in realizing that, if I want to see something change with regards to how the communities were being prioritized I needed to get involved, myself.

But you could point to other communities. Kennedy Street NW in Ward 4. Places in Ward 5. Fortunately, we’re in a time where there is a lot of investment in D.C. and different areas are being brought up in different ways. Hopefully we’re doing that while taking care of all of the existing residents that are in these communities. But I do think that more could still be done.

What did you learn from your time as an ANC commissioner in Navy Yard that you could apply to serving on the D.C. Council?

One of my first lessons was in the absolute importance of listening to residents at every step of the way, both in my decision making and with regard to any issues that were coming through the neighborhood.

I started a citizens’ development advisory committee, for example, that was able to speak into a lot of development that was happening in the Navy Yard ballpark area, and I made sure that I was reaching out to the community both online and in-person on issues there were really important. A lot of these issues did relate to development.

Navy Yard is a neighborhood where a lot of the people there were really excited about a lot of the changes that were happening. … But they wanted to make sure it was done in a right way and in a way that we’re really proud of 10 years from now and 20 years from now.

The other lesson I learned was just about the importance of working with my colleagues to make our work on the ANC as effective as possible. I think it’s easy to come into an elected position feeling very black-and-white on issues and not wanting to work with others who might disagree with you. One of the things that I enjoyed the most during my time on the ANC was working with people who we might not have lined up 100 percent on issues, but we had to work together and we had to find a common solution. As a councilmember, it’s important to be effective.

As you know, crime is a big topic in D.C. right now. Last night, you went on a ride-along with police. What did you learn?

My biggest priority right now is making sure that I’m doing everything I can to learn about what possible changes need to be made or what actions can be taken right now to improve the safety situation around the District.

I live in Shaw, and me and my neighbors feel like there’s a lot of violent crimes taking place almost daily. There has been an uptick in violent crime, it absolutely feels like there has been. I know people are looking to leadership right now to both make changes, whether it’s within the policies of the Metropolitan Police Department or how they’re doing their beats around the District. I’m trying to both listen to as many neighbors as possible, listen to police officers, try to get a sense for what’s working and what’s not working, so that we can move forward in a way that everybody feels safe in their communities, regardless of where they are.

Based on what you saw last night, is there anything that you’d want to change?

One thing that kept coming up was the need for more police officers in the District. There was a hiring boom in the ’80s and ’90s that is now turning into a retirement boom. Unfortunately, the new hires and police academy graduates aren’t catching up to the people leaving the force.

We need to make sure that we are providing the best place for these police officers to be when they’re choosing where to work. Whether that is offering incentives for living within the District or what have you, I think there are absolutely ways to making this a city where officers want to live because they feel supported and they’re able to get their work done.

Orange is the incumbent, so he most likely has an advantage. How do you feel about the upcoming race?

I feel really great about this upcoming race. I’ve felt really humbled over the last couple of weeks by the incredible amount of support that I’ve felt from people around the District, both in the encouragement and in their financial support, which at the end of the day, is going to mean a great deal in this election.

I’ve got an awesome team behind me. … I’m excited to start some of the more visible elements of my campaign, like door-knocking, meet-and-greets and introducing myself to voters and listening to issues that they care about.

This interview has been edited slightly for clarity and length

Image courtesy of David Garber

by Tim Regan June 12, 2015 at 9:05 am 0

STOCK-20Money, Money, Money — Logan Circle ranks among the top 100 most expensive neighborhoods in the nation, according to a new report by apartment listing service Zumper. [Washington Business Journal]

Hot Hot Heat — It’s going to be hot out there this weekend. So hot, in fact, that the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory through 8 p.m. this evening. With humidity factored in, it may feel like 100 degrees or hotter. Stay cool and drink lots of water. [Capital Weather Gang]

Pearl Dive Prepares Picnics — Pearl Dive is now accepting orders for 4th of July picnic packages. $35 nabs you six pieces of fried chicken, three jalapeno corn muffins, spicy cole slaw, potato salad, three blueberry streusel pies, a tablecloth, and Greenware eco-friendly utensils. [BadWolf DC]

Sorry, Second State — Multiple sources in the know say Second State on M Street closed for good yesterday. [Borderstan]

ANC 1A Loudly Opposes Noise Regulation — Commissioners for ANC 1A voted Wednesday night 8 to 0 in opposition to the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015. [Borderstan]

by Bryan Doyle June 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm 0

Vincent OrangeThe Columbia Heights Advisory Neighborhood Commission is getting loud about new proposed noise regulations.

Last night, Commissioners for ANC 1A, which also covers Park View, voted 8 to 0, with one abstention, in opposition to the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015.

Sponsored by D.C. Councilman Vincent Orange (pictured), the law would force D.C.’s restaurants and bars serving alcohol to measure the noise levels of their establishment each hour from 9:00 pm to 4 a.m. every night they are open, and then report that information to the city.

“This law doesn’t make any sense at all, and would involve mountains and mountains of data. I don’t think it’s possible to go through it all,” said ANC commissioner Matthew Goldschmidt. “I hope [Ward 1 Councilmember] Brianne Nadeau agrees, and I hope this bill dies a very quick death.”

“This law would be like putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse,” said Commission Chair Kent Boese, explaining that the legislation would place an undue burden on smaller businesses that might not have the resources to monitor their noise levels. Boese, who sponsored the resolution, said that larger businesses could then simply misreport their data.

Columbia Heights is home to several locally owned restaurants and bars, such as the small businesses on 11th Street NW and 14th Street NW north of the Target.

A public hearing on the bill has been scheduled for July 9 at 10 a.m. at Room 500 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

by Borderstan.com April 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,079 1 Comment

"Borderstan""Biddle-Orange""Council Race"

Biddle  versus Orange not over: Sing? The fat lady hasn’t even gone on stage yet. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

It’s still undecided. Sekou Biddle trails incumbent Vincent Orange in the Tuesday vote for the Democratic nomination for At-Large DC Council seat by just 543 votes. But as noted on Wednesday, the race is not over.

In addition to at several thousand absentee ballots, there are also several thousand provisional ballots to be counted, according to WAMU — and a recount after the votes have all be counted is a real possibility. It will all be decided (barring a recount) when absentee and provisional (special ballots cast on election day) are tallied on April 13. The Washington City Paper reported Wednesday that there are more than 3,800 absentee ballots.

According to CBS DC, “The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics says 3,348 Democrats requested absentee ballots. So far, 1,554 have been returned. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday.

Given the dismal turnout (less than 16% of the populace turned out), any small edge or blurry edges between candidates becomes incredibly important. Biddle actually leads in five of the city’s eight wards — 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Orange, though, ran up larger margins in Wards 5, 7 and 8 over Biddle. In the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods, Biddle ran very strong, with large wins in almost all are preincints.

Given the margin of victory here, it seems unlikely that any first ‘official’ decision will be deemed official by any of the candidates. I’m predicting a recount.

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by Borderstan.com April 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,157 1 Comment

From Matty Rhoades. Email him at matty[AT]borderstan.com.

The one contested race for residents of Dupont-Logan-U Street in yesterday’s primary election was the Democratic nomination for an At-Large Council seat. After all 143 of DC’s precincts reported in last night, incumbent Vincent Orange holds a 543 vote lead over Sekou Biddle, according to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) — but absentee and provisional ballots have to be counted on April 13. It was a rematch of last year’s special election to fill the seat. Citywide, Biddle leads in Wards 1, 2, 3 4 and 6, but Orange holds the lead due to high support in Wards 5, 7 and 8. Locally, however, Biddle won big in most precincts in the Borderstan area.

Luis, Gomez, Photos, Black, Cat,

The Dem nomination for an At-Large Council seat is still undecided as of Wednesday morning. (Luis Gomez Photos)

In the Ward 2 race, incumbent Democrat Jack Evans had no opponent for the Democratic nomination; there were no candidates running in the GOP Primary to face Evans in the November 6 general election. Evans got 80% of the vote yesterday, while 12% did not vote in the race (counted as Under Votes) and 7% were Write In votes.

Turnout was very light, with about 15% of city voters going to the polls Tuesday.

Biddle vs. Orange

As of this morning, the DC count for the At-Large Dem nomination is:

  • Vincent Orange: 21,237 votes, 39.77%
  • Sekou Biddle: 20,694, 38.75%
  • Peter Shapiro: 5616, 10.51%
  • E. Gail Anderson Holness: 3,873 votes, 7.25%
  • Under Votes (blank ballot): 1,614 votes, 3.02%
  • Write In: 335 votes, 0.62%

1,700 Absentee, Provisional Ballots Outstanding

According to The Washington Post, there are about 1,700 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted before a winner in the race can be determined; those votes will be counted April 13. However, with such few outstanding ballots to be counted, Biddle would have to win a big chunk of them to overtake Orange. The question is, what part of the city are the absentee and provisional ballots concentrated? Are they spread evenly across DC precincts, or are they concentrated in Orange or Biddle  strongholds. But with only 1,700 votes to be counted, Biddle would have to win a huge percentage of them to overtake Orange.

Biddle Wins Most Local Precincts

Who did voters in the Dupont-Logan-U Street and surrounding areas support compared to the rest of the city? In 14 local precincts in Wards 1, 2 and 6, Biddle leads in 12 of them. (Two Logan-Shaw precincts, 18 and 21, were formerly in Ward 2 before being moved to Ward 6 following redistricting after the 2010 Census). The results for the 14 selected precincts are in the table below; Biddle leads in 12 and Orange in the 2 Shaw precincts. DCBOEE has maps of precincts.

Democratic Nomination for At-Large DC Council Seat

Precinct  / Ward Sekou Biddle E. Gail Holness Anderson Vincent Orange Peter Shapiro Write In Under Vote
4 / W2 59% 2% 9% 28% 1% 1%
13 / W 2 66% 3% 8% 21% <1% 1%
14 / W2 64% 4% 7% 24% <1% 1%
15 / W2 68% 4% 8% 18% 0% 2%
16 / W2 66% 3%  15% 15% 0% 2%
17 / W2 555 6% 19% 16% <1%  3%
18 / W6  32% 9%  46%  11%  <1% 1%
21 / W6  31% 8% 41% 14%  2% 3%
22 / W1  60%  5% 22% 11% 1%  <1%
23 / W1 48% 7% 31% 12% 0% 2%
24 / W1 61% 3% 20% 14% 1% 0%
25 / W1 75% 3% 6% 15% 0% 1%
137 / W1 52% 5%  31% 10% 1%  2%
141 / W2  68% 3% 11% 14% 1%  2%
  • 4 – West End Public Library, 1101 24th Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 13 -Our Lady of the Americas, 2200 California Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 14 – St. Thomas Episcopal Church Parish, 1772 Church Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 15 – Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 16 – Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, 1701 15th Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 17 – Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street NW (Ward 2)
  • 18 – Kennedy Recreation Center 1407 7th Street NW (Ward 6)
  • 21 – Shaw Library, 1630 7th Street NW (Ward 6)
  • 22 – Garnet-Patterson Jr. High School, 2001 10th Street NW (Ward 1)
  • 23 – LOUGHRAN COMMUNITY CENTER, 2500 14th Street NW (Ward 1)
  • 24 – Marie Reed Learning Center, 2200 Champlain Street NW (Ward 1)
  • 25 – Goodwill Baptist Church, 1862 Kalorama Road NW (Ward 1)
  • 137 – Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S Street NW (Ward 1)
  • 141 – Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th Street NW (Ward 2)

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by Borderstan.com March 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm 1,410 1 Comment

"Borderstan", DC, Democratic, Primary, April, 3, primary, Black, Cat

At-Large DC Council candidates on March 13 at the Black Cat. From left: Sekou Biddle, E. Gail Anderson Holness, Peter Shapiro and Vincent Orange. Moderator David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington is at far right. (Matty Rhoades)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Crowds converged on the 1800 block of 14th Street NW as unseasonably warm weather brought local residents out in force last evening. Part of the crowd was in front of The Black Cat, site of last night’s forum for the four candidates running in the Democratic Primary for an At-Large Council seat.

David Alpert, founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington, moderated the forum. For fans of local politics, the complete video of the forum (58 minutes) may be viewed at Greater Greater Washington, as well as Alpert’s wrap up.

Some familiar names were on the dais at the popular music hall in the heart of the booming 14th Street corridor. Trying to hold the seat he won during last year’s special election was At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange. Back for another round Sekou Biddle, who briefly held the seat when he was voted in by the DC Democratic State Committee to serve as interim At-Large member until last year’s special election was held (which he lost to Orange).

Another candidate lives in the area: Advisory Neighborhood Commission E. Gail Anderson Holness (ANC 1B-11). Rounding out the slate of Democratic candidates was Peter Shapiro,a former Prince George’s County Council member and now a resident of Ward 4.

David Alpert organized the forum around asking specific candidates a question. The candidate was then allowed one minute to respond, after which the others each had 30 seconds to comment. The topics ranged from opinions on same-sex marriage and affordable housing to transportation and education.

Highlights from the Forum

  • E. Gail Anderson Holness stressed several times during the evening that she is the only candidate who has not accepted corporate contributions – “unbought and unbossed” she declared. Her other rallying cry was “second on the ballot, second to none.”
  • Sekou Biddle knows his way around DC. During a candidate poll on transportation, Biddle was able to rattle off the bus line numbers he used as a child in Columbia Heights as well as the familiar S2, S4 and S9 lines that runs down 16th street through the heart of Borderstan.
  • Peter Shapiro focused his responses on the ethics investigations that have plagued the current administration and Council since last fall. Shapiro sees a broken system where the Council is sidelined, and not getting to work on issues such as job creation and economic development.
  • Vincent Orange, after being called on the carpet by David Alpert, offered an apology for his car blocking the 15th Street NW bike lane on New Year’s Day. He added that it was not his intent to block the lane and that education is key in diffusing tension between drivers and the growing number of cyclists on city streets. Orange said he his platform is the “4 E’s –ethics, education, employment, economic development.

Schools, Amenities, Metro, Corporate Contributions

  • Role of Council in oversight of DC Public Schools: The candidates were asked about the proper role of the DC Council in terms of oversight of the DC Public Schools — and whether there was too much meddling into the powers given to the schools chancellor. Orange said it had to be a “partnership,” while Biddle said it was the Council’s role to simply set policy and provide oversight. Shapiro called for a special Council Education Committee and said the Council needs to “take its oversight role seriously.”
  • Neighborhood diversity and amenities: All four candidates, not surprisingly, praised the diversity, walkability and services of neighborhoods such as those in Wards 1 and 2. Shapiro made an interesting observation later when asked about affordable housing — he noted that too many neighborhoods in outer areas of DC do not have walkable retail (one the strong points of the Dupont-Logan-U Street area). “Many areas that are affordable lack amenities,” Biddle said.
  • Last time you were on Metro: The candidates were asked about the last time they had used Metro — an important form of transportation in Dupont-Logan-U Street. Holness said she uses Metro almost every day, Biddle said it was “in the last 2 to 3 weeks,” Orange said “recently” and Shapiro answered “last week.”
  • Ban corporate contributions: All four candidates said they are in favor of banning corporate contributions to DC political candidates. Orange also supports banning councilmembers from having outside jobs while serving on the Council.

The Democratic primary is April 3 — DC primaries are usually in September. The winner of the primary will face candidates from the Republican and Statehood Green parties in the November general election.

Sponsors of the forum were The Urban Neighborhood Alliance, which coordinated the event, along with Borderstan.com, 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 Borderstan.com March 12, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,136 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, Borderstan.com, 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 Borderstan.com February 23, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,230 0

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

After extensive media focus on the Republican Presidential primaries over the past few months, it is time to turn our attention to the DC primary scheduled for April 3, 2012. In addition to selecting their presidential preference based on party affiliation, DC voters will also be asked to choose their party nominee for November general election for an At-Large Council seat. The same is true for the four wards where seats are up this year, including Ward 2. DC’s primary is early this year — it’s usually held in September.

"Borderstan" "Black Cat"

Forum for Dem candidates in At-Large Race at the Black Cat on March 13. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Candidate Forum on March 13

Neighborhood residents are invited to attend a community forum for the candidates in the 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.

The forum will be moderated by David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington. Sponsors of the forum are The Urban Neighborhood Alliance, Borderstan.com, 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.

Orange and Biddle, Again

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, 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.

With a crowded field of Democrats running for the seat (there was no primary), Orange defeated Republican Patrick Mara. The upcoming race will be for a full four-year term. Orange will face opposition from E. Gail Anderson Holness, Peter Shapiro and Sekou Biddle.

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.

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by Borderstan.com April 27, 2011 at 7:03 am 1,474 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 Borderstan.com March 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm 1,439 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.

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by Borderstan.com August 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm 1,105 0

Vincent Orange’s road map to victory on September 14 probably doesn’t run through the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Orange, who is running for DC Council Chairman, got only 9% (with leaners) of reader votes in this week’s Borderstan poll. The easy winner among Borderstan readers was Councimember Kwame Brown with 66%, including leaners.

Orange, a former member of the DC Council from Ward 5, is the underdog, citywide, against Brown–all bets are on Brown to win.

The number of undecideds in the poll was 25%–with 17% checking “Undecided: Who are these guys?” Obviously, one in six readers have no idea who Brown or Orange are or their positions.

  • Strongly for Kwame Brown – 54%
  • Leaning toward Kwame Brown – 12%
  • Strongly for Vincent Orange – 3%
  • Leaning toward Vincent Orange – 6%
  • Undecided: Who are these guys? – 17%
  • Undecided even though I know the candidates – 8%

Note to newcomers: The chairman of the DC Council is the 13th member of the Council. Eight members are elected from wards and four more are elected at large.

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