Greater Greater Washington

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Which at-large candidate agrees with you on DC's growth?

It's Tuesday, and that means another Let's Choose DC question is ready for you to vote on! This week, Let's Choose DC (a partnership of Greater Greater Washington, DCist, and PoPville) asked the candidates their views on the District's growth:


Photo by @lozanopuche on Flickr.
Mayor Gray has set a goal of growing by 250,000 residents in 20 years. Previous mayors had similar goals. GMU studies suggest we need over 122,000 new housing units (each of which might hold multiple people) by 2030. How can and should the District accommodate this growth?

Paul Zukerberg, Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman, and John Settles provided responses, and Perry Redd this morning promised to get one to us tonight. We did not receive responses from Anita Bonds, Michael Brown, or Patrick Mara. All of the other candidates have withdrawn from the race or did not file their petitions with the requisite number of signatures.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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And now we're down to just four? Sheesh!

Interesting but similar responses.

The Ward breakdown/political leaning would be even more interesting. Will the results be published?

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 12:14 pm • linkreport

Love to see Brown showing his true colors. This time, he isn't going to wait until he gets into office to start lying, (re his promise to respond to this website) he is going to do it on the campaign trail. At least he is trying to be consistently dishonest, so theres that.

by Kyle-W on Jan 29, 2013 12:20 pm • linkreport

Agree, responses were somewhat similar across the board. More telling is that none of the "leading candidates", Mara, Bonds and Brown responded.

I hope local journalists take note.

by William on Jan 29, 2013 12:32 pm • linkreport

Growth responses that don't mention their position on the Height Act are immediately disqualified from my giving them "yes, fully" on whether they answered the question.

by Bossi on Jan 29, 2013 1:56 pm • linkreport

@bossi, while I tend to agree, there are a lot of issues/factors that go into the question, and I would imagine the candidates jammed in what they could. I would suggest to David and Martin that a specific question on the height limit might be in order.

by William on Jan 29, 2013 2:02 pm • linkreport

Growth responses that don't mention their position on the Height Act are immediately disqualified from my giving them "yes, fully" on whether they answered the question.

That might be setting the bar a bit too high. I have also struggled deciding on whether a question was fully answered because it wouldn't have been "my" answer. But I think it's fair to judge them on what was specifically asked..and whether they answered the question. Maybe we don't have enough consensus on whether the height is a factor in the city's ability to grow.

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 3:25 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash- I think it's important to consider it as a potential avenue for growth given it affects the feasible density of DC's most prime real estate. But I also agree with @William that the full response might be a bit too nuanced to fit in with other points.

Then again, after going through the questions, even without considering the Height Act I still felt no one really answered the question fully, anyway... but I also didn't feel like anyone outright dodged the question, so that's all-in-all a positive.

by Bossi on Jan 29, 2013 3:43 pm • linkreport

To run w/ @William's point... to the Let's Choose DC overlords: any plans for questions about the Height Act or DC Statehood/Autonomy?

Granted, I'm not sure the Council formally has the same Congressional standing as Norton (which isn't much weight, either), but the Council does tend to weigh in on the subject- so it'd be good to know what candidates would aim for; what they'd settle for.

by Bossi on Jan 29, 2013 3:46 pm • linkreport

I still felt no one really answered the question fully, anyway... but I also didn't feel like anyone outright dodged the question, so that's all-in-all a positive.

Yeah I felt the same way...it was easier to answer whether the arguments were persuasive than if they answered fully.

To run w/ @William's point... to the Let's Choose DC overlords: any plans for questions about the Height Act or DC Statehood/Autonomy?

Since we do talk a lot about the Height Act here, I guess it makes sense to pose the question. However, I don't believe it is as relevant outside of here and because the city itself hasn't dealt w/the issue in full, their answers might not mean a whole lot.

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 4:29 pm • linkreport

@bossi, Mara, Brown, Redd and Bonds dodged the question, so there is that.

by William on Jan 29, 2013 4:33 pm • linkreport

The height limit is only one factor that needs to be reformed; ultimately, upzoning for density will have to be part of the solution as well.

by Dan Miller on Jan 30, 2013 11:22 am • linkreport

I actually think they all did decent jobs of answering it though none was as comprehensive as one would like. Housing is one of the most complicated urban issues though so it would be hard to touch on every matter of importance in such a small space. It's not all about the height limit either. DC had many more people than it currently does way before (~1950) most of the existing high rises were even up. Like Dan, said a lot of the issue is that we need upzoning in strategic places though do think that easing height limits and using affordable set asides is another smart way to go.

by Alan B. on Jan 30, 2013 4:16 pm • linkreport

The Council has almost nothing to do with zoning matters, particularly upzoning certain areas. I am not sure one would expect a Council candidate to use such an approach given their office would have minimal impact there.

by William on Jan 30, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

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