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For ANC in Ward 1

Ward 1 is DC's densest, and gentrifying row house neighborhoods make up the majority of the ward. Retail, parking, and transit are all key issues in its numerous commercial corridors, and local ANCs play a big role.

ANC 1B will be losing one of the city's best ANC commissioners, Brianne Nadeau, who turned a commission that faced financial irregularities into a solid neighborhood organization. Plus, she pushed hard to extend the 15th Street bike lane northward into her Meridian Hill Park district of 1B05, one of many great examples of how an ANC can be a very positive force in its community instead of either obstructing or doing nothing.

1B02 covers the east side of 14th Street above and below U. Incumbent Peter Raia has worked very hard for the neighborhood, but has been too obstructionist on business growth in the area. While Aaron Spencer seems like a good candidate, we prefer Tucker Gallagher, who lives car-free and talked about promoting a neighborhood that's lively 18 hours a day.

Incumbent Deborah Thomas has strong respect from her constituents in 1B04, centered around 14th and W. She has worked hard to represent the many residents of her district, including families, seniors, and lower income people, who are able to stay in the community despite the economic pressures toward displacement.

She is a single mother, and gives a voice to groups who are underrepresented in traditional community structures. ANC 1B and the residents of the neighborhood benefit from participation. Her opponent, William Girardo, would probably also make a fine commissioner but has few neighborhood accomplishments on his resume.

We support Brittany Kademian in her challenge to Juan Lopez for 1B07 northeast of Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. Residents and even the manager of a condo building association in the district say they were unfamiliar with Lopez. His partner also filed a challenge to Kademian's nominating petition.

Meanwhile, Kademian herself wants to raise the accessibility of the ANC in the area, tutors local students, bicycles and supports a bike lane on 14th north of U, wants improved lighting to reduce crime, is passionate about the environment, and more. Plus, she has gotten the greatest number of commenters to vouch for her in our discussion threads.

To the east, RT Akinmboni (1B08) has been a positive influence on the ANC; her opponent, Ahnna Smith, is a Teach for America alum new to the neighborhood who we hope to see get more involved in local advocacy.

We support Lauren McKenzie in the open seat in Pleasant Plains' 1B09; the other candidate, Shahrzad Rastegar, does not seem to have any email address listed or any information online.

Bill Brown, the commissioner of 1A06 east of the Columbia Heights Metro, is excellent, serving on the DC Pedestrian Advisory Council and bringing his strong passion for pedestrian issues as well as his expert grasp of other topics to his role on the staff of presumptive Council Chairman Kwame Brown.

We are very excited that contributor Kent Boese is running (unopposed) in northern Park View's 1A08. In the central Park View 1A09, Sam Moore is challenging incumbent LaKeisha Thomas. While Thomas is not ANC 1A's best most thoughtful commissioner, her experience going to school in and living in the neighborhood is valuable, and she wants what's best for the neighborhood.

Moore seems very promising and supports transit and smart growth, but we're a little nervous about the way he said he'd fight a Starbucks on Georgia Avenue when Georgia needs whatever successful coffee shops it can attract and ANC commissioners need to avoid the temptation to micromanage their commercial corridors too much. We hope Moore stays involved as well.

In Park View's southernmost district, 1A10, Howard student Jonathan Madison deserves the seat over longtime incumbent Lenwood "Lenny" Johnson. Madison has shown a tremendous amount of energy in this race by attending block parties and knocking on doors. Johnson, meanwhile, has often been divisive and is seen as something of a loose cannon. He forwards private disputes to the Columbia Heights listserv and long refused to register a firearm.

We've heard good things about both Jose Sueiro and Olivier Kamanda, vying to succeed Bryan Weaver in the central Adams Morgan district 1C03. Kamanda, a former Hillary Clinton speechwriter and journalist, has Weaver and ally Mindy Moretti's support, while some other 1C Comissioners are behind Sueiro. Sueiro has been a good problem solver in his role as head of the Association of Park Road Businesses, but made some troublesome comments about parking at a Columbia Heights performance parking meeting. Therefore, we give the edge to Kamanda.

In Mount Pleasant, a number of commissioners are not running for reelection. Phil Lepanto, an excellent commissioner who is very supportive of non-automobile options, is sadly not running again, but supports Ben West as a write-in in his district, 1D01. China Terrell, a staffer for Tommy Wells, also will be a promising addition to the commission, replacing outgoing Commissioner Dave Bosserman in 1D05.

Laura Phelan is the only name on the ballot in 1D02, a small district at the northeast corner of the neighborhood. Phelan is well-liked and will make a good commissioner to replace Oliver Tunda, who is also not running again. Phelan faces a write-in from Adam Hoey of Mount Pleasant Main Street, but we think Hoey can best serve the neighborhood by continuing in that role.

In 1D06, along the neighborhood's southeastern edge, John Craig is running as a write-in against incumbent Angelia Scott, who rarely attends meetings and is not often reachable. She served briefly as chair but gave up because it was too much of a time commitment. Craig, who wants to reform the ANC's transparency and work better with business, would do better.

Gregg Edwards (1D04) is an extremely smart person who has a number of very clever ideas to address neighborhood problems. However, sometimes he lets the value of his particular idea interfere with the pragmatic need to build consensus and community. He and fellow Commissioner Jack McKay promoted a great "pedestrian encounter zone" plan for Mount Pleasant Street, but which in practice mostly served to threaten progress on other street improvements for which Mount Pleasant Main Street had already secured grant money.

Edwards also stands up strongly for the proper role of the ANC, which by law deserves "great weight" from city agencies. That is usually interpreted to mean that, at the very least, agencies must respond in writing to points made by the ANC, though often they do not. Edwards is right about the proper role, but his zeal to push this process often again interferes with moving issues forward in the neighborhood, and has often led to tension when other groups take the initiative.

Phil Grenier, who has worked with Mount Pleasant Main Street, would be more pragmatic and we support him. It's too bad this race has gotten framed as businesses versus residents and especially lower income residents, since a thriving business corridor in Mount Pleasant would benefit all residents.


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Good call supporting Lauren McKenzie for 1B09 - the other one doesn't even live in 1B09.

by J on Oct 29, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

Early voted yesterday in 1A10 without the benefit of knowing much about either candidate but glad to say I had enough of a vague recollection of Johnson's antics that I voted for Madison. Hope that he'll be a steadier and more responsible voice for the neighborhood.

by Patrick on Oct 29, 2010 3:21 pm • linkreport

It seems little research has been done in deciding who to endorse for 1A06, as neither of the opponents are mentioned here. It's time for a change in our neighborhood. What I want in an ANC is someone who treats their role as one of a true liaison rather than a position of political power. It's time for consensus decision making, for someone who truly listens to and represents voters' concerns. Bill Brown's service on a committee for pedestrian safety isn't representative of listening to residents in his neighborhood and their concerns. Miriam Savad is committed to creating a community dialogue that we don't currently have. This is a rapidly changing neighborhood with many exciting things on the horizon, and along with those things come neighbors' concerns, and Savad has made it her mission in this campaign to hear those concerns, get to know them, and effectively address them. It's time for that in 1A06.

by Jo on Oct 29, 2010 4:06 pm • linkreport

Is William Jordan not running for re-election in 1A05? I don't see his name on the candidate list, and having moved away from Columbia Heights, haven't been following news from the neighborhood all that closely.

by Anon on Oct 29, 2010 5:11 pm • linkreport

You are correct, William Jordan is not running this year.

by Kent on Oct 29, 2010 7:03 pm • linkreport

Thank God, William Jordan is a curmudgeony nay-sayer to smart growth. Glad to see him go.

by Ace in DC on Oct 29, 2010 9:47 pm • linkreport

1B02 covers the east side of 14th Street above and below U. Incumbent Peter Raia has worked very hard for the neighborhood, but has been too obstructionist on business growth in the area. While Aaron Spencer seems like a good candidate, we prefer Tucker Gallagher, who lives car-free and talked about promoting a neighborhood that's lively 18 hours a day.

These recommendations seem so 'single issue focused' that by their very nature they shouldn't carry much weight with potential voters. Not only are they only looking at one issue, you have to ask yourself, what stake does the recommender have in the final election result other than that single focused issue(s) that they are clearly interested in. For example, someone not from a specific neighborhood may think it's okay to tear down half the neighborhood to put in a limited access freeway because that is their single issue focus, But if they don't live in that specific neighbhorhood, and they are asking you to vote for someone who advocates their 'put a freeway in decision', won't you feel 'had' later?

Personally, I don't think someone not from a specific neighborhood has any right to make any such recommendation ... but hey, it's a free country. And if folks are 'suckers enough' to fall for it ... oh well ...

by Lance on Oct 29, 2010 11:48 pm • linkreport

The "pedestrian encounter zone" for Mount Pleasant Street did not "threaten progress on other street improvements". There was no conflict between the two undertakings, and the ANC eventually endorsed the Main Street plan. The objections to the ANC pedestrian-priority concept came from businesses, and from Mount Pleasant Main Street. Neither understood the concept, and both feared anything that might impair automobile access to Mount Pleasant Street.

by Jack on Oct 30, 2010 10:13 am • linkreport

These "recommendations" aren't worth much. As far as I can tell, they're based on rumor, innuendo and a few blog comment postings, and in the case of 1B07, an anonymous "condo building manager" who is "unfamiliar" with the incumbent. Lame.

by Paul on Oct 30, 2010 11:02 am • linkreport

You did not offer any information on the candidates running for ANC 1A04 - was there a reason for this?

by Eric on Oct 30, 2010 3:59 pm • linkreport

What's really startling about these endorsements is their conservativeness. The supposed "progress on other street improvements" which GGW considered "threaten[ed]" by the Mount Pleasant ANC's "pedestrian encounter zone" included, for the benefit of pedestrians, nothing but one mid-block crosswalk. For that, GGW is willing to sacrifice the "pedestrian priority zone", which would require automobile drivers to yield to pedestrians, and to bicycles, everywhere along these blocks. The Main Street "progress" would give pedestrians merely one narrow strip of supposed safety in the street, and "sharrows" to suggest to drivers that they might avoid running down those pesky bicyclists. The automobile would remain supreme, with only a few small concessions to non-automobile drivers.

Adam Hoey's Mount Pleasant Main Street remains stuck in a 1960s-era, automobiles-first philosophy. Gabe Klein at DDOT, in contrast, endorsed the ANC's proposal: "I think itÂ’s a wonderful idea, for safety, fun, and economic development and is what I suggested for 18th St in Adams Morgan. It would give MT. P an even more unique identity than it already has, and become a destination. I would be willing to champion this with the Feds. Just let me know." Well, but GGW says no, one pitiful mid-block crosswalk is good enough.

The next time GGW endorses a truly progressive, pedestrian-friendly plan, and encounters opposition from people who prefer not to disturb the supremacy of the automobile, think of this choice in Mount Pleasant.

by Jack on Oct 30, 2010 5:49 pm • linkreport

What about Ward 4????

by Jeanne on Oct 31, 2010 1:52 pm • linkreport


I live in 1B07. I haven't heard that Juan Lopez has cast any votes which would disappoint me, or with which I would disagree. Nor have I heard that from neighbors. I just haven't come across any communication from or about him until I saw a pole sign for his campaign a few weeks ago.

He recently updated his campaign website, which includes a great "Contact Us" page. I wish he'd used his website or other means to communicate with his constituents during his term. I think it's very important that an ANC Commissioner have two-way dialogue with his/her constituents.

The challenge that Juan's partner filed to get Brittany Kademian removed from the ballot bothers me quite a bit. I know that's how politics *can be played, but I am passionate about encouraging all citizens to participate in the political system. The challenge that was filed doesn't come across as being principle-based, but rather picayune and bent on disenfranchisement rather than enfranchisement.

Brittany is a breath of fresh air, she's diligent on the issues of public safety, walkability and "bikeability" and recycling and schools, and she's involved in our neighborhood.

The ballot petition challenge included an attempt to explicitly question her integrity on the basis that Brittany had vouched for the legitimacy of the signature by one of the petition signers, but was not the actual circulator of the petition. She responded that she accompanied the circulator to gather the signatures. That's how I met Brittany -- she was walking door-to-door with her petition circulator and I was impressed by her earnestness.

by Dennis Jaffe on Oct 31, 2010 4:03 pm • linkreport

Without getting personal, some of these recommendations are really bad. Is the bar for ANC's just that low?

by jeff on Oct 31, 2010 11:53 pm • linkreport


No, this blog's research is oftentimes non-existent. The writers simply find the candidate who like bikes the most and endorse them.

Or, in the case of the mayoral race, the candidate whose promises are most far-fetched.

by Anon on Nov 1, 2010 1:41 am • linkreport


Is that your first name or last name, behind which your credibility stands?

by Dennis Jaffe on Nov 1, 2010 9:53 am • linkreport

@Paul, Jeff, & Anon - you criticize these endorsements but don't offer an alternative source of information. Please share - love to get a different perspective.

by Patrick on Nov 1, 2010 9:54 am • linkreport

It seems in these cases that "this blog's research" amounts to second-hand information from residents of each area. After all, who can track 137 ANC candidacies? In the case of Mount Pleasant, GGW was evidently taken in by a strongly biased local resident. Dave Alpert is first-rate, and would have done better. I've never seen him at a Mount Pleasant ANC meeting, nor even in this neighborhood, so what can he know about our ANC candidates?

Ditto for other neighborhoods, I'm sure. These are likely opinions by "stringers" in each neighborhood, of varied and uncertain dependability.

by Jack on Nov 1, 2010 9:55 am • linkreport

Ward 4 anyone? I think it's the only one that hasn't been covered.

by SL on Nov 1, 2010 10:52 am • linkreport

It's untrue that ANC1D-06 Commissioner Angelia D. Scott rarely attends meetings. Posted ANC minutes show she has attended 7 of the 9 business meetings this year. This is close to the record of other current commissioners. I've spoken to a majority of the other 1D commissioners who praise her strong contributions over the years as Chair and Vice-Chair.
Opinions and personalities in MtP are strongly diverse and in great abundance, often conflicted, and sometimes unruly. Her presence on the commission provides a welcoming calm, inviting order, and humane humor. She treats everyone with respect and has the strength of character and of presence to maintain a civil tone.
These skills are rarely found.

by Steve Mudd on Nov 1, 2010 11:47 am • linkreport

In the race for the ANC 1B09 open seat, Lauren McKenzie is very knowledgeable about City issues and development. She's been a District resident (mainly in Shaw) for 10 years. She's also actively campigned and provided her contact information to voters in the neighborhood through flyers and attendence at meetings.

Her opponet on the other hand, Shahrzad Rastegar has not campaigned, and online research found a long facebook rant about rich whites invading low income neighborhoods ( although she tried to remove it) . She's a young UDC student was raised in VA, who lectures gentrifiers about ignorance about DC history. Finally, questions have been raised about her fradulently claiming residence in the neighborhood.

Either way, it seems like the choice is clear, and not just because Lauren McKenzie has contact information!

by Dave on Nov 1, 2010 1:49 pm • linkreport

I'm a 1B09 Resident and am please to see we could get a new ANC commissioner who actually does something. I could just show up and vote against Rastegar, but I'd rather vote FOR someone.

Tell me why I should vote for Lauren McKenzie? Nothing here or anywhere tells me anything about her except that she used to live in Shaw.

by Anon2 on Nov 1, 2010 2:01 pm • linkreport


Your obstinance with the transportation enhancements grant earlier this year was enough to make it absolutely clear to me that you don't care to represent the wishes of the people in the neighborhood or do what is best for us. (And you're being a little disingenuous in suggesting that the ANC supported the grant. Sure, it was supported in the very end, after 8,000 listserv messages from other residents and first rejecting it out of hand at a meeting, of course.)

Additionally, it's completely unfair to characterize MPMS as a car-focused organization just because they wouldn't support Gregg's plan for the pedestrian zone. The two aren't necessarily related. Most MPMS board members I know are most often seen on foot, bike or bus. And unlike many naysayers who don't walk anywhere in Mt.P and choose to shop by car over in Cleveland Park, the MPMS folks are just as often seen at Bestway, Haydee's, Tonic or Lamont Video. Thinking that the PEZ isn't best for the neighborhood doesn't make one a car-first curmudgeon on par with Gary Imhoff. Be honest, Jack.

(I'm not sure how getting rid of the historic 42 bus line would be a good thing for the neighborhood. Other than making it less accessible for those of us that actually are walking and biking and taking transit in the neighborhood.)

I wholeheartedly support Phil Grenier, John Craig and China Terrell in Mt.P for a much-needed dose of fresh air in an ANC dominated for far too long by you and Gregg Edwards.

by Steve on Nov 1, 2010 2:35 pm • linkreport

Remember go out and vote Tuesday! Especially for Brittany Kademian for 1b07 ANC Commissioner!

by AB on Nov 1, 2010 4:04 pm • linkreport


This is Lauren McKenzie, the candidate for 1B09. I hope I can answer your question about why you should vote FOR me. I plan to communicate with the residents of the neighborhood, whether electronically or in person. I plan to hold monthly meetings with residents, so that I can let people know what is going on in the rest of the ANC, how it might affect us, and listen to issues and concerns people might have. I have already spoken to several organizations about where I can hold these meetings, and how best to include everyone who would like to attend.

Additionally, I plan to work with Commissioners both within our ANC as well as from other districts, so that we can address issues together, in a united way. A portion of 1B09 borders ANC 1A, and I think it's important to have a good working relationship with all representatives.

Most importantly, I will work hard. The position of commissioner isnÂ’t about what I want for the neighborhood. ItÂ’s about what we all want, as residents and neighbors, and I am committed to working towards those goals. I am excited to meet more of my neighbors, and work towards the common goal of a neighborhood of which we can all be proud to call our home.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at

by Lauren McKenzie on Nov 1, 2010 4:19 pm • linkreport


I have known Lauren McKenzie for many years. I understand that me simply saying “trust me on this one” isn't a compelling enough argument, so allow me to elaborate. Lauren is wholly and completely in love with DC. She stays in tune with what is happening in DC through any means available to her; talking to neighbors, blogs, neighborhood meetings, newspapers, etc. If I want to know what is happening with an abandoned building, I go to her. If there is a rumor about a new store or event I get the details from Lauren. I guess you could say that Lauren has been my personal ANC rep. Anon2, I don’t know what you want from your ANC rep, but if you are like me you want someone who cares about your neighborhood and making it stronger and safer. You want someone who will listen to her neighbors concerns and bring them up at meetings. I’ve seen good ANCs and bad. The good ones have members who have clear channels for communication. They show up to meetings with ideas and their neighbor’s opinions and concerns in tow. Lauren will do those things. She will keep the community informed about what is happening in their neighborhood and she will be their voice on the ANC. Honestly, isn’t that all you can ask of a representative?

by Mike on Nov 1, 2010 4:39 pm • linkreport

This is ANC1B08 Candidate Ahnna Smith.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to provide some additional information about my qualifications and involvement in the community; information that in no way can be summed up by the fact that I was (years ago) a Teach For America teacher.

I currently work in education policy and have extensive involvement with DCPS, the public charter schools (one of which is in my single member district), the non-profit community (especially around family and youth issues), the department of transportation, real estate development with regard to issues around old school buildings, and most importantly my neighbors.

While in no way do I want to detract from the contributions of my opponent, there is a clear divide in our neighborhood between those who have been here a significant number of years, and those, like me, who are newer to the community. My opponent has done nothing to bridge this gap and advocate for the ENTIRE community. This is something I will work hard to do.

I've spent a great deal of time knocking on doors and speaking with my neighbors about what they want in a representative. More often than not I have heard that they want someone who communicates to and with them about important issues affecting our area, and they want someone who is accessible. These are both areas of strength I will bring to this role.

I can be reached at with any additional questions your readers may have.

Thank you.

by Ahnna Smith on Nov 1, 2010 4:52 pm • linkreport

Dear GGW,

Please allow me to present another perspective on your report and evaluation of politics in Mt Pleasant. Sorry that a single judgment of yours takes a while to tease out its main, and I believe unexamined, assumptions.

First, thanks for your kind words about me and some of ANC 1D's proposals for study.

Threatening Plans?

Almost none of the proposals were an endorsement of a specific plan. Instead, they were almost always to invite discussion, build community, and see what areas of common concern could be made.

Let me suggest that you may have been taken in by those who rightly are defensive about DC agencies' insincere Public Participation. Too often they offer one scheme, claim consensus based on a few meetings with narrow outreach, and next to no follow-up to see what new ideas and narrowing of differences might have occurred.

Really open & broad participation

In the MtP ANC (1D) , most ideas for substantial improvements have been discussed at a series of meeting, often with outside experts. Most of these meetings have had large attendance based on strong efforts to bring in all major demographics.

Those used to Traditional DC politics have had good reason to jump to a false conclusion that an inquiry is just a false face on manipulation to manufacture "consensus".


ANC 1D used to operate that way. Shortly after I was first elected, I was able to convince my colleagues to change their ways:

The secret meetings of the Executive Cme were abolished, so that all agenda items were discussed in public.

All commission related discussion , and thus correspondence or emails reachable by DC's Freedom of Information Act, were posted immediately on line, immediately ready to read.

Simultaneous translation/interpretation in both English and Spanish was established so everybody coming to meetings could understand and participate.

Of four hours in two monthly meetings, usually three are spent in public discussion, with the public and commissioners both timed and alloted only three minutes each. The time slots go round robin so there is equal opportunity to speak for all. Before, some activists would dominate the discussion by interrupting and taking most turns, or speaking at greater length.

Everybody can check on what is said, because the meetings are recorded, and the audios are posted for free download. Those who claim unfairness can check their facts of equal opportunity before complaining they weren't listened to.

A projector is provided so talks can be illustrated, and discussions on revisions followed by everybody.

Anybody can introduce a resolution at anytime, so long as they find just one commissioner out of six that will introduce it. Submissions are immediately public on the internet, including whether they find a sponsor. Compiled agendas are updated frequently.

I think, because of equal opportunity and many occasions to present, the harsh bickering I saw before 2005 largely disappeared. When the inevitable differences of opinion and personal culture occurred, the indisputable record of of miscarriages became public and documented.

Rationality is all about ratios, so about compared to what

As reported in a study of local planning groups around the USA that are similar to ANCs (Brookings: The Rebirth of Urban Democracy), there are some major problems seen in essentially all .

For example, neighbors in the top fifth of Socio-Economic Status tend to dominate all local politcs, leaving the others daunted and unrepresented. Perhaps that's why ethical codes for public participation require active outreach to all major groups, and consideration of alternative schemes and their consequences of the real diversity of groups.

In MtP, almost all of the civics are rooted in the about 850 town-houses. Including our many condos, the last census found owners represented about 24% of households. As seen around the world, this group is used to running local politics. Because of the high cost of these houses, and the filter morgage eligibility places on entry, typically their incomes are five to ten time greater than the other 76%.

The Office of Planning (OP) has observed that MtP has the most divergent of demographics in DC. No wonder that their priorities are often so different.

One obvious difference in culture: The one or two civics rooted mostly in apartment folk tend to run their meetings much more openly and informally that the other civics.

For example, Mt Main St generally does not publish its meetings, does not operate them in public, does not public its minutes. It's outreach with other civics is limited, and often there are charges of irregularities. It was decertified as a Main St by the DC government for failing to meet the terms of its grants.

Your assessment that my inquiries threaten "progress on ... improvements" is probably a true report of the emotions of the allies of MPMS since they naturally have different priorities and seldom outreach to the majority of MtP's population.

Different visions

Once MtP redistricting removed twenty years of gerrymandering in 2002, the ANC's democratically elected reps from single member districts better represented the majority population and the divergences of MtP. So, of course, as the top SES folk often observe, there are two quite different visions of the future for MtP. Progress towards one future could be a setback for proponents of the other.

Neighborhoods can take very different paths. Not all improve by mass dislocation of lower SES populations. The alternative is to support a large number of local businesses that, when successful, will create a large number of local jobs and a walkable neighborhood with a much greener and lower cost environment.

To a considerable degree, gentrification is not inevitable, but a matter of choice. Practically, progress can be achieved in more than one way. In fact, social costs decrease and income taxes increase in the economic, now usually creatives-based, enclaves in areas who shift their economics from commuter premium consumption to local enterprise.

In another way the two paths, to over-simplify, are not equal. The creative green locality needs the co-existence of high SES workers to survive, and so depends on hybrid diversity. The commuter, premium consumption locality needs to displace away the often uncomfortable affronts to their manners occasioned by the lower SES's. This discomfort is serious: It lowers property values. I've heard estimates that property values in MtP will double once the Progress of displacement is complete. Briefly, one path needs diversity, the other needs to suppress it.

Culture wars

The discomfort is not purely a matter of economic status: Perhaps more discomforting are the sometimes wealthy eccentrics who find in hybrid localities protection from the conformist social pressures of the MTPs (the Dept of Labor category for Managerial Technical Professionals). Cleaning out the eccentrics has a price: Their inventions and creative works, as well documented since Jane Jacobs, is the primary source of value creation in great cities.

Everybody has seen news reports on what happens to dissidents abroad, seldom thinking that the same dynamics occurs naturally right under their nose. As the Iron Rule of Oligarchy takes hold in groups the tone of social pressure changes through phases: Annoying, troubling, disrupting, polarizing, a threat to social functioning, a blight on progress. Ignoring any principled behavior, personalization intensifies: inexperienced, awkward, socially tone deaf, neurotic, mentally ill, needs isolation to protect the self and society, must be put away. (The Iron Rule goes like this: It's an iron rule that oligarchies emerge and strengthen. Oligarchies enforce rules with iron.)

Unless sanctioned, ANCs are ignored

The Brookings study uncovered a real surprise. ANC-like local planning groups in no case worked without personal sanctions on government management when they ignored the legal mandates to give the equivalent of "Great Weight". In all other cases, the ANC-likes were ignored.

Why? Perhaps because it's inconvenient to deal with diversity and creativity. And, perhaps because the agency management and MTP share a common culture and sense of what is practical progress. For example, the head of DC Transportation wrote that his agency ignores the ANC because democracy has not worked, and his agency knows who the real community is, and who represents them. (Many of his managers live in Mt Pleasant, so their politics is easily grafted on that of dDoT.)

In any case, DC lacks the needed formal sanctions, so the only recourse is first warning then eventually shaming agency execs for not following the law.

The empire strikes back

Again, when sanctions to force compliance functioned, the Brookings study found that the top SES groups were mighty mad. Typically, they just intensified their lobbying behind the scenes using what MtP civics call "Traditional Politics" of group pressure on "dissidents".

Other studies observe strong differences in the type of politics used between the MTPs and the others. Those used to holding power prefer covert irrational forms of traditional politics. Those championing either innovation or popular inclusion are forced into very public and rational or even legalistic challenges to the established order.

Greater Greater Washington - Really?

These kinds of choices, rooting in the gut reactions of ordinary folks, represent different degrees and dimensions of culture. There're worth some self-reflection because of their large consequences on huge numbers of people - their life-quality, their energy efficiency, income levels, family structure, levels of education, and the fate of regions. Let me suggest that these choices help determine whether Greater Washington as a collection of neighborhoods, will become greater, or merely richer as its empire waxes.

Gregg Edwards

by Gregg on Nov 1, 2010 6:59 pm • linkreport

Returning to the B109 questions regarding Lauren McKensie, I appreciate the responses from Lauren and other supporters. But, I guess neither of these gives me any sense of Lauren's point of view on issues that concern me or her connection to my neighborhood.

What is Lauren's education? Where does she work? What is her experience in my community.

by anon2 on Nov 1, 2010 7:52 pm • linkreport

@anon2 - good for you for wanting to vote FOR someone - come to community meetings, meet her. And vote FOR her! I have on both counts.

Rastegar doesn't even live here anymore - she has lied repeatedly to get into this race. And the funniest part is (funny sad, not funny ha-ha), she rants about gentrification on her facebook page. The quote is still up - see the previous post from Dave. And yeah, she is white and going to university. What a clown.

Let's do ourselves a big favor in 1B09 and vote for Lauren McKenzie

by J on Nov 1, 2010 9:51 pm • linkreport


"(I'm not sure how getting rid of the historic 42 bus line would be a good thing for the neighborhood. Other than making it less accessible for those of us that actually are walking and biking and taking transit in the neighborhood.)"

That's the kind of absurd distortion that certain people have used to try to discredit the ANC's suggestions. No one has ever proposed "getting rid of" the 42 bus. In fact, one of my first undertakings was to keep the 42 in Mount Pleasant, opposing a newbie resident who demanded that it be shifted over to Columbia Heights.

I've never proposed that the 42 bus be eliminated. The ANC has never even thought of such a thing, and would certainly never support such a proposal. Where do you come up with such pernicious notions?

by Jack on Nov 2, 2010 9:42 am • linkreport

"Old Media" may be boring, but at least they go through the trouble of interviewing candidates before posting endorsements. This is just sloppy commentary.

by Josh on Nov 2, 2010 11:59 am • linkreport

RT Akimobni in ANC 1bo8 needs to be voted out. She sided with a corner store that was illegally selling singles even though they never had a license to do that. She did not back the community when we took them ABRA for a hearing. They also had sopped paying rent on their space and luckily the owner of the building was able to evict them. She is clueless in meetings. Vote Annah

by Fairmonter on Nov 2, 2010 12:01 pm • linkreport

I personally invite GGW to the meeting of ANC 1a on Nov. 10.

by 1a09 on Nov 2, 2010 2:56 pm • linkreport

Seems to me also that such endorsement "editorials" ought to be signed, not anonymous. Who at GGW is really responsible for these selections?

by Jack on Nov 2, 2010 4:31 pm • linkreport

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