The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.

Posts about ANC

Politics


Here's who won the ANC races near you

If you are a DC voter, you (hopefully) voted for an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner on Tuesday night to represent your neighborhood. Maybe you even used our endorsements as a guide! Here are the results of the 50 ANC races where Greater Greater Washington endorsed a candidate.


ANC candidate Scott Davies used our endorsement post for his campaign sign! Photo by Daniel Warwick.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) are hyper-local elected bodies. Compared to many other candidates you voted for on Tuesday, ANCs have almost no formal authority. In fact, as advisory bodies, officially they are pretty powerless. But when it comes to the decisions about the look and feel of your neighborhood, ANCs hold a lot of sway with zoning, preservation, liquor licensing, transportation, and other agencies and boards.

This election, Greater Greater Washington embarked on an unprecedented effort to engage and inform voters about ANC candidates. With 299 ANC seats in contest across the city, we crowdsourced a candidate questionnaire to ask questions about issues that mattered to each neighborhood. We sent this out to the over 380 known candidates running and received over 200 responses. Finally, we asked our readers to weigh in and then chose to endorse 50 candidates in contested races across all eight wards. We also endorsed several write-in candidates. All of that work is catalogued here.

While we are still waiting for the results from write-in candidates, here is how the 50 contested races turned out:

ANCOur endorseeWinnerWon by # votes
1A01Valarie BaronValarie Baron146
1A07Darwain FrostSharon Farmer164
1A10Amanda FrostRashida Brown230
1B01Jonathan GoldmanAnita Norman537
1D01Jon StewartJon Stewart177
1D02Paul KarrerPaul Karrer139
1D03Benjamin MannJack McKay136
2A03Marco GuzmanMarco Guzman92
2B05Teal BakerRandy Downs149
2B09Scott DaviesScott Davies425
2E03Greg MillerRick Murphy204
2F01Jason FormanJason Forman140
2F03Alex GrahamAlex Graham57
3C05Emma HershEmma Hersh203
3C08Chaz RotenbergMalia Brink326
3C09Bob WardNancy MacWood279
3D02Troy KravitzTroy Kravitz45
4A04Patience SingletonPatience Singleton162
4B06Natalee SniderNatalee Snider346
4B07James Gaston IIIJudi Jones61
4C01Charlotte NugentCharlotte Nugent325
4D06Amy HemingwayAmy Hemingway451
5A03Will GeeKeisha Cofield-Lynch335
5A08Gordon-Andrew FletcherGordon-Andrew Fletcher50
5B03Henri MakembeHenri Makembe112
5C02Carlos Dennis DavisKevin Mullone48
5C04Sumner Shaw, Jr.Jacqueline Manning278
5D03Adam RobertsJames Butler81
5E03Hannah R. PowellHannah Powell251
5E10Michael HendersonNancy "Darlene" Jones118
6A05Yair InspektorPatrick Malone260
6A06Stephanie ZimnyStephanie Zimny394
6D01Gail FastGail Fast140
6D02Cara Lea ShockleyCara Lea Shockley602
6D05Katelynd MahoneyRoger Moffat129
6E01Alexander "Alex" PadroAlex Padro244
6E04Lily RobertsLily Roberts435
7B01Debra WalkerDebra Walker34
7B05Villareal "VJ" JohnsonRobin Marlin104
7B07Jimmie WilliamsD.L. Humphrey41
7C05Joseph ThomasMary Gaffney192
7D01Bob CoomberBob Coomber2
7D04Cinque CulverJo-Anne Prue289
7E04Myron SmithTakiyah Tate73
7E06Dontrell SmithDontrell Smith59
7F01Maria (Mafe) JacksonTyrell Holcomb135
8A05LaTasha Nicole GunnelsTravon Hawkins203
8A06Greta FullerGreta Fuller41
8B06Diag DavenportMitchell Hawkins III378
8C01Kristal KnightKaren "Coach" Lucas30

Congratulations to the winners and all the candidates who ran this year. Involved and committed citizens like you are how democracy works.

Remember, Greater Greater Washington only endorsed candidates in competitive races this year (read about our full process here). If you want to see who won for your ANC, check out the DC Board of Elections website and read about the winner's views at our ANC page, which includes the responses from everyone who answered our questionnaire.

A couple of key races to note

In ANC 3D (Palisades) long-time commissioner Tom Smith, infamous to many for obstructionism in the area, was unseated by challenger and GGWash endorsee Troy Kravitz by a narrow margin of 45 votes. Kravitz will have his work cut out for him on the ANC. If you live in the area, make sure to connect with Kravitz and support his work to change ANC 3D's culture and bring positive improvements to the neighborhood.

Farther east, in ANC 1D (Mount Pleasant), three people were running against incumbents in races that partially revolved around whether to add a playground on some public land. GGWash endorsed the challengers, and two of the three, Paul Karrer and Jon Stewart both won by solid margins. We are excited to see what ANC 1D is able to accomplish for the neighborhood!

In Brookland, Henri Makembe won a seat in 5B, an area that has had some strong opposition to changes in the neighborhood of late. Henri seemed like a much more positive and forward thinking candidate, and we are hopeful about his addition to the ANC.

Finally, in 7E Dontrell Smith pulled off an impressive feat, winning by 59 votes in a three-way race that included incumbent Lakeshia Lloyd-Lee. He is will join another newcomer, Ebbon Allen, who we also like a lot (we didn't endorse here because he was in an uncontested race). This could be an exciting time for neighbors in 7E,

By the numbers

Of the 50 candidates Greater Greater Washington endorsed this election, 25 won their races.

Some GGWash candidates won by close margins. We were very happy to see that in seven of the ten closest races where the victor won by less than 60 votes, GGWash endorsees won their seat. It doesn't take much to tip many ANC elections. One dramatic case is in 7D01, where GGWash endorsee Bob Coomber won by just 2 votes.

See, we told you, your votes really count in these local elections!

Other races weren't as close. Out of the 25 races our endorsed candidates won, seven were won by over 300 votes - a high margin for an ANC contest. Cara Lea Shockley stood out with a pronounced victory in 6D02, winning by 602 votes.

How did incumbents do?

ANC commissioners serve two-year terms without pay, and the position is a lot of work, It is not uncommon for a commissioner to step away from the position after one or more terms. In the 50 races we analyzed and endorsed, 30 had an incumbent on the ballot.

On Tuesday night, the story of incumbents really depended on your neighborhood. For example, in the Ward 5 races we analyzed incumbents did particularly poorly: 5/8 races had an incumbent running and only one won. This suggests a real appetite for change throughout this ward.

The opposite was true in Ward 6, where 4/7 races we analyzed included an incumbent and all four defended their seats. Seems like residents in Ward 6 are generally okay with the direction of their neighborhoods!

Finally, Ward 7 had an incredibly high number of contested seats and candidates this year. What is more, incumbents remained on the ballot in 8 out of the 9 races we focused on. In this case, half of the incumbents held their positions, while the other half were beaten by challengers.

Our endorsements included eight incumbents this year throughout the entire city, and four won reelection. On the other hand, GGWash candidates unseated 10 incumbents this year in different neighborhoods. We hope these candidates bring about some positive changes in your area soon.

What's next

We will publish another post when write-in candidate results are available, as we did endorse a few candidates for empty seats this year where no one was on the official ballot.

Of course, there are a number of fantastic commissioners out there that we did not endorse simply because they were in uncontested races this year. We are excited that these commissioners will be joined by our 25 winning endorsees, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside ANCs across DC to make our city greater.

Greater Greater Washington's endorsements are made possible because of financial support from our readers. Our 501(c)(4) nonprofit status enables us to bring you information and analysis about political candidates, but this work is not supported by our foundation grants. If you found this year's ANC or other endorsements a valuable service, please consider making a donation today.

Politics


Tuesday is election day. Here's a recap of our endorsements.

Tomorrow is election day, one of our single biggest opportunities to make the Washington DC region even greater. Please vote! If you didn't vote early and are headed to the polls tomorrow, here's a recap of our recommendations on how to vote.


Photo by Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin on Flickr.

Where to vote

Not sure where your polling place is? Plug your home address into Google's voting tool, and it will tell you your polling place, your voting and ID requirements, and a pretty good roundup of what will be on your ballot:

Our (non-ANC) endorsements

Over the past several weeks, GGWash has released its official endorsements for a number of races. Per reader request, here they all are again, in one easy place to reference (or share).

We recommend area voters choose:

  • Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for President
  • David Grosso and Robert White for DC Council at large
  • Mary Lord for DC State Board of Education
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton for DC Delegate
  • For DC's statehood referendum
  • LuAnn Bennett and Don Beyer for Congress in Virginia
  • John Delaney and Jamie Raskin for Congress in Maryland
  • For the Prince George's at-large council seat proposal
  • Against Montgomery County term limits
Read our rationales and more details on these races here.

ANC endorsements

Are you a DC resident but unsure of which race you vote in? Use ANCfinder.org to find out.

To determine this year's ANC endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and recommended endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

A note about ANC candidates noted as write-in: because they completed our survey long after we began to publish our endorsements (with the exceptions of Eve Zhurbinskiy and Nicole Cacozza, who submitted in early September), candidates had the opportunity to review our analyses before submitting their responses. While they had that advantage, we do believe our endorsed candidates would make for great commissioners and deserve your write-in vote.

ANCs Ward 1

 

ANCs Ward 2

 

ANCs Ward 3

 

ANCs Ward 4

 

ANCs Ward 5

 

ANCs Ward 6

 

ANCs Ward 7

 

ANCs Ward 8

 

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote—every vote—really counts. This is especially true for write-in candidates, whose biggest challenge is simply getting enough people to remember their name when they go to the ballot box.

Politics


Our endorsements for write-in ANC candidates

There are 20 Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats this year with no one on the ballot: no candidate registered before this summer's deadline. Write-in candidates for eight of those empty seats filled out our candidate questionnaire. Here are their responses and our endorsements.


If there is no one on the ballot for your ANC seat, you can still write someone in! Photo by Michael Rosenstein on Flickr.

Last week we wrote about the 20 ANC races this year with no candidate on the ballot. We asked any write-in candidates already out there to get in touch and take our survey so we could evaluate their stances on issues we care about. Eleven candidates answered the call, and we've collected their responses here.

After reviewing all responses, we found eight we'd like to endorse for write-in candidates. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, please consider writing these names in! Without their name printed on the ballot, these candidates need all the help and exposure they can get.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote—every vote—really counts. This is especially true for write-in candidates, whose biggest challenge is simply getting enough people to remember their name when they go to the ballot box.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.


Howard University. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

In Ward 1, we endorse John Cochrane, Nicole Cacozza, Albert Lang, and Ryan Strom

Many write-in candidates from Ward 1 completed our survey. Two answered from ANC 1B, which includes the neighborhoods of Pleasant Plains, LeDroit Park, and U Street. We wrote about some of the key neighborhood issues there in our earlier endorsement post.

One empty seat this election is ANC 1B06, the area stretching west from Cardozo High School. For this district, we think you should write-in John Cochrane.

Cochrane had clear ideas for where new housing could go in his neighborhood, in particular pointing out some "surface lots that are screaming to be re-purposed along 14th Street." He had specific recommendations for bike and pedestrian improvements throughout the area, and when asked about possibly removing street parking for better bus service said he was "inclined to tip... towards better bus service" if all else were equal.

To the east, Nicole Cacozza was the only candidate we heard from in ANC 1B10. This area includes some residential areas near Howard University and McMillan Reservoir.

Cacozza is excited about what is in store for her neighborhood: "As we can see from the renovations and construction on Georgia Avenue, our neighborhood is already changing into what it could be in 20 years. While the promise of new businesses and apartments is exciting, I think that the best thing for the neighborhood is to preserve a balance of livability and open space alongside the development that is already occurring."

She is supportive of adding more housing and bike lanes in the area, and approves the current dedicated bus lane on Georgia Avenue, saying she supports "extending it further north into my district."

Full disclosure: Nicole also volunteers as one of our Breakfast Links curators, so of course we are excited to support her in this goal!


Adams Morgan. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

There are two candidates we want to endorse in Adams Morgan's ANC 1C, which is great because as you might have read in our previous post, originally we did not have any candidates in competitive races to endorse there.

ANC 1C01 is generally the area south of Wyoming Avenue between Columbia Road and 18th Street—the southwestern edge of Adams Morgan. Here we support Albert Lang.

When asked how he would address public safety in the area, Lang says the issue goes "hand in hand with flourishing businesses and additional housing," that "more people living in the area means more people patronizing business means more people around," which makes the area safer. He is also strongly supports the redevelopment of the SunTrust bank, and says there "is no reason in today's world that the process should be so drawn out and contentious".

Farther north in the upper part of Lanier Heights lies ANC 1C05, and here we endorse Ryan Strom as a write-in candidate.

Strom's answer to our question about the SunTrust bank is incredibly in tune with how many feel about this ongoing controversy:

I think there is a small minority of residents who are set in how the neighborhood should look and feel. I look around at my changing neighborhood and see progress. The 18th street streetscape, the Ontario Theater building's renovation, the historic hotel's construction to name a few. All of these have increased retail, foot traffic, housing values and residents in such a great urban mixed-use neighborhood; this is exactly why this is my favorite section of the city. The Sun Trust Plaza redevelopment is simply a continuation of such work.
...I think many residents fear that increased construction would destroy their way of life in their neighborhood, but in reality it simply seeks to improve it offering more. More retail, more restaurant options, more amenities and offering these services to more people to enjoy. The ANC should of course seek to balance many things, but the ANC should not be exclusionary in its mission or view itself as protecting the status quo to the detriment of all others.
Well said.

On affordable housing, Strom is also frustrated that "the ANC has not been... pushing affordable housing as a benefit they want to see developers offer." Instead, the commission has used "its political clout (and successfully) to limit the buildings scope/design and size" and not used its energy and "clout to increase affordable housing." Additionally, Strom is in favor of better connecting bike lanes across the area, and is supportive of improving bus infrastructure.

We received a response from another write-in candidate in this race: Ron Baker. Ron has been a long time advocate for the area and was instrumental in organizing opposition to the downzoning in Lanier Heights that unfortunately passed earlier this year. Based on the two candidates' responses to our survey, we decided to endorse Strom here, but it is great that two strong candidates have stepped forward to fill this empty seat!


George Washington University. Photo by Ken Lund on Flickr.

In Ward 2, we endorse Eve Zhurbinskiy

Incumbent Eve Zhurbinskiy is looking for a second term as commissioner for 2A08, and we think that's a good idea. Her SMD encompasses George Washington University and the area directly east along Pennsylvania Avenue; read here to learn about the issues affecting neighbors there.

When asked about addressing homelessness in the neighborhood, Zhurbinskiy has a host of ideas, many of which she developed while serving on the Foggy Bottom Association's Homelessness Task Force. She says she "will continue to work to identify neighborhood projects related to ending homelessness that qualify for grant funding from the ANC."

Zhurbinskiy also had a number of successes in her first term on everything from improving policing to pedestrian improvements in the ANC. All of this on top of being a student at George Washington! We hope voters nearby grant her a second term.


Cleveland Park. Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

In Ward 3, we endorse Beau Finley and Michael Sriqui

Just east of the Cleveland Park Metro Station is 3C04, part of an ANC where there are a number of pressing issues this election.

We think Beau Finley is a good candidate to fill this seat. Finley is fully supportive of the homeless shelter proposed nearby, saying "homelessness is a city-wide issue in need of multiple city-wide solutions, with each Ward doing its part."

He is also excited about the chance to "reimagine Woodley Park" with the development at Wardman Park. He understands that there are many issues to be addressed with such an influx of new residents, but ultimately that "redevelopment cannot be rejected or concessioned into abandonment simply because it would upset the status quo."

We think Finley's reasonable and positive responses reveal a good candidate for this ANC.

To the west is the Palisades neighborhood, part of ANC 3D and an area we wrote about here. The westernmost corner of this commission is 3D04, and write-in candidate Michael Sriqui looks like a solid choice for that neighborhood.

Sriqui wants the ANC to focus less on the small disagreements and issues between themselves and American University, and instead reiterate "the general benefits having a major college campus brings to a neighborhood." He also believes through experience that "[w]e can have growth, promote housing policies that better reflect our professed progressive values, and maintain the leafy, residential character of our neighborhoods without much sacrifice."

He has clear ideas for improving bike infrastructure, and sees clear opportunities for better bus service that would only affect un-zoned parking. Finally, Sriqui shares his frustration with the obstructionist past of his ANC: "There is little, beside irrational fear of change, to suggest that empty store fronts, lightly used parking lots, and 'historic' garages promote the bucolic vision supposedly behind always saying 'no' to development."

We hope Sriqui will be a part of a real culture change in ANC 3D and encourage neighbors to write him in.


Takoma Metro station. Photo by art around on Flickr.

In Ward 4, we endorse Tanya Topolewski

Finally, we received two responses from write-in candidates in Ward 4, specifically for the Takoma-area ANC 4B which we discussed in this post. For the empty ballot on 4B02, the neighborhood along Piney Branch Road just south of the Takoma Metro station, we support Tanya Topolewski.

Topolewski is "a strong supporter of development at Metro stations, including Takoma's." In particular, we really liked her thoughts about the controversial elements of this redevelopment plan, namely that parking should be limited and that rather than get upset about height, neighbors should instead focus on "how any building works on the ground level," encouraging walkable spaces and retail.

She has grand visions for increased development along Georgia Avenue, saying "it's time to make sure that it becomes a place people want to be with great urban design emphasizing welcoming sidewalk space," something she has thought a lot about while serving on ANC 4B's Design Review Committee. She supports the dog park in the area and sees many opportunities for growth throughout the neighborhood within existing zoning.

Another write-in candidate responded to our survey for this ANC: Jaime Willis. We liked a lot of what Willis had to say, and it's great that this district has so many informed and positive neighbors who want to get involved in their ANC! In the end, we endorsed Topolewski based on her experience and in-depth responses.

Want to read the responses of all of the write-in candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF here. You can also see the responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page.

A note about all of these write-in candidates: because they completed our survey long after we began to publish our endorsements (with the exceptions of Eve Zhurbinskiy and Nicole Cacozza, who submitted in early September), candidates had the opportunity to review our analyses before submitting their responses. While they had that advantage, we do believe our endorsed candidates would make for great commissioners and deserve your write-in vote.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and recommended endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 8

The southern half of DC's area east of the Anacostia River, Ward 8 contains neighborhoods such as Historic Anacostia, Barry Farm, Congress Heights, and Shipley Terrace. It has DC's highest unemployment and poverty, but also some beautiful parks, historic buildings, and a few terrific candidates for Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Here are four that deserve your vote.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote, every vote, really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 8, we chose four candidates to endorse. You can read their positions for yourself here, along with responses of many unopposed candidates.


Anacostia's famous Big Chair. Photo by David Clow on Flickr.

In ANC 8A, we endorse LaTasha Gunnels and Greta Fuller

Historic Anacostia is the heart of ANC 8A. Forming the southern shoreline of the Anacostia River, this ANC runs diagnonally north from the Anacostia Metro Station towards Pennsylvania Avenue.

The proposed 11th Street Bridge Park is big news for these neighborhoods, as the bridge will add recreational options and strengthen connections across the river; even though it's not yet built, the bridge is already bringing increased investment and change to the area.

The continued development of the Martin Luther King Jr. corridor is also an issue to highlight, along with the ongoing debate of how to incorporate the right mix of market rate and affordable housing into the neighborhoods: neighbors often feel that Ward 8 is asked to house disproportionate amounts of social services and supportive housing compared to other wards.

Finally, to the south of the ANC lies Barry Farm (also often called Barry Farms), a large and aging public housing complex slated for redevelopment. There are mixed feelings about the proposed plans; many are wary of displacement and broken promises here, while others say the changes are welcome.

Directly in the center of this ANC is ANC 8A05, home to the historic Frederick Douglass Home. LaTasha Gunnels won our endorsement in this race.

Gunnels wants to "preserve and restore" many of the historic buildings in her area, but also is supportive of diverse types of new housing that would "ensure that long (time) residents can continue to live in our community, while at the same time attracting new residents, businesses and retail to our neighborhood. A great way to measure balance is having a community where residents of all income levels have the opportunity to rent or buy."

She is hopeful about the proposals included in the 11th Street Bridge Park project, and supports using "build-first" principles when redeveloping Barry Farm. That way, the redevelopment happens in sections and current residents can move into a new section before their homes are demolished.

On transit, Gunnels is enthusiastic. Where should bike lanes and pedestrian improvements go in ANC 8A? "Everywhere! Goal is to have a transit-rich neighborhood." Sounds great!

Nearby and to the west is 8A06, which includes the parkland along Poplar Point. This is a heavily contested race, with four candidates running for outgoing commissioner Tina Fletcher's seat. Two of the candidates responded our questionnaire, and between them we think Greta Fuller is the best choice.

Fuller believes that a "mixed income community would jump start the recovery of 8A," that "there should be a balance of affordable and market rate housing," and that some "of the development should also target home ownership." She too is "very hopeful" that the plans at the 11th Street Bridge Park "will allow current residents [to] be here to enjoy the new development."

She has "fought for over 10 years to have new sidewalks in the community" and "actively lobbied for bike share in the community." Fuller seems like a solid choice for commissioner here.

The only other candidate to complete our survey for this race was Jason Anderson, whose answers were generally short and unhelpful. When asked where he would encourage new housing to be built, his response: "In another Ward." What should the neighborhood look like in 20 years, and how will he work towards that vision? All he said was "Clean"; to help, he would "start cleaning." We hope you give Fuller your vote.


View from Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Photo by Eric Fidler on Flickr.

In ANC 8B, we endorse Diag Davenport

Southeast of Anacostia are the neighborhoods of Fort Stanton, Woodland, and Buena Vista, all of which sit in the narrow and dense ANC 8B. Besides the ongoing controversy at nearby Barry Farm, residents here want to know what commissioners hope to do about the Skyland Town Center, which until this year was the proposed site of one of the withdrawn Walmarts. Public safety is also a key concern.

For ANC 8B06, which runs along the Maryland border south of Suitland Parkway, we like Diag Davenport.

Davenport acknowledges that current residents at Barry Farm "deserve transparency and certainty about their housing future, which has not been accomplished in the past." He is "[i]n concept... a proponent of the notion of redeveloping Barry Farms to increase total housing units, increase home quality for all, and disrupt the high concentration of lower-income families. All these goals should have positive effects, if achieved responsibly."

To take on public safety Davenport wants to engage youth directly with ANC-sponsored programs, as well as work alongside the Metropolitan Police Department. Overall, he seems to be a positive and inclusive candidate.

Opponent Mitchell Hawkins III seems like a reasonable candidate as well, but in the end we were less convinced by his answers on housing and transportation and decided to give our support to Davenport.


St. Elizabeths. Photo by hellomarkers! on Flickr.

In ANC 8C, we endorse Kristal Knight

Following the bend in the Anacostia River and including Congress Heights, Barry Farm, and parts of Bolling Air Force Base, ANC 8C is a large area with a number of controversial projects underway within it.

One is the aforementioned Barry Farm redevelopment on the northeastern corner of the ANC. Another is the St. Elizabeths campus. Here, among other long-promised developments, plans for a Wizards and Mystics practice facility and stadium are underway. While the proposal promises to bring jobs, revitalization and development to the area, many have balked at the growing price tag.

Finally, terrible conditions and alleged abuse by landlords has sparked investigations at a series of apartment complexes near the Congress Heights Metro station. WMATA has considered selling nearby land here for future development, and given the proximity to both St. Elizabeths and the Metro station, the area is poised for change.

8C01 covers areas south of St. Elizabeths and a large swath of the Air Force base. For this seat, we think Kristal Knight would make a good commissioner.

Knight is supportive of the plans at St. Elizabeths and eager for the "countless new opportunities for residents" it will bring. She says that the "redevelopment of Barry Farms is well overdue," but demands "clear and actionable answers on the city's plan to provide for temporary housing for displaced residents and for when they return post-redevelopment."

When asked about the changes coming to Congress Heights area, Knight is reflective: "As a homeowner, I understand my taxes may rise, the dynamics of my neighborhood may change and some of my neighbors may be forced to move away due to rising housing costs. I am not settled with any of these potential effects. I am also concerned about what Congress Heights will become without thoughtful community revitalization; a place without access to quality and fresh food options, new employment opportunities; rising crime and the potential deterioration of property value."

In the end, Knight vows that "intentional policy making can assure longtime residents will still be here to enjoy the fruits of redevelopment instead of [being] displaced by them."

Knight says she wants "to attract more for Ward 8 residents" as commissioner, and also has specific recommendations for more bike lanes in the area.

Opponent Karen Lucas also responded to our questionnaire with detailed and well-thought out responses. While we agreed with Lucas on some areas, her stances on bike lanes ("NO BIKE LANES") and removing street parking for better bus service ("ABSOLUTELY NOT") were hard for us to swallow. We encourage you to support Knight with your vote this election.


Bolling Air Force Base. Photo by F Delventhal on Flickr.

In ANC 8D, there are no contested races. In ANC 8E, we aren't endorsing anyone.

The southern tip of DC is ANC 8D, and ANC 8E follows Southern Avenue north from there along the Maryland border.

In 8D, as per our endorsement process outlined here, we didn't offer endorsements because there are no contested races there. In 8E there is only one contested race, and based on candidate responses we did not have enough information to make a confident endorsement.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 8 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 8. You can also read about all 8 wards at our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, where you'll find links to our endorsements, our analysis, and all candidate responses.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 3

Separated from most of the city by Rock Creek Park, Ward 3 is the western corner of the District. Known for both its beautiful neighborhoods and wealthy enclaves, the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions here have seen lots of bitter arguments over new development and change. Many Ward 3 candidates responded to our survey, and we chose four to endorse.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote—every vote—really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 3, we chose four candidates to endorse. You can read their positions for yourself here, along with responses of many unopposed candidates.


Cleveland Park. Photo by Payton Chung on Flickr.

In ANC 3C, we endorse Emma Hersh, Chaz Rotenberg, and Bob Ward

The National Zoo, the Naval Observatory, the National Cathedral; all of these are inside the boundaries of ANC 3C. Three major thoroughfares—Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Wisconsin Avenues—cut through this ANC, and it includes the neighborhoods of Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, and a portion of Cathedral Heights.

Today there are a couple of headline-grabbing issues involving this area. One is the proposed homeless shelter in Ward 3. There has been tremendous debate about this shelter's location since Mayor Bowser announced her plan to close the DC General shelter earlier this year and replace it with new ones in all eight wards. A group of residents close to where Ward 3's is supposed to go up have filed a lawsuit to try and halt construction.

Another contentious topic is the redevelopment of the Wardman Park Hotel, a large site that could be home to many DC residents if redeveloped into housing, but which has met a lot of neighborhood resistance and now has an uncertain future.

Finally, we asked all candidates about their priorities for the ongoing Comprehensive Plan amendment process, and how they envisioned their neighborhood accommodating more housing for incoming residents.

Perhaps because of the many hot-button issues in and around this ANC, there are a lot of contested races here. In the race for 3C05, the district at the northern border of the ANC, we endorse Emma Hersh.

Hersh's incredibly detailed responses showed a strong support for both bus and bike improvements in the area, and while she expressed concerns about the location selection process of the Ward 3 shelter, ultimately she "would be able to support the shelter" and hopes that the community "would welcome and embrace our new neighbors."

Hersh also says she is in favor of something different happening at the Wardman Park Hotel site, and that "[i]n its present state, the 16-acre [site] is doing far less to contribute to Woodley Park and the surrounding communities than it could." Her aspirations for the site are in tune with her three goals for the Comprehensive Plan amendment process: more "affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and an increase in local services and amenities." Hersh thinks all can be done in a way that "balances the importance of protecting and preserving our historic architecture and landmarks with the pursuit of opportunities to increase residential and commercial density."

Opponent and incumbent Margaret SIegel did not send in very thorough responses, and has different positions on a number of issues. She believes that the proposal at Wardman Park was "radically out of scale with [the] neighborhood," and did not offer a clear stance on the homeless shelter. We see Hersh as the clear choice for this district.


The National Cathedral. Photo by ehpien on Flickr.

Along the opposite border of the ANC lies 3C08, which includes the embassy-filled area surrounding Massachusetts Avenue and the Naval Observatory. Chaz Rotenberg was our clear choice for this race.

Rotenberg is unabashedly and "strongly in favor of the proposed homeless shelter at 3320 Idaho Avenue" and proclaims that this "is the neighborhood issue I care most about." Rotenberg also supports the development of more housing along Wisconsin Avenue, noting that "[h]ousing density has been disproportionately increasing at a lower rate in Ward 3 compared to other Wards," and was cautiously in favor of the proposed Wardman Park project, saying that he wanted a large proportion of the 1,500 units to be made into affordable housing.

Rotenberg is running against Malia Brink, who was less enthusiastic about building more housing along transit corridors. She is also still hesitant about the homeless shelter, having testified against the first location. We hope neighbors vote for Rotenberg.

Finally, the last contested race in ANC 3C is 3C09, where Bob Ward is running against long-time incumbent Nancy MacWood. Based on their responses to our survey, we support Bob Ward here.

Ward says he is "running to offer a different point of view than the one that prevails on ANC3C today." This includes being a strong supporter of additional housing along both Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues. He says the "Wardman Park project is one of the more exciting prospects for the area to add residential density in close proximity to transit in ANC3C," is adamant that the "nightmare that is DC General should be closed," and supports the current proposed shelter site, though he admits it seems to be the result of a "hastily-cut deal."

Ward also gives specific recommendations for pedestrian and bike improvements and says one of his goals "is to make parking irrelevant for intra-neighborhood shopping," increasing connectivity and access to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to move around. Sounds good to us.


American University. Photo by Raul Pacheco-Vega on Flickr.

In ANC 3D, we endorse Troy Kravitz

Encompassing the neighborhoods between 42nd Street and the Potomac River, ANC 3D is the westernmost section of the District. Spring Valley, Palisades, Foxhall Crescent, and the American University are all a part of this ANC.

Relationships between this commission and American University have not always been great, so we asked candidates how they hoped to work alongside the institution. Transportation along Massachusetts Avenue and the pending Comprehensive Plan update are also of importance here.

Finally, there has been a longstanding debate about the redevelopment of the Spring Valley Shopping center, where at one point a group of neighbors fought for and won a historic designation for the site's parking lot, effectively hampering development there.

There is one race we'd like to highlight in this area: 3D02, the neighborhoods directly surrounding American University's campus. Here we enthusiastically support Troy Kravitz over incumbent Tom Smith.

Kravitz fended off a long legal challenge by Smith in order to run for this seat, the first time a challenger has appeared in many years. Kravitz has long "publicly supported thoughtful regeneration at the Spring Valley Shopping Center," and also considers the planned Superfresh development nearby as an opportunity with "the potential to re-activate a largely moribund commercial district while imposing few hardships upon the nearest neighbors." He is eager to improve relations with the ANC and American University, and has specific recommendations for improving public transit along Massachusetts Avenue.

What is most important here is that a strong challenger to Tom Smith is an opportunity, as Kravitz puts it, to end the ANC's "pattern of obstruction at every turn." Contributors to Greater Greater Washington have written for years about Tom Smith and his many attempts to block challengers, as well as his consistent history of opposing and slowing down many changes to the area.

If you're a resident in 3D02, make this election count and vote for Kravitz.


Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

In other ANCs, there are no contested races or we make no endorsements

In the other Ward 3 commissions (3B, 3E, & 3F), all the candidates are running unopposed. As per our endorsement process outlined here, we didn't offer endorsements in uncontested races, though you can certainly read full candidate responses to our questionnaire here and learn more about your representatives and issues in the neighborhoods.

As for ANC 3G, we encourage residents and readers to look carefully at the the candidate responses we received, though we decided not to offer our endorsements to any candidates there.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 3 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 3. You can also see responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, and we'll publish our rationale for those in upcoming posts.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Politics


For 20 ANC seats, nobody is on the ballot. Do you live in one? Are you running, or do you want to?

We've recently written a lot about candidates in Advisory Neighborhood Commission races all over DC. In 20 districts, no candidates filed petitions to get on the ballot, but people can run as write-in candidates. If you're running, let us know; or if not, consider it!


Photo by bfishadow on Flickr.

DC has 40 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions covering 299 single-member districts. Commissioners have expansive but often thankless responsibilities, and while the positions are unpaid, I know commissioners who spend 20-30 hours a week on the work.

But while being a commissioner is hard work, it's also very rewarding. Commissioners do important work on transportation, liquor licensing, and development issues in their neighborhoods, and they really get to know their communities. Talking to commissioners across the city is a whole lot of fun for anyone interested in where we live, as they can tell you the stories behind each park, tree, building and sign.

In case you haven't noticed our endorsement posts or the many ANC yard signs cropping up on telephone poles across the city, campaign season is well underway for these positions. But...

It's not too late to throw your hat in the ring

Every year there are a few district across the city where nobody runs for the position, or at least nobody takes the time to get 25 signatures on a petition to get on the ballot. This year, there are 20 such seats:


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

1A11
1B06
1B10
1C01
1C05
2A08
2E04
2F08
3C04
3D04
3D07
3F04
4B02
 
5A04
 
6D03
7B03
7C06
7F07
8A03
8D05
8D06

The seats can be filled with a write-in campaign. All you have to do to win one of the seats is 1) be qualified to be a registered voter, 2) lived in your single member district (SMD) for 60 days, and 3) write yourself in and get more people to write in your name than any other name.

From there, you just have to go the DC Board of Elections and get certified as a candidate. You can contact the BOE via the agency's website.

Not sure which ANC or SMD you live in? Click here to find out.

If you're running a write-in campaign, let us know!

We've done a lot of work to make sure voters can read the positions of ANC candidates all across the city. We want to make sure voters get the same chance to review as many write-in candidates as possible.

If you're running a write-in campaign for ANC this election, fill out our 2016 ANC candidate questionnaire by Monday, October 31st. If you know of a candidate, please send this post to them. We will review responses from these candidates quickly and let you know if we found anyone we'd like to endorse before Election Day.

Here are some who've already written in

Three write-in candidates have already submitted their answers to our survey:

Here is a link to their full responses. We hope more write-in candidates follow their lead and complete our questionnaire! If you're voting early and live in one of these districts, read their responses and decide if they've earned your vote. We'll review these three and any others we receive after the Monday, October 31st deadline.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 4

A series of hilly neighborhoods at the top of the District, both in terms of geography and elevation, comprises Ward 4. Residents here are from Petworth, Manor Park, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights, and Takoma, among other places. We found five candidates running in contested Ward 4 races for Advisory Neighborhood Commission to endorse, and we hope you go vote for them.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote—every vote—really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 4, we chose five candidates to endorse. You can read their positions for yourself here, along with responses of many unopposed candidates.


Brightwood. Photo by las.photographs on Flickr.

In ANC 4A, we endorse Patience Singleton

ANC 4A is a long, narrow area that runs along 16th Street from the top corner of DC to Piney Branch Parkway. It's a place with a mix of churches, single family homes, parkland, and some apartment buildings, and one lots of people pass through as they commute down 16th Street from Maryland.

Transportation and the heavy commuter traffic are primary concerns for many neighbors here. Better bus service, both along 16th Street and nearby 14th Street, could make a huge difference to the area, but some proposed changes (for example, dedicated bus lanes) could require residents to sacrifice some on-street parking. We hope commissioners in this area will work through this situation with tact, but a clear preference for improving bus infrastructure and service.

One candidate in this area earned our endorsement: incumbent Patience Singleton. Singleton is running to keep her seat in 4A04, a small district on the eastern border of the ANC between Van Buren and Rittenhouse Streets.

Right away, Singleton was clear that "[a]s a commuter who uses the 16th Street bus lines most work days, [she] would support a dedicated bus lane along 16th Street" even if it meant removing some on-street parking. Similarly, she "strongly support[s] express bus options for the 14th Street corridor," and has worked closely with District agencies during her tenure to improve street and pedestrian safety around her SMD.

On housing, Singleton is positive and forward-thinking, something we wish we saw more of across DC:

ANC 4A will definitely add more market rate and affordable housing over the next decade; much of it will be placed on or near the Walter Reed complex. Additional housing will likely be available through the conversion and renovation of multifamily housing within our ANC. I am committed to ensuring the availability of various types of housing in ANC 4A.
Challenger Michael Bethea seems less amenable to change. When asked about his vision for the neighborhood in the next 20 years, he wrote: "I truly would like my neighborhood to look very similar to the way it looks now." Bethea avoided taking strong stances on many of the issues we asked about, and thought that the area has "sufficient" bike lanes and sidewalks. To us, giving Singleton a second term is the best option here.


Takoma Metro Station. Photo by RealVirginian on Flickr.

In ANC 4B, we endorse Natalee Snider and James Gaston III

To the east lies ANC 4B, a triangle formed by the DC/Maryland border to the east, Missouri Avenue and Riggs Road to the south, and Georgia Avenue to the west.

One long-standing and key issue for these neighborhoods has been the redevelopment saga at the Takoma Metro station. After years of back and forth, some in the community still are pushing to preserve the under-used parking lots there rather than build housing or encourage more neighborhood retail.

Nearly all of the races in 4B are contested, but we only found two candidates that clearly deserved our endorsement and hopefully your vote.

The first is Natalee Snider for ANC 4B06, covering the neighborhoods surrounding the Blair Road/Kansas Avenue intersection and nearby Fort Slocum Park.

As someone who frequently uses Takoma Metro station, Snider is cautiously in favor of redevelopment there, seeing "the benefit to both residents, commuters and local businesses [of] developing housing on an under utilized parking lot." She also had very specific recommendations for where housing could be added throughout the neighborhood to better accommodate new residents.

Snider is a self-proclaimed "strong proponent of a 'walkable/bikeable' neighborhood," and would advocate for the extension of both bike lanes and the Metropolitan Branch Trail within the ANC. Overall her responses were energetic, informed, and positive. As one reader wrote: "Thoughtful, responsive answers to the questions and she understands that increased density, more transit options and balance are all important if Ward 4 is to thrive."

Incumbent and current ANC chair Ron Austin has voted in opposition to many of the plans at the Takoma Metro stop over the years, citing traffic concerns and the needs to protect green space. We strongly encourage you to vote for Natalee Snider here.

Another candidate who earned our endorsement in 4B was James Gaston III, in the race for 4B07, along the DC/Maryland border. On the Takoma Metro station controversy, Gaston is clearly hesitant to take a firm side but says that the project proposal "has true merit" and later advocates for "more development near the Metro station."

Gaston's opponent, current commissioner Judi Jones, also responded to our survey but didn't reveal much in her short answers. In the end, we have a better idea of what Gaston's ANC term would look like and are willing to give him our support.


Petworth. Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.

In ANC 4C, we endorse Charlotte Nugent

If you live in Petworth or 16th Street Heights, you probably live in ANC 4C. Along the border of this ANC lies the Old Hebrew Home, which has long sparked debate over what to build there. A plan for redeveloping it is currently under review by the District government, and the new proposal could include large amounts of affordable housing.

Other issues for these neighborhoods include the previously mentioned proposals for express bus service on 14th street and the ongoing debate about condo redevelopments and "pop-ups" throughout the area.

Out of the ten seats in this ANC, only one has two candidates in the race: 4C01, near the intersection of Georgia and Colorado Avenues. Both candidates in this race are good, but in the end we decided Charlotte Nugent was the strongest choice.

Nugent's responses were thorough and at times incredibly in sync with Greater Greater Washington values (she is a long-time reader). She explains that she supports "100% affordable housing" at Hebrew Home because she believes there is a current unbalance in market-rate and affordable housing development in the neighborhood, and "we urgently need to build more affordable housing in the Petworth area to keep residents with average or lower incomes from being pushed out."

Her answer on the spread of often unpopular "pop-ups" is worth quoting in its entirety, as it deftly navigates the issue to highlight solid arguments for increased housing at multiple affordability levels, multi-income neighborhoods, and smarter transit-oriented growth:

The greater Petworth area has seen many condo and "pop-up" developments in recent years that cater to residents with higher incomes. While we welcome these residents to our neighborhood, there has not been an equal increase in units of affordable housing. In order to keep residents from being pushed out of our neighborhood, we must build more housing to accommodate all who desire to live here. At the same time, business corridors such as Georgia Avenue and upper 14th Street have not seen as much development, while businesses on these streets sometimes struggle to gain customers and traction.

We are in this situation because the DC government has not focused on encouraging development in the locations where it is most needed. Instead of waiting for condos and pop-ups to appear haphazardly, we should encourage development on corridors such as Georgia Avenue and 14th Street, and in areas where zoning already allows taller buildings."

::applause::

Nugent's answers on transportation issues are similarly balanced and thoughtful; she is a strong supporter of bus improvements and bike lanes, being that her immediate neighborhood is not closely situated to Metro stations.

Opponent Sean Wieland is a good contender. He wants to advocate for both retail and housing at the Old Hebrew Home, including a percentage being affordable, and hopes the same style of development can happen along Georgia Avenue. Wieland also has clear ideas for bike lane improvements, though he is slightly skeptical of the proposal to add express bus service to 14th street.

In the end, it's great this SMD has such good candidates to choose from. This term, we think Charlotte Nugent is the one who should get a chance to serve.


Brightwood. Photo by thebrightwoodian on Flickr.

In ANC 4D, we endorse Amy Hemingway

Directly north of ANC 4C is 4D, including Rock Creek Cemetery and the neighborhood of Brightwood. One particularly salient topic for this area is the concentration of vacant buildings there, an issue current commissioner David Sheon (running unopposed this year) took on this summer on our blog.

What is more, the area has seen a spike in crime recently that demands the attention of ANC commissioners, and neighbors are anxious to see the continued revitalization of Georgia Avenue as a place for businesses to thrive.

Amy Hemingway caught our attention for 4D06, a district west of Sherman Circle. Hemingway believes "all of us should be aware of... if not concerned" about the issue of vacant housing, and supports current legislation that grew out of the ANC's work on this issue.

She also proclaims that "local economic development is a passion of [hers]," and that she will work hard to encourage smart development and support businesses along Georgia Avenue, including the production of more housing along the corridor.

Hemingway's opponent is incumbent Bill Quirk, who did not reveal much about his positions in his short responses to our survey. When asked about the biggest controversy in the neighborhood, he responded: "Whether or not to have benches in Sherman Circle has previously been a contentious issue. While previously I've opposed them, there has been one placed there recently and it hasn't had a negative impact. It might be time to revisit the issue."

Oh, ANCs, the place where neighbors tackle everything from affordable housing and crime to... benches. Unless you're a single-issue voter and your issue is benches, we suggest voting for Hemingway.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 4 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 4. You can also see responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, and we'll publish our rationale for those in upcoming posts.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 2

When tourists visit DC, they spend most of their time in Ward 2. After all, it's home to Georgetown, Dupont and Logan Circle, downtown, and the Mall. But for the people who call these places home, there are decisions to make in your local elections this November. Below, we've written about six candidates we advise voting for in competitive Advisory Neighborhood Commission races.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote—every vote—really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 2, we chose six candidates to endorse. Here, you can read their positions, along with responses from many unopposed candidates.


Foggy Bottom. Photo by ep_jhu on Flickr.

In ANC 2A, we endorse Marco Guzman

As with a few of the districts in Ward 2, ANC 2A covers an area that is full of buildings but not necessarily full of voting residents. George Washington University in this ANC, and the school creates an interesting dynamic (which you also see around other universities in DC). Commissioners here must balance the needs of students and residents, even if many students are not DC voters. Another interesting piece of the puzzle is that sometimes, ambitious students run for ANC seats to get their political feet wet.

Aside from influencing voters and candidates, George Washington is an issue in and of itself for ANC 2A thanks to thinks like the school's campus plan. Another topic facing 2A is homelessness in the area, an issue highlighted especially last year when the encampments near the Watergate Hotel were cleared multiple times by city officials.

There is only one competitive race in this ANC: 2A03, a small district sandwiched between Pennsylvania Avenue and I Street. And here, we like one of those aspiring GW students: Marco Guzman.

In terms of Guzman's stance on the university's campus plan, he hopes the school continues to "stay true to their 'grow up, not out' growth plan," and is happy with the university's progress in building more student housing and discouraging student parking in the area. As far as homelessness goes, Guzman says he will rely on what he learned while working on the issue with the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and will make sure "homeless individuals have access to and knowledge of the resources available to them."

We liked what Guzman had to say on other issues as well. He is clear that he wants to preserve parts of historic Foggy Bottom, but also is not afraid "to see taller buildings to help accommodate increased density." While he did skip some transportation questions on our survey, he was supportive of bike lanes along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Marco's opponent, Matthew Chwastek, seemed reasonable but opposed to many changes to his neighborhood. When asked what he would like the area look like in 20 years, his reply was short and simple: "I would like to maintain the current look and feel of the neighborhood." He also prioritized street parking over better bus service. We think Guzman should get a chance to sit as commissioner.


Dupont Circle. Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

In ANC 2B, we endorse Teal Baker and Scott Davies

The neighborhoods directly surrounding Dupont Circle make up ANC 2B. Specifically, the boundaries stretch down from Florida Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, and west from 15th and 16th Streets towards Rock Creek Parkway.

Neighbors here battle with some of the same questions DC residents are facing across the city: How do we keep this neighborhood affordable? How do we decrease our dependence on parking? How can we accommodate housing for new residents?

Teal Baker, candidate for ANC 2B05, had particularly good answers to many of these questions, and we're endorsing her. Baker's district, a relatively long one that makes up the southeastern corner of the ANC, runs north from the White House to Q Street.

For Baker, the answers to the above questions are often related, especially density and affordability: "I favor increased housing density to allow for the creation of more affordable rental units. It is vital that our Commissioners bargain hard with developers to include ample affordable housing units in each new development project." In particular, she is in favor of adding more housing along the 16th Street corridor.

Baker is hesitant to remove parking or advocate for less of it even for better bus service, but is "really proud of the protected bike lanes on 15th Street" and believes "we need more options" like those to help non-motorized commuters in the neighborhood.

We also liked some of what Randy Downs, Baker's competitor, had to say. In general his answers were less specific, but he seemed supportive of creating more affordable housing and improving bike and public transit. In the end, we thought Teal's experience and clearer vision for the neighborhood came through in her responses, and it was enough to win our endorsement.

In the northwest corner of the ANC, the small 2B09 is also contested this year. In this race, we think Scott Davies is the obvious choice.

In many places, Davies was cautious in his responses to our questionnaire. He was clearly hesitant when asked if he would support density and more housing in the area, but said he believed there should always be "room for discussion so our automatic response isn't just 'no'." Similarly, he did not take a strong stance on reducing parking, but did say "there is room to support the new zoning regulations that recognize we live in an area with great public transit."

We definitely prefer Davies over his opponent, Ed Hanlon. Hanlon was very protective of parking in his SMD, and was generally suspicious of new housing in his area. When asked about improving or adding bike lanes, Hanlon mostly discussed the problem of bicyclists riding "far too fast on the sidewalks" and advocated for extending the downtown ban on sidewalk-riding.

What is more, readers wrote in that Hanlon has had a history of drama in the neighborhood, once getting a protective order filed against him during an ongoing argument with a neighbor over an outdoor deck. We believe Davies would be a good addition to the ANC this year.


Georgetown. Photo by Bob M ~ on Flickr.

In ANC 2E, we endorse Greg Miller

ANC 2E is Georgetown, home to Georgetown University and some very delicious cupcakes. How to accommodate a growing DC in Georgetown is a particularly prevalent issue, as neighbors traditionally fight to maintain the "village" look and feel over any attempt to add more housing. Parking is another constant source of debate, as the neighborhood receives daily influxes of visitors and has no Metro stop to provide an alternative to driving.

There are two contested ANC races in this area. The first is ANC 2E03, the area directly surrounding the main entrance to Georgetown University. Looking at the two candidates running here, we think you should support Greg Miller.

Miller noted that Georgetown's federal historic status leaves few chances for adding housing, but seemed supportive of doing so in select cases when possible. He is strongly in favor of "wider sidewalks and bike lanes along M Street," and as a non-car owner, he relies "on transit, walking, and biking to get around the city so [is] generally supportive of improving our transit options." Additionally, Miller included a number of specific proposals in his responses to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Rick Murphy, Miller's opponent, had reasonable answers to our questionnaire as well. In the end, we decided to support Miller as he seemed to be more open to many of the changes we typically advocate for here at Greater Greater Washington.

The other contested race in Georgetown is 2E05, which makes up the entire southern border of the ANC, running south from Prospect and M Streets to the Potomac River. We could not identify a candidate to endorse in this race.

Incumbent Bill Starrels gave short and generally unhelpful answers to our questionnaire, but does write to say that "[t]he historic integrity of Georgetown is paramount" to development decisions. Challenger Lisa Palmer took more care with her answers and we liked some of the things she had say, in particular her ideas for bike lane improvements.

But in the end, we weren't convinced of some of her stances, as she spent more time explaining situations and promising to work closely with agencies and neighbors than making plain her views with clearer recommendations and opinions.

If you are a resident in this area, make sure to read both candidate responses here and make your own decision.


Logan Circle. Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.

In ANC 2F, we endorse Jason Forman and Alex Graham

The final ANC in Ward 2 with contested races is 2F, which is basically the Logan Circle neighborhood, traveling south down 14th Street into downtown. One prominent site in this area, Franklin Square Park and the adjacent Franklin School, will eventually be redeveloped and is a place where ANC commissioners will exert some influence in coming years. Also of importance in this ANC are proposals to improve bus service, including talk of potential express bus service down 14th Street.

Above the actual Logan Circle lies 2F's northernmost district, 2F01, where we're endorsing Jason Forman. Forman had good answers on bicycle and pedestrian issues, but was less solid elsewhere. He recognizes that "adding dedicated bus line for 14th Street is needed for residents," but demands that this be done with no "net loss of residential parking spaces." He is open to more development in the neighborhood, but says that the area is "already hyper dense."

Above all else, we support Jason over his opponent Casey Root. Root is clear on buses: "I am against bus lanes." He is similarly clear on bike lanes: "I do not support additional bike lanes as they are abused as they currently stand." He is definitely for parking: "I would vote against limiting and or removing any street parking."

We hope Jason wins a term as commissioner here.

Farther south, the small triangle made by Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont Avenues is ANC 2F03. This is a very close race, and we liked both candidates here a lot. Ultimately, we sided with challenger Alex Graham over sitting commissioner Pepin Tuma.

There is a lot to like in Graham's responses. He has grand visions for the future of Franklin Square Park, and "fully support[s] dedicated bus lanes on major thoroughfares including 16th and 14th Streets," despite some concerns from a few neighbors. He has smart recommendations for where to incorporate more housing into an already dense neighborhood, and wants to "make sure that our bike highways are effectively connected to each other."

Here was one reason Graham thinks he deserves your vote: "I have a knack at accomplishing things in an extremely bureaucratic environment." ANCs are the right place for you, sir.

Incumbent Pepin Tuma also seems great. He agrees that "[e]xpress service makes a lot of sense" on 14th Street, and points out that during his term he has worked to improve bus service in the corridor already. Likewise, he supports improvements to bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and wants to make sure current residents have opportunities to stay in their neighborhoods even as development continues.

Like we said, this is a tough call, but Graham just edges his opponent out to win our endorsement.

Just south of 2F03 is 2F05. This district includes Thomas Circle, the surrounding neighborhood and parts of downtown. This is another place where we didn't land on a clear winner for our endorsement.

One candidate, Ron Rubin, was hesitant to throw his support behind adjustments to bus infrastructure on 14th Street. He is supportive of bike lanes and has specific recommendations for places to add more housing, but also focused a lot on process in his answers. Omeed Alerasool was similarly defensive of parking over bus improvements, though he was more clearly in favor of an express bus on 14th Street.

While not perfect, both of these candidates seem generally good and we just couldn't find reason to endorse one over the other. Residents, here are their answers in full. Vote for who you think is best.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 2 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 2. You can also see responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, and we'll publish our rationale for those in upcoming posts.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Correction: In the original version of this post, we wrote that Marco Guzman was a George Washington student. That's not the case; Marco received a BS from Arizona State and a masters degree in public policy from George Mason.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 6

There's a lot to Ward 6. On one end, you can be standing in Navy Yard, outside of Nationals Park, while on the other you're in Shaw. And as you travel between the two, you might pass the Supreme Court! Ward 6's neighborhoods have experienced a lot of change recently, and many of its Advisory Neighborhood Commission races are hotly contested. We looked through these races and found seven candidates to endorse.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes; Your vote, every vote, really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 6, we chose eight candidates to endorse. Here, you can read their positions, along with responses from many unopposed candidates.


Photo by Ryan Blanding on Flickr.

In ANC 6A we endorse Yair Inspektor and Stephanie Zimny

ANC 6A is the northeastern corner of Ward 6, including the neighborhoods east of 8th Street between East Capitol Street and Florida Avenue/Benning Road. Sections of the H Street Corridor and Lincoln Park are part of this commission. Maryland Avenue cuts diagonally across the ANC, meaning commissioners will have a chance to influence the outcomes of the ongoing Maryland Avenue Pedestrian Safety Project, a multi-year process by the District Department of Transportation to fix the corridor which has "a history of hazardous conditions for pedestrian travel."

For ANC 6A05, directly in the middle of this neighborhood, we endorse Yair Inspektor. Citing examples from many conversations with neighbors about the Maryland Avenue Project, Yair is cautiously "in support of the plan," though he does believe that"additional traffic mitigation and diversion strategies should be considered." He claims that as commissioner, his "aim is to build relationships with and between all of our neighbors, and to insure that Capitol Hill remains a home for people of various incomes and backgrounds."

Yair's opponent did not complete our survey despite multiple attempts to reach him, and our one complaint of Yair is that he seemed at times hesitant to take firm positions on an issue. Nonetheless, we are impressed by Yair's commitment to community and his willingness to learn and engage with neighborhood issues.

Just north is 6A06. Here, we support Stephanie Zimny. Stephanie is fully in support of the Maryland Avenue project, and has years of experience addressing development in the neighborhood, serving on the 6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee. She believes that "a good working relationship with all community members and business interests, as well as a knowledge of zoning rules and development insight can lead to smart development that benefits the whole community." We're with you there.

In general, all of Stephanie's answers revealed a reasonable, well-informed, and capable candidate. We did not received a response from either of Stephanie's two opponents, but our readers pointed out that one, Peter Grant, has "been leading the effort to halt the Maryland Avenue Pedestrian Safety Project," and in fact "[s]topping the project may be the reason why he is running." We see Stephanie as a solid choice in this race.


Union Station. Photo by www.GlynLowe.com on Flickr.

In ANC 6B we chose not to endorse, and in ANC 6C there are no competitive races

ANCs in Ward 6 are generally known for being positive, productive, and reasonable, as many have spent years deftly negotiating important developments across the ward. 6B in particular has proven home to strong neighborhood leaders over the years, moderating the debate about the redevelopment of the Hine school and incorporating smart opportunities for housing and transportation developments throughout the neighborhood.

There is only one contested race in 6B: K. Denise Krepp and Cam Norris are vying for the 6B10 seat, with Krepp being the incumbent. Both candidates' surveys had some good points and some vague sections, and we didn't feel that there was a clear choice. Please read their responses carefully and make your own decision here.

ANC 6C includes much the area surrounding Union Station and is also home to many talented commissioners. This election, all of these candidates are running unopposed, so we did not offer endorsements here as per our process outlined here.


Buzzard Point. Photo by Geoff Alexander on Flickr.

In ANC 6D, we endorse Gail Fast, Cara Lea Shockley, and Katelynd Mahoney.

If you live anywhere in the growing areas around the Navy Yard, Waterfront, and L'Enfant Plaza Metro stations, you probably live in 6D. These neighborhoods have experienced extraordinary amounts of growth and change in recent years, and commissioners there need to be sharp and active to keep pace and keep neighbors informed.

Two waterfront developments dominate conversation in these neighborhoods: the redevelopment of Buzzard Point around the new DC United Soccer Stadium, and the proposed 11th Street Bridge Park, an elevated park reminiscent of the High Line in New York City that will span the Anacostia River.

Four candidates are running for a seat in 6D01, the area in between 14th and 4th Street SW and from Independence Avenue to the Washington Channel. Out of the two who returned our questionnaire, we really liked Gail Fast.

Gail in unafraid of the many changes happening around the area, acknowledging that redevelopment in all of Southwest "is already in full swing, and done correctly should be a benefit to all the City, with increased tax revenue from new development, added housing, and better use of the waterfront for all of the community."

Gail is supportive of the plans for Buzzard Point but gives an entirely thorough explanation of why she believes "that there is a lack of monitoring and enforcement on the part of the city" and that "there could be (if there isn't one already) a public health threat" in the area, primarily from pollution.

Gail is also excited about the workforce development proposals incorporated into the 11th Street Bridge Park plan, seeing the project as a chance "new employment, for social integration, and for social equity." She vows to strongly advocate for more affordably housing among all the construction in the area, and has experience serving on many planning committees for the neighborhood.

Opponent Wes Ven Johnson also completed our questionnaire, but did not impress us as much as Gail. When asked about accommodating more housing in his district, Wes's primary concern was "that the new buildings blend in with current buildings and do not block out their views." He also was against the recent Bard development, which would have brought both cultural space and housing to the area. He says he advocated for the proposal that cut the buildings floors from nine to four or five. The other two candidates here did not respond to our survey.

The area generally surrounding South Capitol Street south of Independence Ave is 6D02, and there we endorse Cara Lea Shockley. Like Gail, Cara is most excited about the job opportunities present in the 11th Street Bridge Park Equitable Development Plan, only she hopes these promises are made good this time around, as similar local hire proposals have not been upheld in the past. At Buzzard Point Cara was unique among candidates in sharing that she thinks "putting the soccer stadium there is a mistake," providing a dire analysis of the traffic impact she imagines it will bring.

Transportation is a key issue for Cara. She thinks "[b]ike lanes are extremely important," and wants "to see fewer cars" in the neighborhood, in part by advocating for adding more car sharing locations. On parking: "I've seen cities work which have little or no street parking, and I think it should be the direction we move in." We didn't get a response from Cara's opponent, and we like a lot of what we see in Cara's responses.


11th Street Bridge Park Proposal. Image from the 11th Street Bridge Park Equitable Development Plan (click for link).

Finally, the southern tip of the ANC encompasses much of Buzzard Point and Fort McNair. Here there is another highly-contested race, with four candidates running for the seat of 6D05. Three of these responded to us, and while two seem strong, we decided ultimately to endorse Katelynd Mahoney.

It's not every day that you find a commissioner who describes the "influx of housing coming to all corners of the neighborhood" as "[a] major blessing." You had us at hello.

But seriously, Katelynd's detailed and researched answers were good on a lot of points. She has particular recommendations for bike infrastructure and sidewalk improvements, and even though she claims both bus transit and parking are "severely lacking in ANC6D," she is willing to prioritize the needs of the bus system over more parking. Last, while she has some specific reservations, Katelynd supports both the controversial homeless shelter planned for the area and the redevelopment of Buzzard Point.

At least one reader is also very excited about the prospect of Katelynd winning this election: "Katelynd is the perfect example of what an ANC commissioner should be." That's a very high bar to clear, Katelynd!

In this race, Dana Lutenegger also seems like a reasonable candidate, but again, we felt that Katelynd was the strongest in the end. Dana wants to strongly advocate for more affordable housing, and had great answers on how to address crime and add new bike lanes. She He did seem reticent to remove any parking even to improve bus service, and was unsupportive of the the Bard development, saying it's too tall.

The incumbent, Roger Moffat, also responded to our questionnaire, but he did not articulate clear stances on many issues. What is more, many readers wrote in that they were unimpressed with Moffat's tenure, saying he did not always attend ANC meetings, was not responsive, and was more focused on parking than any other transportation issue.

All in all, we strongly favor Katelynd for ANC 6D05.


Photo by beautifulcataya on Flickr.

In ANC6E, we endorse Alexander Padro and Lily Roberts

This northwestern arm of the ward stretches narrowly out into Mount Vernon Triangle and Shaw. A large portion of this area is called Northwest One, and it's the former site of a collection of troubled low-income housing developments that was demolished to make room for mixed-income housing. Today it's mostly parking lots, though one remaining cooperative, Sursum Corda, is progressing with plans for redevelopment.

In the far northwest of the ANC, 6E01 is the neighborhoods surrounding Rhode Island Avenue between 11th and 7th Street. Incumbent Alexander Padro earned our endorsement for this seat.

During his tenure, Alexander negotiated to ensure Sursum Corda residents have a right to return after the redevelopment of their cooperative and was able to secure over $500,000 in community benefits for the surrounding recreation centers and service facilities. He is very experienced and knowledgeable (eight terms as commissioner), and had solid answers about housing and transportation in the neighborhood, including clear support for the controversial bike lanes along 6th Street.

We empathize with Alexander's characterization of parking as "[t]he 'P' word" in neighborhood politics, and while we get it that "[o]pposition to removal of on street parking is almost universal among residents," we hope he endeavors to try and find ways to ensure bicycle and bus infrastructure get appropriate priority as well as automobile needs. Alexander's opponent did not respond to our survey.

Truxton Circle and the district north of New York Avenue near Dunbar High School comprise 6E04. This is another four-candidate race, and we think Lily Roberts is the best of them.

Lily strongly advocates for "[a]dding housing at multiple price points," and wants to see the large surface parking lots throughout the area removed in favor of diverse housing and development options. She is excited about the work being done at Sursum Corda, though she thinks there are "far too many parking spaces (about 4x the required number)" included in the plans "in one of the most walkable parts of the city." Lily is also adamant that the government move faster this time around compared to how it acted with places like neighboring Temple Courts.

Her answers on transportation showed an in-depth understanding of the issues and her neighborhood, and she self-reports that she is not afraid to get wonky on things like "data-driven parking regulations." Join the crowd, Lily.

As one reader put it, "Lily's understanding of planning issues is both granular and global, and as both a social worker and a policy analyst, she has the right combo of brains and heart to do the job right."

One other candidate, Phil Tsolakidis, also completed our questionnaire. Phil had good and thoughtful answers to many of our questions, but he was unwilling to consider removing any street parking to improve bus service. Overall, we believe Lily is the best candidate between the two.

Last but not least, ANC 6E05 is Mt. Vernon Triangle, formed by New York Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and 4th Street. Both candidates here responded to our questions, and we had a hard time choosing a clear winner for our endorsement.

Incumbent and chairperson Marge Maceda did not write much, but was generally supportive of bike lanes (including those proposed on 6th Street) and other transportation improvements. Challenger Alex Marriott clearly understands the benefits of, and favors, adding more housing. He also promises to increase communication between the ANC and residents. Both candidates were opposed to removing street parking under any circumstance.

We couldn't identify a clear choice here; both say some good things, and neither raised any red flags for us. We encourage readers to look carefully at their options and make what seems like the best choice to them.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 6 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 6. You can also see responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, and we'll publish our rationale for those in upcoming posts.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Politics


Our endorsements for ANC in Ward 5

Bloomingdale, Trinidad, Brookland, Fort Totten—these are a few of the neighborhoods included in Ward 5, which covers much of northeast DC. There are a lot of contested races for the ward's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions this year, with well over 50 candidates total. We found eight who deserve your vote.


Map created with Mapbox, data from OpenStreetMap.

 

What are ANCs, and why should I care?

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, are neighborhood councils of unpaid, elected representatives who meet monthly and weigh in with the government about important issues to the community. ANCs are very important on housing and transportation. An ANC's opposition to new housing, retail, a bike lane, bus improvements, etc. can stymie or significantly delay valuable projects. On the other hand, proactive and positive-thinking ANCs give the government suggestions for ways to improve the neighborhood and rally resident support.

Each ANC is divided into a number of Single Member Districts (SMDs), averaging about 2,000 voters. Races often hinge on a small handful of votes—Your vote, every vote, really counts.

Not sure which SMD you live in? Find out here.

Here are our endorsements

After reviewing the candidate responses from each competitive race in Ward 5, we chose eight candidates to endorse. Here, you can read their positions, along with responses from many unopposed candidates.


The historic seminary building, as seen from 13th Street NE. Photo by Jonathan Neeley.

In ANC 5A, we endorse Will Gee and Gordon-Andrew Fletcher

Much of ANC 5A is made up of Michigan Park, Fort Totten, Catholic University and the Old Soldier's Home. This ANC covers the areas east and west of the Red Line between the Brookland and Fort Totten Metro stations. One of larger controversies in the area is the development of 90 new row houses at St. Joseph's Seminary. Some neighbors have argued vociferously against this development, saying the buildings will "irrevocably damage [the] community" and destroy green space, even though the land is currently private.

A similar battle is unfolding nearby at the Takoma Metro station, which is just outside of 5A. There, a large underused parking lot has been slotted for redevelopment for years, but some community members have stalled it. One stop down, the mixed-use Cafritz development near the Fort Totten Metro is already under construction, but has been the source of community pushback in the past.

In situations like these, strong, reasonable, and proactive ANC leadership is desperately needed.

One leader we like is Will Gee, a candidate for 5A03, the district at the northeastern corner of the ANC on the Maryland border.

Will had smart and nuanced answers regarding the different developments in the area. For example, regarding Cafritz: "This is the kind of density around a Metro stop that we should be encouraging, though such a large-scale development is bound to have significant consequences, both good and bad." He similarly is excited about working with the developers at St. Joseph's, saying it is an "excellent place to add more housing" and a "critical opportunity for the Michigan Park community."

Will is a solid supporter of alternative transit, and was one of the few candidates who took our survey who unabashedly supported removing street parking if it meant improving bus infrastructure. This is a courageous and smart stance in a neighborhood where, as he puts it, such parking is "sufficiently available" and the change would be in the "neighborhood's best interest." Let's get this man a seat already.

Directly west lies 5A08, the area adjacent to the Fort Totten Metro station. Here, we endorse Gordon-Andrew Fletcher. Gordon-Andrew is also impressed by the efforts at St. Joseph's, and is "a firm believer that these townhomes will be a benefit for the area." He also envisions bike lanes along South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road. To us, Gordon-Andrew seems like a thoughtful and responsive choice for commissioner, and we hope he gets a chance to serve his community.


Photo by Joseph Nicolia on Flickr.

In ANC 5B, we endorse Henri Makembe

North and east of the Brookland-CUA Metro stop lies Brookland and the rest of ANC 5B. Besides the development at St. Joseph's, neighbors here have their eye on the revitalization the Rhode Island Avenue corridor, and they want to know what commissioners will do to address public safety in their area.

There are only two contested races in 5B. For the first (5B03), we like Henri Makembe. Henri says that one of the reasons he is running is because he believes the "neighborhood should be thinking about how we want we want to grow in the future and go after it," and he sees Rhode Island Avenue as key to that growth. He also is supportive of developing more housing, "especially those suited for families.

Henri also envisions better connectivity between bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and wants to work closely with the Metropolitan Police Department to improve community policing.

Finally, Henri voiced his approval for the controversial homeless shelter proposed for Ward 5. While he agrees that "legitimate questions have not been answered and the process thus far has been opaque," he is unwavering in his support. We appreciate his rational, positive, and firm approach to these issues.

The other contested race is 5B04. This is an important district for any supporters of transit-oriented development, as it runs directly adjacent to the Red Line between the Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue Metro stops.

Unfortunately, we cannot endorse either candidate here.

The challenger, Carolyn Steptoe, has long been an opponent of development in the area. Her extraordinary comment here praises the neighborhood group known as the "200 footers," who won an incredibly impactful court case halting the construction of housing on the vacant property at 901 Monroe Street.

As further proof of Carolyn's consistent opposition to smart growth, she told us that "5B04 is fully saturated" when it comes to housing, and was against the very idea of accommodating new growth and residents."

Incumbent Rayseen Woodland is not any better. Frankly, this quote in response to our questionnaire astounded us:

I am not for too much housing. The more housing that come to the community, the more changes. People bring their own perspectives and they may not match with ours. I would not like to see residential parking become more of a disaster.
We cannot support a commissioner who, rather than address the needs of our growing city and citizens, values parking and keeping new people with different ideas out. We hope you won't support such a commissioner either.

If you live in 5B04, we encourage you to get involved in your ANC (though we wish you luck), and if you're interested in running for a seat next election, make sure to let us know.


New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road. Photo by Randall Myers on Flickr.

In ANC 5C, we endorse Carlos Davis and Sumner Shaw

Further south, ANC 5C is a heavily industrial area with housing mixed throughout, including neighborhoods like Brentwood, Fort Lincoln and Woodridge. It is bordered on the south by the National Arboretum and Mount Olivet Rd, and in the north it lies mostly below Rhode Island Avenue.

Rhode Island Avenue's future is critically important to many of these neighbors, but perhaps more immediately pressing are the continuing controversies and stories coming from Brookland Manor, a large block of low-income housing that is set for redevelopment but is under scrutiny because of allegations of discriminatory practices.

The strip of land running north along of Bladensburg Road and bordering Brookland Manor is 5C02. In a close race, Carlos Davis struck us as the strongest candidate for this seat.

Carlos is in favor of bike lanes along Bladensburg, and is frustrated by the many missing sidewalks in his neighborhood, something he will work to fix. He envisions walkable urban villages for his neighborhoods, something he thinks is readily achievable with consistent "community and developer engagement."

Opponent Kevin Mullone seems generally reasonable, but he believes "the city is over saturated with new apartment units" and was against removing any street parking even if it meant improved bus services. We encourage you to give Carlos your vote.

Geographically the largest district in the ANC, the southern edge of the area bordering the National Arboretum is 5C04. There are three candidates running for the same seat here, and we think Sumner Shaw is a good choice.

Sumner has good ideas for the continued enhancement of Rhode Island Avenue, and seemed generally open to new ideas, as shown by his response about Brookland Manor: "I feel that progress in the form of development is a good thing as long as the constituents and their concerns are included prior and during said such progress."

More than anything, we think Sumner is a much better choice than his opponent Bernice Young. In reply to Brookland Manor: "No comment." Sorry, voters deserve to know where a candidate stands on perhaps the most public controversy in the ANC. Other answers were similarly terse and unhelpful. How would she like the neighborhood to look in 20 years? "I would like it to stay the same."

The third candidate, Jacqueline Manning, did not respond to our survey. Given the options, we think Sumner is the best choice here.


Trinidad. Photo by nauseaflip on Flickr.

In ANC 5D, we endorse Adam Roberts

Resdients who live in Ivy City, Trinidad, and Carver Langston live and vote in ANC 5D. It's a narrow district bounded on the southern edge by Florida Avenue and Benning Road, and on the north generally by New York Avenue.

Given those two thoroughfares, transportation is a big issue for the neighborhood. ANC commissioners will have opportunities to make their streets safer during their terms, as well as influence any work done around the Starburst Plaza at the end of the H Street corridor. We also wanted to know what prospective commissioners had to say about the ongoing redevelopment at Union Market, including the newer debates surfacing about historic preservation.

Within this ANC, the triangle in between Maryland Avenue, Bladensburg Road and Mount Olivet Road is 5D03, and for this seat we endorse Adam Roberts.

Adam's previous term has been busy, and he was proud to support "projects that have both positively activated space and met or surpassed the city's affordable housing requirements," including "13 brand new Habitat for Humanity homes" along Florida Avenue.

He recognizes that more can be done to expand the uses of the Starburst Plaza and looks forward to the coming redevelopment of the Hechinger Mall as opportunity to bring resources and vitality to the area. On transportation: "We do not need a six-lane highway running through Bladensburg; bike lanes are one way to slow down vehicular traffic, and get more visible people on the road, which I believe will certainly help deter crime."

Sounds good to us. We think Adam will continue to be a thoughtful, active and competent commissioner moving forward.


Eckington. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

In ANC 5E, we endorse Hannah Powell and Michael Henderson

Along both sides of North Capitol Street are neighborhoods like Bloomingdale, Eckington, and Edgewood, to name a few. This area is covered by ANC 5E. The well-fought-over McMillan Sand Filtration Site (what all those "Save McMillan Park" signs are about) is a huge issue for this ANC to tackle in the next few years, as well the substantial mixed-use redevelopment of the Rhode Island Shopping center adjacent to the Rhode Island Metro stop.

There's potential for a serious influx of housing and smart development in some of these areas, though it will take strong support from ANC leaders to help make that happen.

One person who has our confidence is Hannah Powell in 5E03, which is the eastern half of Eckington.

Out of the three candidates running in this race, two responded to our survey and we liked both. Hannah's opponent, Mike Aiello, had strong answers to our questionnaire on transportation, historic preservation, and housing. It is clear he has a strong grasp of the issues in the neighborhood, but he did not take as clear a stance on McMillan.

On the other hand, Hannah summarizes the situation at McMillan very well: "While it would be wonderful to turn the site back into the large park it was before WWII, it is readily apparent that there is simply no way the District can fund the needed repairs on its own. Absent a public-private partnership and compromises on all sides, the site will likely remain in disrepair and fenced off from the community, unusable by anyone."

She also supports the plans for the Rhode Island Shopping Center: "I am supportive of smart, sustainable development clustered close to Metro, and the MRP/Rhode Island Avenue development is, for the most part, a good example of exactly that," though she says that "[t]he developers stand to gain significantly by increasing the number of housing units through their" request for zoning relief, and the community "should also share in the benefits, including an increase in affordable housing units." Hear, hear.

One reader also respected Hannah's "desire to welcome new residents but to honor and maintain the diversity of the existing neighborhood," in particular regarding different housing types and options.

In the end, Hannah rose to the top our list for this district.

In the middle of the ANC lies 5E10, where we endorse Michael Henderson. This SMD abuts the Rhode Island site directly, and it was good to read that Michael is "happy to see the Rhode Island Shopping Center being redeveloped," though he promises to advocate for better access for residents in Edgewood Terrace, more affordable housing, and more green space as part of the project. He did not take a strong stance on McMillan, but at least seemed open to see some positive development happen there.

Readers wrote in that Michael's answers reflected his "thoughtful nature and his commitment to making Edgewood an even better place to live." We hope he lives up to that!


McMillan Sand Filtration Site. Photo by carfreedc on Flickr.

It is worth mentioning that there were many candidates in 5E that we chose not to endorse, primarily because of their answers about the McMillan site.

In 5E06, Katherine McLelland did not commit to much in her answers, and in particular on McMillan she refused to take a stance either way: "Whichever the direction that our ANC is in favor of, I am personally in favor of." In 5E07, Aravind Muthukrishnan wants a museum on the site, and Bertha Holliday had a host of concerns about the current proposal and seemed to threaten "delays, modifications, and increased costs." Finally in 5E09, Kirby Vining has been an outspoken "Save McMillan Park" activist for some time, and in our survey was against adding housing or bike infrastructure in his neighborhood.

The McMillan site is one of the few remaining large parcels of land in the District where we can significantly add to our housing stock and bring mixed-use amenities to the area. Having reasonable, compromising, and courageous commissioners nearby will make a real difference for the neighborhood and the city as a whole. We hope readers help vote some in.

Want to read the responses of all of the Ward 5 ANC candidates who responded to our questionnaire and judge for yourself? Check out the full PDF for Ward 5. You can also see responses and our endorsements for all 8 wards on our 2016 ANC Endorsements Page, and we'll publish our rationale for those in upcoming posts.

These are official endorsements of Greater Greater Washington. To determine this year's endorsements, we sent a reader-generated candidate questionnaire to all ANC candidates. We then published candidate responses and collected feedback. Staff evaluated all candidate responses and feedback for contested races and presented endorsements to our volunteer editorial board, which then made the final decision.

Support Us
DC Maryland Virginia Arlington Alexandria Montgomery Prince George's Fairfax Charles Prince William Loudoun Howard Anne Arundel Frederick Tysons Corner Baltimore Falls Church Fairfax City
CC BY-NC