The Date Is Set!

Prepping for the ANC 1B02 Vote

This week we’ll be posting an update and some thoughts on recent transitions in the neighborhood; among them, the Ellington’s profitable sale, beloved local shops closing up for good, and where this all may be heading with likely new development proposals in the offing.

But important news, first.  Late last week the ANC board voted to set the date in this fall’s special election for ANC 1B02 representative: Wednesday, Oct. 19th.

Unlike District-wide elections, there is only one place residents can go vote – the Thurgood Marhsall Center on on 12th Street NW, conference room 2 – and only a limited time window – 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening.  All voters have to be residents of the 1B02 area, and either show their DC voter registration cards OR be on the list; there’s no same-day registration.

The election comes after then-1B02 representative Aaron Spencer announced he would be stepping down immediately…which came just after a somewhat bumpy Spring and Summer where some residents began expressing public dissatisfaction with Mr. Spencer’s community outreach.  As we’ve said before, it’s a big job with little reward and much grief; we thank him for his service and wish him all the best.

But, of course, there is a lot of work pending at the ANC; now and in the near future.  The past few months and the back-and-forth on the Level 2 development are but harbingers of the future – mostly, we hope, in terms of demonstrating that it’s much easier to work with residents than to try and work around them.

There are two candidates in the race for the seat, both of them residents of Wallach Place.  The first to enter was Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, whom we profiled here.  While not the longest of long-term residents by any stretch, she repeated with us her top priority was being responsive to the community and – thanks to a flexible professional schedule – making sure she could contribute at the myriad of local governance meetings.

Soon after her entry we learned of another entrant: long time (and we do mean long time) resident and community activist Stanley Mayes.  A resident of Wallach Place since childhood, Mayes has long fought to ensure the neighborhood had a seat at the development table, and a voice to be heard.  (We also hoped to profile Stanley in a similar manner as Alexandra, but never got any traction in getting emails returned.)

Only from our perspective, my partner and I both have a world of respect for Stanley – time and again he has demonstrated he knows how this city works and how to get things done.  When Stanley talks, people are well advised to listen.  We also have great admiration for Alexandra, who clearly has the smarts, the ear, and the indefatigable energy of a community politician.

The hoped-for candidates forum never came together – as much our fault as anyone’s, given our other off-hours activities – but I’m sure both would welcome questions from interested voters.

We all have a choice between two top-tier candidates.  All we hope for is for a large turn-out.  After all, the best way to be taken seriously as a community is to show that we’re serious.

Go vote, next Wednesday the 19th, at the Thurgood Marshall Center, between 6:30 and 8:30.  No excuses.

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