I believe in: raising the voices of neighbors on the issues you care about; ensuring that the ANC is accessible, responsive, and accountable to neighbors; and building community. As Commissioner, I have focused on ending chronic homelessness and expanding affordable housing; infrastructure and the environment (including solar and stormwater management); and government accountability and ethics; among other issues.
CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS & AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Housing is a human right, and all District residents are entitled to the dignity of a home. During my first term as Commissioner, I have worked hard to support efforts to end chronic homelessness and expand affordable housing. Under my leadership, ANC 4B has unanimously supported several resolutions regarding homelessness and affordable housing, including resolutions calling for additional funding in the District’s budget to address chronic homelessness, calling for urgent public housing repairs and commitment to maintaining and expanding public housing stock; calling for expansion and improvement of rent control, and calling for more deeply affordable housing and consideration of additional affordable housing tools via the District's Comprehensive Plan (a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development). I have worked at the neighborhood level, sending letters of support for an affordable housing preservation project in the neighborhood, which received local government funding, and sharing resources with neighbors regarding affordable housing.
In an effort to expand and improve ANC 4B's efforts on these important issues, I have started a Housing Justice Committee, which will (1) consider proposed developments within ANC 4B's boundaries for purposes of determining how best to maximize affordable housing, including deeply affordable housing; (2) analyze and provide feedback on proposed legislation and policy affecting affordable housing and homelessness with a goal of increasing and expanding deeply affordable housing; and (3) host and support educational events on topics related to affordable housing and homelessness. One of my goals for my next term is to start the important work of this Committee.
INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT
Bold, holistic, and expansive measures are necessary to address climate change and to meet the District's sustainability goals. Residents in Takoma face the unique situation of being in a historic district, which has presented additional challenges for residents seeking to install solar panels. To address these challenges, ANC 4B successfully advocated for more flexibility with regard to front-facing, visible solar panels in historic districts. You can read more about the Commission's efforts here. In addition to solar panels, I have worked with neighbors on a successful grant application to design and implement block-wide (and not just individual property) solutions to stormwater management issues.
Traffic safety is a consistent concern among residents in the neighborhood, and I have worked diligently to provide support for DC Department of Transportation traffic safety assessments and related traffic calming measures. (*Please note the traffic safety assessment process is different from the previous petition process. While neighbor signatures are not required under the current process, you must submit an ANC letter of support.*) ANC 4B has pushed for broader traffic safety measures, including through pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle infrastructure improvements on Aspen Street by the Walter Reed campus, timely progress on the long-awaited the 4th / Cedar / Blair intersection improvement project, and mechanisms to address heavy trucks on neighborhood residential streets.
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY & ETHICS
Good governments benefits residents and elected officials alike. I firmly believe in working to uphold the institutional integrity of the government entities I support. That includes accountability for those with the most power, as well as those who are volunteer public servants, like ANCs. To serve these goals, I led ANC 4B in calling for an investigation into former Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans's pattern and practice of ethical misconduct. Former Councilmember Evans resigned after the DC Council conducted just such an investigation and found serious misconduct. I also testified regarding procedural challenges at the Office of Government Ethics and best practices for ethics complaints. The Director of that Office subsequently stepped down. You can read more here.
I have pursued other good government measures, including a resolution encouraging candidates to opt into the District’s public financing of elections program, a resolution supporting funding for anti-bias training for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and feedback and suggestions - following communications with dozens of residents - regarding the Board of Elections' performance in the conducting the June 2, 2020, primary election and best practices for mail-in ballots and in-person voting.
At the ANC level, our Commission has worked toward accessible, inclusive, and transparent operations. We now comply with our statutory obligation to publish an Annual Report, as well as to file timely financial reports. As a Commission we have advocated for better and more robust centralized supports for ANCs to allow all Commissions across the city to better serve neighbors, and we've seen DC budget changes in response to our advocacy. You can read more about the improvements we have advocated for and instituted here and here. Within SMD 4B02, I work hard to be transparent, including by keeping neighbors informed through detailed monthly email newsletters and monthly office hours.