Archive for the ‘Elections’ category

E. Gail Anderson Holness: Candidate for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

October 8, 2014
E. Gail Anderson Holness, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image from campaign Web site)

E. Gail Anderson Holness, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image from campaign Web site)

Today, our featured candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education is E. Gail Anderson Holness. You can learn more about the candidate at her campaign Web site here.

Here are the questions each candidate received along with E. Gail’s answers:

Q: Which Ward 1 neighborhood do you live in?

A: Pleasant Plains-Columbia Heights

Q: How long have you lived in D.C.?

A: Off and on for 36 years. I have lived in Ward One the majority of the time having lived in my present location over 11 years. Ali, my daughter, was born and raised in this community 26 years ago.

Q: Why did you decide to become a candidate for the Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education?

A: I decided to become a candidate for Ward One Member of the State Board of Education based on my concern and passion for the future of our children. I have served as a substitute teacher in DCPS primarily in Ward One – Cardozo and Banneker. Several Ward One residents encouraged me to run based upon my history of advocacy and active engagement in the Ward One community.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish on the State Board of Education?

A: It is critical that our education system in the District undergo basic reform inclusive of the following:

  • Teacher evaluation – I recommend a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Master Teacher evaluation;
  • Truancy– chronic truancy creates a student who becomes chronically behind in learning;
  • Testing – While there have been some gains the DCPS system continues to have the nation’s widest achievement gaps between white and black students and white and Hispanic students according to the study which shows that poor black children in the District continue to score lower than average than their counterparts;
  • Training for life – It is imperative that our education system prepares our children for college but for those who do not want to attend college can have alternative workforce development opportunities through the UDC Community College; and,
  • Transparency and coordination – Teachers, parents, and students have complained about changes in process and procedures within the school system without properly notifying the stakeholders.

Transparency is needed in the school system and the Board of Education. As the Ward One Member of the State Board of Education, I will:

  • Advocate for the higher performance standards for teachers and students;
  • Push for services that will strengthen our schools, encourage our teachers, and inspire our students to learn and attend school;
  • Engage the entire community – parents, community organizations, and the faith community – to actively participate in the development of our school children;
  • Work with the Ward One Councilmember and the Ward One ANCs to establish a Ward One Education Committee to specially deal with issues affecting our community that may also have a positive effect on the wider DC community.  Parents, teachers, and community residents would be invited to be an integral part of the Ward One Education Committee.

Q: How does your professional and/or life experience make you a good candidate for the State Board of Education, and how will it help you be a successful Member of the Board?

A: I have served as a community and human rights activist most of my youth and all of my adult life. I have worked in the field of Education as a College Administrator, Professor, and Lecturer. My teaching career that began at Pensacola, Florida Community College and expanded to University of Alaska at Anchorage; Coppin State College Baltimore, MD; Benedict College and Allen University Columbia, SC; Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia. At UDC, I served as Special Assistant to three UDC Presidents, hosted a TV program (10 years) UDC Forum, and was Executive Director of Student Outreach and Leadership Development.

I also served on the committee that wrote the proposal for the legislation for UDC to initiate the Community College. As a trained lawyer, I have a deep understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes and have been successful in developing good polices.

In 1989, I proposed a bill before the Board of Education to require students to wear uniforms in DCPS. During those days, students were literally killing each other over clothes and sneakers. The bill failed but was implemented in 2009.

I believe my training as a lawyer and 25 years in the Education field coupled with my community outreach efforts will contribute immensely to my success as a Member of the State Board of Education.

Q: Is this your first bid for elected office? If not, please describe other elected positions you’ve held, briefly note your accomplishments, and describe how the community benefited by your advocacy.

A: I am a three term Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 1B11. During my tenure, was elected by the Commission to serve as Secretary, Vice Chairperson, and Chairperson for ANC 1B.  I also served as Vice President of Ward One Democrats, the Mayor’s Commission for Women, and the Mayor’s Interfaith Commission.

My successes as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 1B11 include:

  1. Increased Security for LeDroit Senior Building
  2. Speed bumps on 4th Street between V and W Streets
  3. Started Saturday Empowerment Academy every third Saturday
  4. Book drive for youth in the community
  5. Collaborated with local businesses to provide incentive awards to students in Ward One DCPS who excelled academically or athletically.
  6. Advocated for more parking spaces for residents in my SMD that was provided on two streets
  7. Convened the Ward One Church and Community Summit to address Education, Parking, and Crime issues.

Q: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

A: I am a mother, educator, community organizer, and human rights activist who believe in the inherent rights of all children, regardless of their race, creed, color, nationality, or sexual orientation. I know that all children can learn and should have the opportunity for quality schools, quality teaches, and a quality education. Ward One is one of the most diverse areas in DC and I am glad to represent all residents and live in this peaceful, comfortable, and safe environment.

David Do: Candidate for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

October 7, 2014
David Do, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image provided by candidate)

David Do, Candidate for Ward 1 State Board of Education (image provided by candidate)

To kick off our review of the Ward 1 Candidates for State Board of Education, today’s feature is David Do. You can learn more about David at his campaign Web site here.

Here are the questions each candidate received along with David’s answers:

Q: Which Ward 1 neighborhood do you live in?

A: I am a homeowner in Park View and have lived here for four years. I bought my home in the neighborhood a little over three years ago.

Q: How long have you lived in D.C.?

A: I have lived in D.C. for over five years.

Q: Why did you decide to become a candidate for the Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education?

A: I decided to run for the Ward 1 Member of the State Board of Education because it was an opportunity to bring my background and life experience to Ward 1 students who are struggling to succeed in our schools. My parents were refugees of the Vietnam War and came to the U.S. with nothing. They were fast food workers, earning an honest living to make sure that I could have good education. This is what I want for our kids in Ward 1. I am running because of the encouragement and support of our community and neighborhood parents. The encouragement came because of my tireless work and tremendous accomplishments at Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary, the Park View Recreation Center, and our community as a whole. I will bring the same record of accomplishment and energy for Park View to the Board of Education.

I am also running because tests like the DC CAS said I was basic or below proficient, the SAT said I should have never went to college, and my first semester of college grades put me on the verge of academic probation. But, I never let the possibility of failure hold me back. What changed in my academic career was a mentor. My introductory economics professor helped me develop my interest in economics. Once I discovered my talent and interest in economics, I exceled tremendously and graduated from college with honors and received the University’s Legacy Award. Tests should never be the end all and be all of education. We need to help our children develop their own special talents and help them learn the true meeting of education. It has worked for me and I believe it will work for our community.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish on the State Board of Education?

A: Ward 1 needs a strong advocate who understands what our children are going through. I was an English Language Learner and a daily recipient of free and reduced meals. I lived in poverty. In Ward 1, many of our children are living what I lived. They too are living in poverty. I want to bring that perspective to the board of education. I want to uplift all of our children.

I also want to bring my experience working for our local neighborhood school Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary to the board. We have seen tremendous improvements when different groups work together to create a collaborative and community approach to improving education. A top-down approach where collaboration was not part of the equation has not worked in the last seven years of corporate education reform. We need to take a different tack to reform. I will advocate for a more supportive and respectful process that includes all stakeholders.

Finally, I want to be a part of the Parental and Home Engagement Committee on the State Board of Education. It is a committee that I personally feel will best suit my background and experience. There is a lot of research to support the benefits of family engagement in our schools. That is why I will work within my role on the Board of Education to consider all point of views in establishing an effective and implementable plan for parental and home engagement in our schools.

Q: How does your professional and/or life experience make you a good candidate for the State Board of Education, and how will it help you be a successful Member of the Board?

A: I have worked in the Park View community for a few years. I held several events and started a block association. I have also been a consistent volunteer at Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary working with our teachers, community leaders, and parents to make sure our school continues its success as a great community school. That is why there are so many parents at the elementary school supporting my candidacy for the State Board of Education including Sarah Sorscher, Gabriel Sobarzo, and Jessica Sobarzo.

I have personally mentored two DC public school students throughout their high school career. They are now graduating seniors at Pennsylvania State University. I was also in charge of the Mayor’s internship initiative for the correspondence unit. I developed workshops for our interns so that they could improve their resumes, cover letters, business wardrobes, and interview skills.

Finally, I have a record of getting safety improvements for our schools including a crosswalk on Georgia Avenue between E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center. I did this so that all residents can safely cross Georgia Avenue, one of the busiest corridors in Washington D.C.

Q: Is this your first bid for elected office? If not, please describe other elected positions you’ve held, briefly note your accomplishments, and describe how the community benefited by your advocacy.

A: I have held the position of Director of Academic Affairs at the University of California, Merced, where I was one of the executives in charge of implementation of a $200,000 budget. During my tenure I introduced and implemented a bill called the Fellowship and Undergraduate Research Symposium Act. This program received initial funding of $5,000 to make sure that undergraduate students were able to present their research at conferences across the country. This program has been extremely successfully and now has an annual budget of $10,000.

Moreover, I provided resources for students who needed extra help in math, writing, chemistry, and economics. These students received free tutoring services that my office funded. I also made sure that students stayed focused on learning by providing them with meals, snacks, and other stress-relieving opportunities during final exams.

I was also an advocate for our students. I made sure that student groups received enough funding to hold major educational conferences where I helped write the grant to fund the African Black Coalition Conference. The conference received $15,000 in grant funding. I have also advocated for individual students by seeing the passage of a bill to allow students to earn a triple major if they chose.

Through my work as Director of Academic Affairs, I received a front-page story in the Merced Sun-Star praising my aspirations and work as Director of Academic Affairs. The Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Merced said that I, “worked tirelessly to support student success in their academic pursuits, in their professional development, and in their self-efficacy.”

I will bring this record of achievement to the DC Board of Education.

Q: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

A: Park View is where I call home. I bought my row house three years ago and have been active in our community for many years. I have seen Park View grow tremendously and I am glad to have played an active role in its success. Here are just some of my accomplishments in Park View.

  • Fought for safety improvements for our school-aged children including a signaled crosswalk for E.L. Haynes Public Charter School on Georgia Avenue.
  • Volunteered at Bruce Monroe at Park View for many years and have been featured on this blog multiple times.
  • Hosted crime meetings with public officials like Chief Lanier to make sure our community is safe and secure.
  • Hosted elected officials and candidates at community meet and greets in Park View to make sure our neighborhood has options when deciding who should represent them.
  • I have the support of Sarah Sorscher, who is a mother in Park View and actively participates at Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary. I also have the support of many other BMPV parents.

I am very excited at the prospect of representing Ward 1 and Park View as the next Ward 1 Member of the DC State Board of Education.

Know Your Candidates for the Ward 1 State Board of Education

October 6, 2014
Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary, located on Warder Street.

Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary, located on Warder Street

When voters go to the polls in November, I suspect most people will be thinking primarily about the Mayoral and Council races, but there are many other races that will be on the ballot. As the future of education and our schools is high on the list of priorities, I definitely wanted people to be as informed as possible when deciding who to support for the Ward 1 State Board of Education.

This year we have five candidates for the State Board of Education. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • David Do;
  • E. Gail Anderson Holness;
  • Lillian Perdomo;
  • Laura Wilson Phelan; and,
  • Scott Simpson.

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting profiles of each in the order above. I know it will be a tough decision for many. As I heard one resident say, the problem isn’t that we have no good choices, but rather, that we have several good choices. Hopefully, the forthcoming profiles will help those who are still wanting to know more about this race.

Here’s How the ANC 1A Races Are Shaping Up

August 19, 2014
Map of ANC 1A showing borders and locations of Single Member Districts (SMDs).

Map of ANC 1A showing borders and locations of Single Member Districts (SMDs).

I’m sure most folks aren’t really focused on the November 4th elections — and then if they are, they are probably more aware of the races for Mayor or Council. That said, there are other races that voters should be aware of an which I’ll write more about as we get closer to November.

For now, I wanted to let residents living in the area represented by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A know what to expect in the next election.

The deadline for turning in nominating petitions has past, and the period in which to challenge those nominating petitions ended at the close of business yesterday, August 18, 2014. Presuming that all the candidates who turned in their petitions survived the challenge period (and I have no reason to believe anyone didn’t), the people running to represent their Single Member District’s (SMD) this fall will be the following. You can refer to the map above for an idea of where the SMDs are located, and I have listed the incumbents.

For SMD 1A01

  • 1A01 Lester Cuffie
  • 1A01 Marvin L. Johnson

For SMD 1A02

  • 1A02 Josue Salmeron

For SMD 1A03

  • No candidates stepped up. But, anyone interested in this seat can still run as a write-in candidate.

For SMD 1A04

  • 1A04 Lakew Alemu
  • 1A04 Matthew Goldschmidt
  • 1A04 Mark Ranneberger

For SMD 1A05

  • No candidates stepped up. But, anyone interested in this seat can still run as a write-in candidate.

For SMD 1A06

For SMD 1A07

  • 1A07 Darwain Frost

For SMD 1A08

For SMD 1A09

  • 1A09 Keith Dokho
  • 1A09 Bobby Holmes (Incumbent)

For SMD 1A10

For SMD 1A11

  • 1A11 Dotti Love Wade (Incumbent)

For SMD 1A12

  • 1A12 Colleen Costello
  • 1A12 Margaret Hundley

Among the aspects of this election cycle I find interesting are that the 2015-2016 Commission will be composed of 8- 9 new Commissioners which is a high percentage of turn over. I understand the ANC 1B races are similarly situated. I also find it interesting that the Single Member Districts where no one has shown interest so far are west of 14th Street and include the large apartment building over the Metro and DC USA. It is also good to see that several of the races are competitive this year, which should give voters an opportunity to choose from among the candidates.

I’ll post more about these candidates as we get close to November.



Candidates Still Needed in Many Advisory Neighborhood Commission Races

July 21, 2014

As of today, Monday July 21st, there are 16 days left for those interested in picking up and returning nominating petitions to run for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs). The deadline to turn in petitions is Wednesday, August 6th.

After the first 10 days, 240 candidates had picked up petitions to put their names on the November Advisory Neighborhood Commission ballot.  Of those picking up petitions so far, the number is split almost equally between incumbents (121) and “non-incumbents” (119).  Four ANCs (2C, 5B, 7C, and 8A) have candidates for all of their Single Member District (SMD) races.  However, a little more than one-third of all the SMDs (109) do not yet have a candidate. If you have ever considered being involved in your community by serving on an ANC, this is a good time to check with the Board of Elections to see if  your community needs a candidate come November.

Thus far, within Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A, 9 potential candidates have picked up petitions to run for seats in 7 of the 12 SMD races. This leaves 5 SMDs with no potential candidates thus far. You can see the names of potential candidates and the SMDs they are interested in as of close of business on Thursday, July 17th, below:

ANC 1A candidates as of July 17

In reviewing the list of interested candidates for ANC 1A, I noticed that the areas in most need of candidates are largely west of 14th Street and/or in the southwest section of the Commission area (see map below). Two of the races — SMD 1A08 and SMD 1A09 — show multiple potential candidates. However, until nominating petitions have been successfully circulated and turned in to the Board of Elections we won’t know who the final list of candidates will be.

If you know of anyone who has ever expressed an interest in serving on the ANC — especially someone living in the areas shaded in blue below — this would be a great time to encourage them to pull petitions and get on the ballot for the November elections.
ANC 1A map July 20 election(As of close of business on July 17th, no candidates had expressed interest in running for the Single Member Districts shaded in light blue).


Boese Will Run for Reelection to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A08 Seat

July 3, 2014

BoeseforDCOver the past few months, I’ve been asked on a number of occasions if I would be running for reelection to the ANC this fall. The short answer is yes, I will run for reelection and hope to be fortunate enough to continue serving the community if elected (campaign website here). Nominating petitions for candidates interested in running for ANC seats will be available on July 7th, and I’m sure I’ll be picking up my petitions on Monday.

In making this decision, I reflected upon what has been accomplished in the past 3 1/2 years and thought ahead to the many challenges that are ahead of the commuity in the coming 2 years. These issues include the affordability of housing, redevelopment of the former Hebrew Home, balancing new development with the historic character of the neighborhood, and finding permanent solutions that will move the redevelopment of Park Morton and the Bruce-Monroe site forward. I’m also interested in finding ways to bring more trees to the community and supporting the arts and humanities.

There are also projects in process that I would like to see through — namely the renovation of the Park View Recreation Center’s field house and the continued modernization of the Park View School building. I’ve been extremely involved in both and expect to see progress on each of them before the year is out.

With this declaration, I officially join Rashida Brown as a candidate for ANC1A. Brown openly declared her intention to run for the ANC1A10 seat in May of this year.

I’ll keep the community informed about others running for ANC1A as candidates declare their candidacy or pick up nominating petitions.



Rashida Brown Kicks off Run for ANC 1A10 Tonight!

May 19, 2014

Rashida Brown Kick off

Park View resident Rashida Brown is officially beginning the campaign season for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A with her kick-off event at Bravo Bar tonight. Tonight’s event is open to the public and will run from 6:30-8:30 pm. Brown is running for the ANC 1A10 seat (ANC 1A map here).

I’ve already had an opportunity to sit down with her and have been impressed by her dedication, civic engagement, and strong work ethic. While its still too early to tell if others will be tossing their hats into the ring, I have no doubt that Brown is an excellent candidate and will be a solid choice in November.

Consider coming out tonight to meet the candidate if you can. Below is a press release that was forwarded to me:

May 15, 2014

Contact: Sabrina Parker Colwell
Phone: (202) 386-6441
Email: naturalink (at) gmail (dot) com


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rashida Brown, a Park View resident and community activist, will announce her run for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) 1A10 at Bravo Bar located at 2719 Georgia Ave, NW Washington, DC 20001 on Monday, May 19, 2014.

Brown’s motto is “respect the past, plan the present, build the future.” A native South Carolinian, Ms. Brown is a 7-year Park View resident. Brown is known for her work coordinating with several city agencies to combat crime, reduce illegal dumping and increase rat abatement in her neighborhood. She made this a multi-block effort. Brown states, “I am committed to expanding these efforts throughout my Single Member District (SMD).” Streets within 1A10’s SMD include Columbia Rd., Irving St., Warder St., Park Pl., Lamont St. and Georgia Ave.

A social worker and longtime advocate for children’s issues, Ms. Brown decided to run for ANC due to her commitment to make change and improve her community’s conditions. “I’ve lived in the District since 2000,” Brown states. She adds, “I came here to attend Howard University’s School of Social Work where I majored in direct services and community organizing.” Brown believes she is well positioned to use these skills when working to improve her community and advocate for those within her SMD. (more…)

Brianne Nadeau Prevails in Ward 1 Primary Race

April 2, 2014

With all voting precincts reporting in, mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser (with 44.24% of the vote) and Ward 1 candidate Brianne Nadeau (with 58.68% of the vote) won decisive victories in yesterday’s closely watched and hotly contested D.C. Primary elections. Voter turn-out was low, with only 22.50% of registered voters participating in either early voting or yesterday’s Primary, and played significant roles in several of the tight races.  You can view the election results for all races at the DC Board of Elections Web site.  I’ve also included the results of the Ward 1 primary below.

Results Ward 1 Primary 2014

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Brianne Nadeau on her victory. Nadeau ran a well-organized and aggressive campaign and it paid off handsomely. Her youthful energy and intelligence — along with her growing knowledge of the residents and issues gained from months of canvasing every corner and neighborhood in Ward 1 — will serve her well and help her hit the ground running when she takes office next January.

Early Voting Sites for DC Primary Open Across the City

March 24, 2014

Badge - 2008 electionEarly voting for this year’s primary contests began on Saturday, March 22, throughout the District’s eight wards. Early voting will continue until March 29th. If you want to skip the lines on April 1st, you can cast your ballot ahead of time for Mayor, Council Chairman, Ward 1 Council Member, At Large Council Members, Shadow Representatives, and party committee members, among others. The DC Board of Elections Web site has a list of all centers as well as their wait times if you want to check it out before you go.

For those that live in the neighborhood and want to vote close to home, the early voting location for Ward 1 is:

Columbia Heights Community Center

1480 Girard St, NW
Get Directions

Open Mar 22 – Mar 29 (closed Sunday)
8:30am – 7:00pm Daily

Closest Metro Stop: Columbia Heights
Parking: Street parking

Additionally, as a reminder, DC’s primaries are closed, meaning if you are not registered as being affiliated with a particular party, you cannot vote in that party’s primary. You can change your registration online to pick which party’s primary you would like to vote in here You may also change your affiliation in person at the polls.

Endorsement for Jim Graham in the Ward 1 Council Race

March 11, 2014

[PDF version]

In the Ward 1 Council race, I have decided to endorse the incumbent, Councilmember Jim Graham.  In making this decision it boiled down to one thing – in the race between Jim Graham and Brianne Nadeau, I believe Jim Graham’s experience and understanding of both the Ward and Georgia Avenue’s dynamics makes him the better candidate when it comes to representing the issues of our community and the future of lower Georgia Avenue.

As I often have had to do in my role as a community leader, I have given this decision much thought knowing full well that some in the community will disagree with it. Yet, above all I feel it is my duty to advocate in the best interests of the community. I believe this decision does that.

It has been my experience during my years of service that Councilmember Graham has provided much needed support to community priorities when it mattered most. A few of the many issues in our community I credit him with are:

  • The opening of the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center, a project that could have died or been built elsewhere in the Ward were it not for CM Graham’s advocacy;
  • Bringing development and a new CVS to the corner of Georgia and New Hampshire avenues;
  • His work on the land swap with the Gales School and the Central Union Mission, which led to the construction of The Avenue. Now, a building with 83 affordable units (27 set aside for public housing) exists where once a 150- to 175-bed men’s shelter was planned;
  • His support for increasing the 2012 phase one modernization of the Park View School building from $5.5M to $8.4M, which allowed for far more of the building to be modernized than typically occurs during a normal phase one project;
  • Continued support for improvements to the Park View Recreation Center. Due to Graham’s involvement, all of the outdoor spaces have been redone, and the main facility has had a renovation making it far more flexible and usable. His support for renovating the historic field house – which will begin this year – was also crucial;
  • Graham’s support in creating a temporary park at the former Bruce-Monroe school site rather than allowing it to be converted to a parking lot. His work on this site is ongoing;
  • The enhanced parking program, which reserves parking on one side of the street for the residents who actually live in the neighborhood; and,
  • His outstanding constituent services and responsiveness to the many issues – large and small – that confront residents on a daily basis.

Against a backdrop where development has begun to take hold on Georgia Avenue, it is essential that our Councilmember for the next four year be someone who knows the dynamics of the corridor, be a proven and knowledgeable community advocate, and be someone who is truly interested in working with residents and community leaders on issues that directly impact them.

Washington is a city with many talented and intelligent people. I would count both candidates among them. However, in reviewing Ms. Nadeau’s record I find it slim at best, even when compared to others who have had similar opportunities. As a community activist and leader who served on ANC 1B from 2007-2010, I expect more of her record than an ability to “bring people together around tough issues.”

Within this context, I find Councilmember Graham to be the only real choice in the 2014 democratic primary race for Ward 1. I urge those who desire genuine, positive, and inclusive progress in our community to consider this when they vote on April 1st.

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