Archive for the ‘Elections’ category

Report from the Park View UNC Ward 1 Candidate Forum

March 7, 2014

On Wednesday, March 5th, the Park View UNC hosted a Ward 1 Candidates Forum with candidates Jim Graham and Brianne Nadeau. I thought it was well run with about 20 or so people in attendance. I liked that opening statements from the candidates were brief and the majority of the time was devoted to questions from residents.

Shortly following the meeting the UNC Secretary distributed the following summary on the local Park View & UNC listservs. Overall, I think the summary captures the essence of the forum. Notes from the forum via the listerv are below:

Introductory Statements

Jim Graham

Graham emphasized the progress made in Park View during his tenure on the council, in particular improvements to the Park View Recreation Center and grounds. Graham recalled attending the annual basketball tournament before the grounds were remodeled, and spoke of the new field and space for the tournament as a mark of progress for the community. Moving forward, he would like to focus on developing lower Georgia Avenue and Sherman Avenue. He also acknowledged the longtime work of ANC Commissioner Kent Boese.

Brianne Nadeau

Nadeau emphasized her work as an ANC Commissioner on U Street, and described her strengths in constituent services, community building, and organizing the U Street Movie series. She spoke of issues in Park View where she would like to see improvements, especially rat abatement, alleys that need paving, and developing a vision for the GA Avenue Corridor. She would also like to hold the housing authority accountable for redevelopment of Park Morton.

Question and Answers

Question: What are the accomplishments you are both most proud of, during your terms in political office (as ANC Commissioner or Councilmember)?

Nadeau:

  • worked systematically to address abandoned property abatement throughout her ANC
  • created working committees to engage community leaders to meet monthly with the ANC and provide feedback
  • worked with Sustainable U program to engage businesses in smarter waste management to reduce trash and litter

Graham

  • led the Whitman Walker Clinic which responded to the needs of individuals and families fighting HIV/AIDS
  • transformed Ward One while maintaining diversity and reaching out to different groups

Question: What is your vision for Ward One’s various commercial corridors (U Street, GA Ave, etc)?

Graham

  • more funding for commercial development
  • repetition of projects that led to the CVS, the Senior Wellness Center, and eliminating drug crime near Murray’s Steaks

Nadeau

  • Maintain Park View’s residential and historic character
  • attract commercial development to the GA corridor
  • restore 1.2 million in funding cut from the Streetscape project
  • increase the number of community events to allow people to better know their neighbors and create a sense of community

Question: What is your vision for Park Morton?

Nadeau

  • organize a project to re-bid for a new developer
  • address major miscommunication between housing authority and deputy mayor’s office
  • ensure that new housing meets needs of existing residents (2-3 bedroom units as opposed to 1 bedroom units that made up the bulk of affordable units in The Ave development)
  • address existing maintenance issues Park Morton. Brianne described personally assisting an existing resident address broken plumbing, rats, and other issues.

Graham

  • the Park Morton has been renovated several times and conditions there are not so bad
  • the development has a mouse problem, not a rat problem
  • the project was delayed not by miscommunication, but by lack of community support for putting tall buildings anywhere but along GA Avenue, where space is limited
  • he is happy that the Ave development provided 27 new units of affordable housing
  • the Streetscape project (previous question) is proceeding successfully.

Question: What do you plan to do to assist with the Bruce Monroe Elementary at Park View Modernization (BMPV) and what is your platform on education more generally?

Graham

  • his opponent has no prior history with education issues
  • the 2012 BMPV partial modernization was very important
  • Otis Place should be closed for part of the day to allow greater use of the Park View park by BMPV children
  • the Council should defer to the Mayor and Chancellor on education policy
  • an elected School Board should be restored to handle education policy issues

Nadeau

  • she has previously worked with Garrison Elementary on its modernization
  • her opponent has done nothing substantive on education reform
  • schools should be providing more wrap-around services, including counselors, healthcare, programming partnerships, food pantries
  • would encourage neighborhood engagement and more community partnerships with schools

Question: What is the role of the Council in Education, given the Mayor and Chancellor’s roles?

Nadeau

  • Councilmembers can work with communities to help foster engagement. Park View is already a good model of this
  • Council can provide more budgetary support. Schools are currently under-funded by 20%, this should be increased.

Graham

  • he would focus on getting funding for projects, such as the Cardozo renovation, rather than attend committee hearings on education issues, which are not necessary to accomplish this goal

Question: What can be done to increase affordable housing?

Graham

  • Supports blended affordable mixed-income housing

Nadeau

  • supports workforce subsidies for firemen, teachers, and other individuals whose work supports the community
  • supports the HPAP program, which helps fund down-payments on homes to make long-term home ownership possible for more people
  • She feels government housing programs are not well-publicized or well managed. She cited her own HPAP application, which was approved but then cancelled, forcing her to re-apply while under contract for a home. She felt Councilmember Graham was not sufficiently helpful with this process. She also stated that his recent sanction by 11 members of the Council for ethics violations indicated that his colleagues were no longer interested in working with him on issues.

Question: What would you do to preserve small and minority-owned businesses on GA Avenue

Nadeau

  • provide funding for small businesses to renovate and upgrade
  • draw more daytime foot traffic to Georgia Avenue

Graham

(Spent majority of time responding to Nadeau’s points regarding the sanction and lack of assistance for her HPAP application. He stated that the sanction involved a conflict of interest between two different public offices he had held, and that no laws were broken. He also read from an email string in which he assisted Nadeau with her housing application)

  • would support the environment and workers, as evidenced by his Sierra Club and labor endorsements

Concluding Remarks

Both candidates thanked the UNC for the forum opportunity and encouraged attendees to take home yard signs. Nadeau invited neighbors to visit her new campaign headquarters on 14th and Florida.

With less than a month to go before the April 1st primary, and with early voting beginning on March 17th, I know that those interested in the direction Ward 1 takes in the next four years have a lot to think about.

I believe the next four years are going to be critical for the future of the Georgia Avenue corridor and those of us who live here. I’ve finally settled on who I think would be the better candidate and will post that endorsement on Monday.

Ward 1 Council Candidate Forum Scheduled for Wednesday @ the Park View School

February 24, 2014

For those who haven’t made up their mind on who to vote for in the Ward 1 Council race, the The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force is hosting a Ward 1 Candidates Forum on Wednesday February 26th at 6:00pm at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View school at 3560 Warder St. NW.  Candidates Brianne Nadeau and Councilmember Jim Graham are invited to share their views on Georgia Avenue.  They will be asked five questions related to Georgia Avenue, and a series of yes/no questions.  Audience questions will follow as time permits.  Both candidates will need to leave immediately afterwards for another forum so the forum will need to end by 7:30. It’s an opportunity for residents to attend a forum in the neighborhood and become better acquainted with the candidates.

NRHP Park View School(The Park View school building on Warder Street)

Meet & Greet with Ward 1 Council Candidate Brianne Nadeau Tonight, at DC Reynolds

December 20, 2013
Ward 1 Council candidate Brianne Nadeau.

Ward 1 Council candidate Brianne Nadeau.

According to DC Reynolds Facebook page, they will be hosting a meet and greet for Ward 1 Council candidate Brianne Nadeau. The event is tonight, Friday December 20th, beginning at 8 p.m. In addition to meeting Ms. Nadeau, she will also be bringing registration information in case attendees haven’t registered to vote yet.

The following description is from DC Reynolds announcement:

“Brianne Nadeau is a former ANC, running for DC Council to bring a new energy to the Ward. She has focused her campaign on maintaining affordability in our community, strengthening our schools and improving the delivery of government services. She believes the Council should be focused on long-term solutions to our ongoing problems, not quick fixes. During her time on the ANC, she was known as responsive, accessible and for bringing people together around tough issues. She has worked closely with leaders along Georgia Avenue to strengthen the corridor and has made this a top priority for her campaign.”

It sounds like an interesting event.

In the Mayoral Race: Gray Announces 2014 Re-Election Bid & Tommy Wells Meet and Greet at Mothership Wednesday Dec. 4th

December 3, 2013
Ward 6 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells will be at Mothership on Wednesday for a community meet and greet.

Ward 6 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells will be at Mothership on Wednesday for a community meet and greet.

Yesterday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray ended months of speculation by announcing that he would be running for re-election in the mayor’s race. With this announcement, Gray joins  four council members — Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), and Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large) — as well as Reta Jo Lewis, a Democrat and former State Department official, and Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal in the bid for mayor.

… and speaking of Tommy Wells, he will be the guest of honor at Mothership  (3301 Georgia) this Wednesday, December 4th, for a meet and greet with the community. The event starts at 6 p.m.

If you are still undecided in the mayor’s race, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about Councilmember Wells, his experience, and what he hopes to accomplish if elected mayor.

If you plan to attend the meet and greet with Councilmember Wells on Wednesday, please RSVP by sending an email to David Do.

What Are Your Thoughts on the Ward 1 Council Race?

December 2, 2013
DC Council (Image from Logan Circle Community Association Web site)

DC Council (Image from Logan Circle Community Association Web site)

I suspect that most people have probably been more focused on Thanksgiving of shopping for Christmas than the upcoming April primary … but one thing we really need to be paying attention to is the race for the Ward 1 seat on the DC Council. Thus far, the Democratic candidates circulating nominating petitions are:

Ms. Nadeau is strongly connected to the 14th & U Street/Meridian Hill area, Mr. Weaver hails from Adams Morgan, and Ms. Wheeler lives in Columbia Heights. both Nadeau and Weaver are former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners whereas Ms. Wheeler has a strong background with charter schools. Of the three, I have only encountered Nadeau walking the streets of Park View seeking signatures on her nomination petitions.

Interestingly, incumbent Councilmember Jim Graham has not yet entered the race for re-election. Nominating petitions became available on November 8th and as of the Board of Elections November 29th list of candidates Graham’s name was not listed. The deadline for filing nominating petitions is January 2, 2014, so there is still time for Graham to make his intentions known if he is running —  but I confess I find the strategy of waiting to declare one’s candidacy until late in the process to be a bit baffling.

I’m curious to hear what others think about:

  1. whether Graham will enter the race or not;
  2. if Graham doesn’t enter the race, who do you favor of the current three candidates; or
  3. if these candidates are lacking, who should we encourage to run (either now or in four years).

I’ll lead this discussion by stating that I’m a little disappointed in the “vision” of the candidates. I believe they are all on the right side of the issues they have presented, and frankly don’t find myself so far off from their positions. However, I was hoping to find a deep dive into the issues of development, transportation, and the kind of city they want the District to be as it grows and develops.

Taking Georgia Avenue as an example, I believe the DC Council needs to be more focused on development along the corridor that will provide more housing and room for new businesses — but this needs to be done in such a way that we don’t push out our existing businesses or lose our neighborhood character. The candidates also need to be talking about improved transportation (i.e. streetcars vs. bus rapid transit vs. circulator) and getting projects like Park Morton moving again. In short, there are many, many important issues critical to moving Georgia Avenue forward in a progressive way — including the Bruce Monroe property, historic preservation, affordable housing & affordable senior housing, education and public school redistricting, zoning, integrating new development into our existing communities, and the list goes on. I’m sure this is true for every corner of Ward 1  (I’ll go into more depth on some of these issues and others in follow up posts).

So, to wrap this up, please share your thoughts about the Ward 1 Council race in the comments section and take a moment to participate in the polls below.

If Councilmember Graham does not enter the race, which of the candidates are you leaning towards?

If Councilmember Graham does enter the race, which of the candidates are you leaning towards?

Meet & Greet with Councilmember Bowser this Wednesday @ Mothership

November 19, 2013
Councilmember Bowser.

Councilmember Bowser.

Here’s something that might present a tough choice for many — not only is there a joint 3D/4D police meeting on Wednesday but a meet and greet with Councilmember Bowser has also been scheduled for the same date and time.

This Wednesday, November 20th, Councilmember Muriel Bowser will be joining members of the neighborhood for a happy hour! It is intended to give members of the community a chance to talk to her about area issues (such as crime) and see what measures she would take if elected.

Details below:

What: Happy Hour Meet & Greet with Councilmember Bowser
Time: 7:00 P.M.
When: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Where: Mothership Restaurant at Lamont and Georgia, NW

Voter Precinct Boundary Realignment In Progress

November 7, 2013

The Board of Elections has proposed to realign all voting precinct boundaries in the District of Columbia. You can read the entire 59 page document from the Board of Elections here. I haven’t really seen too much chatter about this so I thought I’d give it a little more exposure. Overall, in looking at the before and after maps, I think the proposed precinct boundaries make a lot of sense — at least in our area.

Below is a detail of the existing map showing the current voting precinct boundaries.

Existing voting precincts in ANC 1A

The problem that the Board of Elections is proposing to solve is to align voting precinct boundaries to correspond with existing Advisory Neighborhood Commission Single-Member District boundary lines. They also will be revising the precinct numbering system to associate each precinct to its designated ward.

The realignment will couple each SMD into a single precinct boundary as opposed to dividing some SMDs into multiple precincts. The majority of the new precinct boundaries will only contain 2 SMDs.

Below is what the proposed voting precincts look like for our neighborhood.

Proposed new precincts detail

The following advantages will be achieved by the realignment:

  1. Allow voters in the same SMD to vote at a single polling place on Election Day;
  2. Provide for a more balanced distribution of voters to precincts;
  3. Polling place efficiencies that will reduce wait times and enhance poll worker performances on Election Day; and,
  4. Reduce the ballot printing costs incurred by the Board of Elections and reduce administrative burdens.

The public comment period has been extended to November 30, 2013, to allow for more opportunities for public feedback.

Get Out and Vote Tomorrow for the Open At-Large DC Council Seat & Budget Autonomy Amendment

April 22, 2013

Budget AutonomyIf you didn’t take advantage of early voting, tomorrow is the official day to vote in the April 23rd special election for the At-Large Council seat vacated by Phil Mendelson when he became Council Chairman. The seat was temporarily filled by Anita Bonds who is among those running in the election to fill the seat. The full slate of candidates is:

  • Matthew Frumin
  • Perry Redd
  • Elissa Silverman
  • Patrick Mara
  • Anita Bonds
  • * Michael A. Brown – WITHDRAWN
  • Paul Zukerberg

The Lets Choose DC Website has some useful information on the candidates if you want to learn more about them.

In addition to the open At-Large seat, voters get to vote on a DC Charter Amendment on budget autonomy. In addition to the relevant text of the charter amendment from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics Website (below), you can learn more from the DCVote Website.

Turnout at special elections tends to be light. There are a few good candidates in this race and depending upon turn out it could very much be up for grabs.

Below is the text from the DCBOEE site relevant to the Charter Amendment:

PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT VIII
Charter Amendment:  Local Budget Autonomy
Currently, the Home Rule Act requires affirmative Congressional action with respect to the entire District budget (both federal and local funds).

This Charter Amendment, if ratified, enacted and upheld, would permit the Council to adopt the annual local budget for the District of Columbia government; would permit the District to spend local funds in accordance with each Council approved budget act; and would permit the Council to establish the District’s fiscal year.

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At-Large Candidates Forum This Sunday, March 17th

March 14, 2013

The At-Large DC Council Special Election is coming up on April 23. If you still don’t know who you want to vote for, consider attending this Sunday’s Candidates Forum.
Candidates Forum

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Election Results Good for Park View & ANC 1A

November 7, 2012

2012 election results for Single Member Districts 1A08, 1A09, and 1A10

Now that the election is over and the results are in, local representation for our neighborhood appears to be very promising moving into 2013.

At the ANC level, the biggest change in both the neighborhood and the entire Commission is that incumbent Lenwood Johnson (1A10) was soundly defeated by challenger Anthony Cimino. Johnson’s antics are well-known and have frustrated many over the years. It is expected that the election of Cimino will bring a fair degree of civility back to the Commission and, more importantly, service and representation back to the residents of 1A10.

Commissioners Kent Boese and Bobby Holmes ran unopposed and will also be returning to the Commission. Of all the ANC 1A Commissioners running for re-election, only Commissioner Bill Brown was defeated in his race for the 1A06 seat to challenger Patrick W. Flynn.

At the DC Council level, the election of David Grosso also bodes well for Park View. While Grosso lives in Ward 5, his parents live in the neighborhood on the 700 block of Rock Creek Church Road. Therefore, he is familiar with both our community and issues — something other at-large Councilmembers have not been.

The full election results for the ANC 1A races are after the jump>> (more…)


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