Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

At-Large Candidates Forum Scheduled for May 9th

May 6, 2016

DC Council logoThe Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force and Park View UNC are hosting a candidates forum for the Democratic At-Large primary race on Monday, May 9th.

If you want to know some more about the candidates who will be participating in the forum, the Petworth News blog posted a conversation with Robert White, and you can check out the campaign Website of David Garber. I wasn’t able to find a current campaign site for Vincent Orange, but you can check out his At-Large Council site here.

Details from email below:

The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force and the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition will host an At-Large Candidates Forum on Monday May 9th at 6:30pm at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School – 3560 Warder St. NW.  The following candidates will be present:

  •  David Garber
  • CM Vincent Orange
  • Robert White

We are in the process of selecting the questions for the forum.  If you have issues pertaining to Lower Georgia Avenue that you would like to see addressed at this forum, please send an email to Sylvia Robinson at sylvia (at) ecacollective (dot) org or call her at (202) 462-2285.

We are really looking forward to hearing from the candidates on a range of topics important to our community. Hope to see you there

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.

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.

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)?


  • 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


  • 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)?


  • 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


  • 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?


  • 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.


  • 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?


  • 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


  • 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?


  • 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.


  • 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?


  • Supports blended affordable mixed-income housing


  • 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


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


(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.

Jim Graham Running for Re-Election to Fifth Term

December 10, 2013

At the beginning of December, one of the questions I asked was if residents thought Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham would be running for re-election. Yesterday morning, CM Graham answered that question on Newstalk with Bruce Depuyt on NewsChannel 8 with a definitive yes!

If you happened to miss it, you can watch the segment below.

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?

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