Posted tagged ‘DC Council’

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

Commissioner Boese Testifies Before Council for Improved DCRA

March 8, 2016

Boese DCRA Feb 29 2016

On February 29, 2016, Commissioner Boese testified before the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, focusing his testimony on the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and its need for improvement. While he acknowledged some positive changes within the department over the past year, there is still much room for improvement. Through his engagement with DCRA over the past year, he has discovered wrongly issued building permits and construction that does not match the plans reviewed in the permitting process among other problems.

Chief among the improvements he requested are:

  • The ability to accurately review building plans, issued building permits, and measure building heights;
  • To have all relevant building permits and documents publicly and freely available online, as the D.C. Code has required for more than 10 years;
  • The ability to maintain a history of Stop Work Orders and the corrective actions taken to remove the Stop Work Orders; and,
  • The strict adherence of zoning regulations.

During the hearing, Councilmember Orange asserted that while DCRA can still improve, he didn’t believe that DCRA was as broken or failing to function as some testifying had stated. He referenced the strong development of the District and the fact that DCRA issues over 35,000 building permits a year — using this as an indicator that DCRA is doing something right. Boese countered that a strong real estate market and the resulting increase in development are the cause of the increase in the number of building permits issued — but that this has no relationship to how well DCRA is operating. During the hearing Councilmember Orange often intertwined the issue of DCRA operations and the District’s revitalization and population growth — along with what he felt was his role in it — ultimately clouding the discussion.

You can watch the entire hearing here. Commissioner Boese’s testimony can be found between 03:11:48 and 03:52:42.

Opposing the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015

June 15, 2015
The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

The west side of the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue.

On May 5, 2015, Councilmember Vincent Orange introduced the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015 (Bill B21-0196). As introduced, “this bill requires that certain establishments licensed to sell alcohol shall measure the noise levels outside of their establishments using a decibel meter once an hour between the hours of 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. The noise measurements must be submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on a weekly basis. Noncompliance can result in a warning for the first offense, a fine between $500 and $1000 for a second offense, a suspended license for the 3rd offense, and revocation for a fourth offense. The requirement applies to establishments holding C/R, C/N, C/T, D/R, D/T and D/N licenses.”

Upon learning about this bill — and its attempt to  address noise coming from restaurants, bars, and taverns through self regulation by business owners — I immediately saw this as a bad bill (read my June Issues Spotlight on noise here). It would be an undue hardship for our good small businesses and the problem businesses owners would find ways around the self reporting aspect. In reflecting on how 11th Street, Upshur Street, and (recently on) Georgia Avenue started to revitalize due to the small business owners in the hospitality industry, the particulars of Oranges’ bill seemed particularly nonsensical. Looking Glass Lounge, Room 11, Crane and Turtle, Maple, and DC Reynolds (to name very few), are not the problem. These are good businesses that know their customers and engage in the community. These are precisely the businesses we need to attract other good businesses, and the businesses that often proceed or attract retail.

At the June 10th meeting of ANC 1A (as already noted by Borderstan and the District Hopper), I introduced a resolution opposing the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015 … and I’m happy to say that the Commission passed the resolution overwhelmingly by a vote of 8-0 with one abstention.

I do agree with Mr. Orange that the city can do more to address noise issues — particularly by beefing up our construction code to mitigate noise in new construction before noise even becomes an issue. Or, by establishing standards for sound abatement in replacement windows for buildings located in Commercial corridors. There is a lot that can be done proactively that D.C. just isn’t doing. This is precisely why I’m taking a deep dive into the Construction code and comparing it with other jurisdictions to document best practices that would make sense in D.C. For me, maintaining the communities quality of life does not and should not be accomplished through laws hostile to small businesses, but rather through improved construction and the use of new technologies.

The hearing on the Nightlife Regulation Amendment Act of 2015 is scheduled for July 9th. Those wishing to testify or submit written comments can find instructions to do so in the Announcement of the Public Hearing.

Nadeau Begins Term Today, New Ward 1 Staff

January 2, 2015

Today, Brianne Nadeau will be sworn in as Ward 1’s representative on the Council of the District of Columbia. Nadeau defeated 17 year incumbent Jim Graham in the April 2014 primary.

One thing that should be of great interest to all Ward 1 residents is who will be staffing Nadeau’s Council office. Below is a rundown of her team as shared via email last week.

Meet Councilmember Brianne Nadeau’s Team

Tania JacksonTania Jackson, Chief of Staff
Tania Jackson was raised in Ward 1 and has more than 20 years of experience in neighborhood-level community outreach, communications and project-related activism. Working variously with local government, non-profits and socially responsible for-profit entities, she has been able to help bring projects to fruition all over the District of Columbia.
In 2009 she started her own consulting organization, Create Communitas, specializing in public-private development, tenant purchase, and compliance with District and federal hiring standards. She currently serves on the Board of Humanities D.C., the Mary Church Terrell House, is the Vice Chair of the Ward One Democrats and a member of the Potomac Chapter of the Links, Inc. Tania’s first job after finishing college was working for then-Ward One Councilmember Frank Smith. She is a seventh generation Washingtonian and speaks French.


Tom Fazzini, Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director
A U Street resident, Tom brings a decade of experience serving in political and non-profit communications roles in the government, campaigns, and as an advisor to non-profit and progressive organizations. Previously, he was a Senior Director at West End Strategy Team, and Senior Associate at Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications. Tom served as a communications official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as press secretary for U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. During the 2008 campaign season, Tom served as the deputy communications director for the Obama campaign in Indiana. He also served as a senior communications official at a start-up nonprofit focused on ending the corrupting influence of money in politics. Tom is a graduate of Oberlin College.

Danielle Burs, Legislative Director

Prior to joining Councilmember Nadeau’s office, Danielle served as Director of Policy at the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Community Development and was a fellow at Manna, Inc., an organization that works to help low and moderate income persons in the District become homeowners. Danielle holds a J.D. from The American University Washington College of Law where she was a student attorney at the school’s Community and Economic Development Law Clinic, and she holds a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, MA where she majored in government and English. Some of Danielle’s favorite things in Ward One are Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, the fantastic murals and the great coffee shops.

Claudia Barahona, Constituent Services Director
Claudia Barahona was born and raised in Washington. Her parents emigrated from El Salvador to Washington D.C. in 1978 and they have lived in Ward One since 1985. Claudia graduated from Wilson Senior High School and she attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 2008, her love and passion for community empowerment brought her back to Washington D.C., where she has been committed to working with youth in Ward 1 as an Inner City Outing Leader at the Parkview Recreation Center and a Project Director at the Latin American Youth Center. Having grown up Columbia Heights, Claudia looks forward to continuing her work with community members. Claudia is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Cherryl Bradley, Scheduler and Constituent Services Representative

A resident of Columbia Heights, Cherryl Bradley was born and raised in Washington where she grew up in the Stronghold neighborhood. Prior to joining Brianne’s team, Cherryl held previous positions with the District of Columbia Fire Department and District of Columbia Public Schools. Cherryl has more than 20 years of experience serving communities across the greater Washington metro area as a community activist, youth advocate, motivational speaker, and community program developer. Cherryl is a graduate of the District of Columbia Public Schools. She earned an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Paralegal/Management from University of Maryland University College and also possesses certification as a computer specialist.

Maricela Nava, Administrative Assistant
Maricela Nava has a strong interest and passion in helping the Ward 1 community where she was born and raised. As a child she attended Harriet Tubman Elementary School, Lincoln Middle School, and Bell Multicultural High School where she graduated in 2008. Maricela also attended Trinity Washington University where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree she decided to pursue her life-long dream to become a Cosmetologist, and she attended Flair Beauty Institute and obtained her Washington, D.C. Cosmetology license. Maricela is a fluent Spanish speaker.

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.

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)


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