Thursday, October 25, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B12

The tenth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B12, which you can see at right.

ANC 1B12 is a new district, so there isn't an incumbent. The candidates are Erling (Erl) Bailey, John Green, Zahra Jilani, and Dan Wittels. Wittels didn't respond, but here are the other three candidates' responses.

The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

There's a map of all the ANCs here.

John Green:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a DC native. I have lived in the DC metropolitan area practically all my life. The U Street Corridor has been my home for almost 3 years now. Prior to that, I lived in the Shaw neighborhood for more than five years.

I work as the political content manager for American Bridge 21st Century. Before that, I worked as an Equal Opportunity Employment specialist for five years. I hold a master's degree in public policy, with a focus on regional economic development, which helps me understand and navigate the zoning, commercial and legislative issues facing our residents and businesses.

I am passionate about our community and I believe I can be an effective public servant who can improve the 1B12 neighborhood and make it even greater than it is today.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
At times, I feel that few people in the community are even aware of what the duties of an ANC Commissioner are or that the position even exists. Therefore, I am running to bring more visibility to this newly formed district (1B12) and leadership on day one.

As I said in my Borderstan interview, I am uniquely qualified to represent the needs of the diverse constituency that calls U Street home. Furthermore, I bring a passion for community involvement that will make be a great advocate for every resident in my single-member district.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?
The two biggest issues confronting my district are crime and the pace of economic development occurring in the U Street area.

As your next ANC Commissioner, I will work to reduce violent crime and property damage by brining together developers, businesses and residents.

I support a moderate growth strategy that balances the needs of our city to grow, while keeping with the integrity of our community and the desires of the people who live and work here. It will also be my aim to bring more public arts and green space to our neighborhood.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
The U Street Corridor is going through a period of tremendous economic growth and an effective ANC Commissioner must hear the concerns of the residents in our district - not political elites and developers. I feel that concerns of the community sometimes get left out of the conversation. Therefore, I will work to have residents better informed and will institute a 24-hour policy for answering constituent questions.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
I support initiatives that will improve the appearance of our streets and will aggressively hold the city's sanitation and maintenance authorities accountable.

I will fight to obtain recycling bins on busy street corners. I am firm believer that cleaner streets equal happier residents and more community pride.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
The regulating of liquor licenses is one of many important duties an ANC Commissioner has to consider. It requires an ANC Commissioner to balance the needs of the residents and businesses. I would not take this obligation lightly and would first seek community input before registering my vote.

Zahra Jilani:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself 
I have always been passionate about improving our local community, whether it be through my work as an after school tutor at Davis Elementary in South East, my involvement in the Big Brother Big Sister program, or my current role as intern to ANC 1B.  I continue my deep commitment to public service in my day job at the American Diabetes Association.  I fell in love with DC after attending George Washington University, and after gaining experience working in community development abroad I returned to U Street in order to make a positive change to our vibrant and historic district.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
I am running for ANC because I believe that our community needs a voice during this important time.  Residents need to have a stake in what happens in their own neighborhood, and I am prepared to make sure this happens. I am familiar with the local political process through my work with the ANC and know how to voice my constituents’ concerns effectively and efficiently.

3. What are the biggest areas confronting your district?
Through continuous conversations with members of my district, I have found that safety is a big concern in light of recent crimes.  Lieutenant Harrington pointed out at the last PSA meeting that at the last two U Street shootings, there were officers present at the scene of the crime.  More policemen isn’t the only answer.  If elected, I will work closely with MPD to get policemen out of their cars and onto the streets, knowing our district well enough that they can prevent these crimes before they occur.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
I have not missed an ANC meeting since moving to my district, and have good insight into what can be improved and how.  If elected, my first task will be to improve communication with my constituents so we can bring to light the most prevalent community concerns.  I have already started to implement this plan by creating the ANC 1B newsletter – if you have any input or announcements that need posting, please contact me at I have also started to develop a list of emails of all the members of our district so residents can have continuous input through an ANC B12 list serve.  Communication is the key to a cohesive community, and I will continue open and transparent communication if elected.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
Our area needs more recycling bins and composting plans for an environmentally sustainable community.  We need more resident parking spaces.  We need productive discourse between businesses and residents through the ANC process. And most of all, our residents need more of a voice in what happens in their own community.  I have the knowledge and dedication to be that voice, and I am fully prepared to work with residents to create a safer, greener, and more connected 1B12.

6. One of the ANC’s jobs is to regulate liquor licenses.  What are your thoughts on these issues?
I think that we need an eclectic mix of businesses in our community, and need to work closely with ABRA to carefully scrutinize each liquor license application as it is presented.  A liquor license doesn’t necessarily mean the business will be a bar or club, which I think we can all agree U street is already saturated with.  Kramer Books in Dupont is a great example of an establishment that utilizes its liquor license to promote and encourage education through reading, and I welcome similarly creative uses of space in our district.  I know that with effective community input and productive discourse between businesses and residents, we can foster a mix of businesses that will work to enhance and encourage the arts and culture of our neighborhood.

My Facebook is Zahra Jilani - Commissioner for 1B12 and my email is

Erling (Erl) Bailey:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Erling (Erl) Bailey and I am seeking the vote from 1B12 constituants on November 6th for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the newly created single member district, 1B12.

I am proud to call Washington my home for nearly thirty years. We are very fortunate to be part of a city where it’s history, economy, culture and diversity create dynamic communities in which individuals can evolve and grow. This past August marked my 20-year anniversary of living in my NW T Street, 1B12 district home. As a long time resident, I know, we need to work together to ensure a bright future for our neighborhoods.

I was born and raised in southern Virginia where I learned the values of hard work, commitment, education, community and public service. After high school, I moved to Norfolk, VA, where I earned a BS degree from Old Dominion University and began working as a Department of Defense (DoD) Information Systems Contracting Professional. I relocated to Washington, DC to begin a 25-year career working for a government contracting firm where I led a range of projects (DoD and State Municipal).

During my DC based contractor career, all my work assignments were Virginia based and some over an hours commute, but I dedicated myself to becoming part of the DC Community. I bought a home, earned a Masters degree from American University and an MBA from George Mason University, made friends and became part of something special. My dedication and desire to be a part of this community far out weighed the convenience of moving for a shorter commute to work. Then and now, I remain committed to the District and have confidence in the future of this community.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
I am running because 1B12 needs a commissioner who understands the policies and programs affecting our neighborhood and provides residents and business owners information that supports group decision-making and community choices. Our community has experienced unprecedented economic growth and development in the last decade. As ANC Commissioner, I want to provide information to residents that will be the foundation for empowered decision-making and community choices encouraging smart growth. . How we respond to the environmental, social, and economic challenges ahead is critical .We need someone that encourages community dialogue and empowers our neighborhood to maintain and grow our quality of life. That is why I am running for ANC commissioner.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
I think the overall level of awareness within our community is something I am concerned about. My candidacy reflects a desire to leverage the strengths of our community through collaboration, networking and relationship building.


1. Identifying and locating resources that already exist within the community, and then making the most of those assets to support actions;

2. Provide data and information that help people think strategically about prioritizing actions and the choices they face as a community;

3. Level any ideological differences that may get in the way of positive, forward looking thinking

4. Lay the groundwork for any policy change as it relates to economic development, crime and safety, use of public space and preservation of neighborhood character and history.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better? 
Communicate with the constituents. Communication is key in developing a community that is involved and feels a sense of ownership. It is key to obtaining our goal of a connected and invested community where we share important information. I intend to offer a tool box of resources through the ANC 1B12 website that will be a collaborative place where residents and business concerns/issues are recognized, solutions considered, opinions are polled, plans are implemented, information is shared, and knowledge is stored. This collaborative forum will offer a single place to become informed and be heard. Various opinions will be expressed in the form of dialogue so all invested will be able to make a more informed decision on the choices affecting our community.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
I have always been a strong supporter of Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) and the range of supplemental services they deliver including investment in long-term economic development. Planned BID’s with active community engagement have many advantages including cleaner, safer and more attractive business district; a steady and reliable funding source for supplemental services and programs; the ability to respond quickly to the changing needs of the business community; the potential to increase property values, improve sales and decrease commercial vacancy rates; a district that is better able to compete with nearby retail and business centers.

Another topic of interest to me is sustainable neighborhood planning. Sustainable neighborhoods are diverse, compact, walkable, and connected. The presence an economically sustainable unit is marked by green spaces, complete streets, and mixed-use, mixed-income development. The prospect of a virtuous cycle of economic development, where new businesses and residents are brought in, increasing local real-estate values, and reducing transportation costs is an area, I think, deserves more attention.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
My initial review of the facts concerning the distribution and regulation of liquor licenses has resulted in some conflicting data points, which are being used and presented to baseline our current state. I would like to conduct a more in-depth investigation to determine our true current situation and then assess potential possibilities concerning what needs to be done. The findings and possible stances moving forward will need to be given to the constituents so we as a collective group can determine the direction of district 1B12.


  1. two questions:
    1) can you list the candidates by ANC districts? its getting confusing.

    2) do we vote for them in on Nov 6 along with the Pres and City Council elections? i just don't remember ever seeing ANC listed on the voting cards before.


  2. Thanks, good points, I'll do that next. But yes, you vote Nov.6, and here is more about all the candidates and such. Many (especially ANC1B) are unopposed.

  3. The undecided voter: When is the election? How soon do we have to decide? Can women vote? Because if not - as a woman, I got a problem with that? How long is President elected for: 2 years, 4years, life? Because I'm against ANC dictatorships, we don't need that.

  4. Whoops, the link was removed


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