Thursday, October 27, 2016

Know your ANC candidates: ANC 1A10


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming elections, including the important Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which advises the DC Council on local planning issues and de facto controls alcohol licenses, among other things. Only a few of the races have multiple candidates, and I wrote to those folks. Here's the ANC 1A10, which is east of Sherman from Hobart north to Kenyon and Keefer (see map above.)

Previously we've heard from candidates from ANC1B01, 1A01 and 1A07. The other races are unopposed. Here's the full list of candidates and races.

For more information on the elections, check out the city's Board of Elections site.

The two candidates in 1A10 are Rashida Brown, the incumbent, and Amanda Frost.

Rashida Brown

Tell us a bit about yourself and your qualifications.
I am a social worker and longtime advocate for children and families, especially those who have been touched by health and human services programs. I decided to run for ANC because I am committed to making positive change and improving the overall conditions of our community. I have lived in the District since 2000. I came here to attend Howard University’sSchool of Social Work where I majored in direct services and community organizing. These skills have afforded me the ability to help constituents navigate government services to address critical issues involving sanitation, rat abatement, vacant properties, business development, transportation, police-community relations, etc.


Why are you running for ANC? What are your main platform issues?
I am running for ANC because I strongly believe in my community and the people who live in it. We are diverse, strong and resilient. While going door to door to speak with my residents, they have expressed to me that they care mostly about issues related to crime, traffic and conditions along Georgia Avenue. While serving as an ANC, I have taken these concerns very seriously and have made the following accomplishments in my first term:
* improved police-community relations by spearheading public safety events and voicing the concerns of residents
* led efforts to repair roads, repave sidewalks, build new brick alleys and advocate for traffic calming measures
* worked with commercial property owners to fill vacant properties, install security cameras and remove graffiti along Georgia Avenue
* organized neighborhood clean ups and keep residents abreast of issues that affect the community

One of the ANC's main jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
During this time, many establishments that have liquor licenses are up for renewal. ANCs who have commercial properties within their single member district have a responsibility to work with business owners and take into account concerns related to mostly noise and public drunkenness. I believe that ANCs can find a balance by working with both business owners and the community to find common ground. We want businesses to thrive and we want residents to have peace. When we work together, we can achieve meaningful strides for us to dwell in a safe, thriving community. 

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Amanda Frost

Tell us a bit about yourself and your qualifications
My name is Amanda Frost and I am a resident of Park View. My husband and I have owned our house on Irving st for the last year, and my family has been in the Columbia Heights neighborhood for well over a decade. I am an involved member of my community and care about my neighbors. I hold an advanced degree in Political Science, and am now a health care researcher at a small non-profit. Although this is my first time running for elective office, I have experience dealing with all levels of city government.

Why are you running for ANC? What are your main platform issues?
I care passionately about my community and my neighbors. The ANC is both directly elected and the closest representative to the individual members of the community, giving it an important and unique role. I am running for ANC because I want to provide better representation and a voice for my neighbors. I want to engage with my neighbors on important topics and represent their views to the larger ANC and to the city. I have a new set of ideas and a commitment to following through on them.

Public safety: The number one issue is public safety, encompassing a range of topics including crime, policing, mental health, mental health, and substance use.There is no easy solution to solving all of these problems quickly, but it can be done with hard work and cooperation by the ANC, City Council, DC government, police, and the many non-profit and neighborhood groups. In the short term, our ANC - led in each neighborhood by its commissioner - should work to increase public engagement and public confidence. We need more community events and neighbor interactions, not just at the large neighborhood level but at the block level. A community where neighbors know each other, care about each other, and help each other is a safer neighborhood

Development: I believe all of our neighbors deserve to live in safe and secure housing built and maintained using best practices. Affordable housing is an increasingly important topic in our district, and all of DC. Affordable housing can and should be emphasized with the continued redevelopment of Georgia Avenue. We must continue to have balanced growth in our neighborhood that prioritizes sustainability, while maximizing and maintaining public space.

Neighborhood livability: Again this is a range of inter-related and important topics: rodent control, trash removal, park maintenance and improvement, and street parking (including the city's proposal to limit street parking on Irving and Kenyon).

Better representation: The most important things that a commissioner can do is keep their neighbors informed and well represented. I want my neighbors to know that they can come to me when they have questions or concerns and know that they will be heard. As commissioner, I would respond to every email, letter, Facebook post, and phone call in a timely manner. I would host regular events (outside of ANC meetings) to inform my neighbors about the important issues and address their concerns. I would solicit regular feedback from my constituents so that I know how best to represent their views.

For more information, please visit my website: www.AmandaFrost.net.
Or send me an email at: ANC@AmandaFrost.net.

One of the ANC's main jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
I am not always for or always against liquor licenses. It is important that local businesses are allowed to operate, but at the same time each liquor license application should be scrutinized. Neighborhoods need a mix of businesses, both big and small, and markets and restaurants/bars; appropriate oversight of liquor licenses can help neighborhoods ensure a good mix of businesses and balanced growth. The liquor license process can also be an important way the people affected by the license-holder can communicate issues and concerns. The ANC can help business and neighbors address these through Settlement Agreements (Voluntary Agreements).

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