Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DC election results: who won in our area and find your new ANC rep

The election results are in, and thankfully for us, there are no recounts or rumors of ballots sitting in post offices (I'm looking at you, Florida.)

Here's the rundown of who won in our area from the DC Board of Elections.

Citywide races were mostly landslides, with only a few competitive races.

Elissa Silverman (who I recommended) was reelected to the At-Large Council seat, beating challenger Dionne Reeder with about twice as many votes. And in the Ward One Board of Education race, Emily Gasoi beat Jason Andrean and Callie Kozlak with over 50% of the vote. This was a bit of a surprise, as Andrean raised $60,000 for this race -- which made me a little suspicious of his motives, to be honest.

Locally in Ward One there were a number of ANC races -- the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which advises the city on planning and development issues and can stop or change liquor licenses.

I intend to do a series of blog posts interviewing those who won about their plans. Here are the ANC1A and ANC1B winners -- ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights. Click those links to see which one you are in.

ANC1A01: Layla Bonnot beat Ernest Johnson
ANC1A02: Teresa A. Edmondson bear Amr Kotb
ANC1A03: Zach Rybarczyk (unopposed)
ANC1A04: Matthew Goldschmidt (unopposed)
ANC1A05: Christine Miller (unopposed)
ANC1A06: Angelica Castanon (unopposed)
ANC1A07: Jen Bundy (unopposed)
ANC1A08: Kent Boese (unopposed)
ANC1A09: Michael Wray (unopposed)
ANC1A10: Rashida Brown (unopposed)
ANC1A11: Dotti Love Wade (unopposed)
ANC1A12: no candidate, a write-in won

ANC1B01: Anita Norman (unopposed)
ANC1B02: Dan Orlaskey beat Caleb-Michael Files
ANC1B03: Sedrick Muhammad (unopposed)
ANC1B04: Jon D. Squicciarini (unopposed)
ANC1B05: James Cordes beat Christopher Ede-Calton
ANC1B06: Jen Bristol (unopposed)
ANC1B07: Jessica Smith (unopposed)
ANC1B08: Joshua R. Mater (unopposed)
ANC1B09: James A. Turner (unopposed)
ANC1B10: Danny Delaney (unopposed)
ANC1B11: Robb Hudson (unopposed)
ANC1B12: Dan Winston (unopposed)

The other citywide races were not close.

  • Anita Bonds handily won the other seat for At-Large council, which is reserved for Democrats
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser easily won reelection, but with only 76% of the vote, less than I'd expect in a non-competitive race. Maybe people are getting frustrated with Bowser.
  • Brianne Nadeau easily won reelection for Ward 1 Council too with 78%.
  • Eleanor Holmes-Norton won another term as our non-voting Delegate to the House of Representatives.
  • Phil Mendelson got reelection as DC Council chair with 83%.
  • Karl Racine was reelected as Attorney General with 93%
There are some other smaller races too, mostly things like shadow senator. You can get those results at the DCBOE page.

Chase Bank coming to 14th and Park in old Vitamin Shoppe space; Old Navy going in next door


Well, more banks. Chase is opening a branch in the DCUSA corner space at 14th and Park that was formerly home to the Vitamin Shoppe. And I thought I reported this before but must have forgotten -- the space next door, formerly Children's Place, is going to be an Old Navy, but seems to still be under construction. They're hiring too.

I'm always frustrated when banks come to our area -- they never really generate foot traffic and are a lot less fun than restaurants, bars, shops, or other services that we could use. I guess they are stable tenants who can pay high rents, which is why retail space owners like them.

Anyway, if you are a Chase customer, you have another option.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alley next to Allegro partially collapsed from all the rain



This is pretty wild, all this rain lately apparently made part of the alley collapse next to the Allegro at 14th and Meridian. It's not terrible, but still not great to drive on. A reader sent along the pics, thanks reader!

If you notice anything like this you can call 311 to alert the city.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1B02, Caleb-Michael Files and Dan Orlaskey


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Next up we are meeting the two candidates in ANC1B02, which is roughly Florida Avenue to S Street and 12th to 8th Streets.

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Dan and Caleb-Michael had to say.

Dan Orlaskey

Tell us about yourself.
I'm an almost 10 year resident of the U Street neighborhood (1B02). I'm an attorney with the Department of Transportation where I work on infrastructure project development, environmental law, and open government law. I also volunteer as a lacrosse coach for School Without Walls and with the DC Arts Center and am the Treasurer for the Ward One Democrats. I'm originally from New York, but spent over a decade in Baltimore before moving to DC in 2009.

Why are you running for ANC?
Put simply, I want to ensure my neighborhood grows in a way that benefits the people that live here. 1B02 is one of the fastest growing districts in DC and I want to ensure that this enormous amount of development doesn't hurt current residents through forced relocation or pricing people out. I want to ensure that new developments are directly beneficial to the community. I also want to help create a greater sense of community through increased community events and help manage the increase in traffic congestion.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
I will focus on ensuring that residential displacement stops in my district. That affordable housing is actually affordable and accessible and not just a means for developers to get handouts from the city. I will ensure that new developments are in keeping with community character and directly benefit neighborhood residents. Finally, I will work to implement new dedicated bus and bike lanes to help alleviate traffic problems and accidents.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
My neighborhood has quite a few bars and restaurants in it...which may be an understatement. The service industry in the U Street corridor is a major economic driver and employer. That being said, I believe we have reached a "critical mass" and will be careful to thoroughly review new liquor license applications to ensure that we are not encroaching on residential areas more than we already are. I will be taking a balanced approach, weighing each application on its merits to ensure that the community is being served while not unduly restricting small business growth.

How can voters get in touch with you?
Voters can email me directly at dan4anc@gmail.com. They can also visit my facebook page (www.facebook.com/dan4anc) or on Twitter @DanielOrlaskey.


Caleb-Michael Files

Tell us about yourself.
I am Caleb-Michael Files, a senior digital strategist for the AFL-CIO here in D.C., and reside at 8th and U streets with my husband, Gerardo, and our two dogs, Blizzard and Scout.
I have worked in political organizing for the last 10 years of my life and we are excited to be settling down in the district and build my family here.

Why are you running for ANC?

Because our SMD has issues and I believe that my community building efforts and bringing everyone to the table will be the way we solve the issues facing our SMD.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
Crime and ABRA regulations. We desperately need impact settlement agreements established with a number of our nightclubs and bars and I believe I can help to do that.
We also need to jump on the opportunity that JBG has provided with seed money for a BID and work to keep our community safe and clean.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
We have to do more. As the ABRA commission for 1B recently disbanded from my understanding I will make it my priority to represent our SMD on the ABRA commission.

How can voters get in touch with you?
They can call me, they can text me, they can find me on social media. All of that information is available over at calebforanc.com

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1A02, Amr Kotb


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Up next is Amr Kotb, who is running in ANC1A02 (see map.)

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Amr had to say. His opponent, Teresa A. Edmondson, did not respond to my emails.



Tell us about yourself.I am a 31 year-old DC resident who loves Columbia Heights and proving to people that Washington, DC is much more than lanyards, government jobs, and Farragut Square (not that I take issue with these things). I host/produce my own podcast, work in foreign affairs, and enjoy DC’s museums, running/playing soccer, reading, and meeting new people.

Why are you running for ANC?I’ve spent much of my adult life moving around in search of the lifestyle, city, and community that will bring me happiness. Columbia Heights (and Washington DC more broadly) is the place where I found my dream job, married my wife, and finally decided to put down my roots for the foreseeable future. Now that I am part of a community that means so much to me personally, it’s time to take this affinity to the next level by serving it and playing an integral role in preserving its unique identity and diversity.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?1. I want residents in my SMD to feel they have the power to make their voices heard on issues in our neighborhood. There are so many people out there that are unaware of the tools they have to assert themselves over what happens in their own community, so my top priority is to not only create a space where all of us can engage by holding regular town hall style meetings, but to also ensure that everyone is aware of the tools at their disposal through regular outreach.

2. I want to play an integral role in questions of business and residential development and am enthusiastic about ensuring that smart, equitable development, rooted in an understanding of our community’s well-established identity, is the only kind that takes place. For example, new businesses that come to the neighborhood should prioritize hiring vacancies for local residents that are directly affected by the presence of such businesses.

3. I believe in the value of public space and the implications it holds for safety and security. The more thriving, diverse, and accessible a neighborhood, the safer we all feel because we have a place in it within a larger community. As such, I will push for more parks that are sufficiently equipped with accessible recreational and leisure activities for all of our residents. My top priority for public space is the park at 14th and Oak/Ogden; not only is it practically devoid of greenery, but the available seating is incredibly inhospitable and uncomfortable.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?A liquor license is a double-edged sword. On one hand, an establishment’s possession of a liquor license can potentially equate to long hours of operation that disrupt the neighborhood with respect to noise, overcrowding, and the risk of intoxicated patrons destroying property. On the other hand, development via private businesses serving alcohol attracts economic activity to our neighborhood, and can be good for other local businesses. As such, I will seek to regulate liquor licenses on a case by case basis, prioritizing the existing community’s needs and concerns over all other issues, while also being mindful of the potential for equitable economic development. Businesses seeking liquor licenses are expected to respect the role of the ANC, so I will also be looking to see if they approach our commission from the get-go and are amenable to the community’s feedback.

How can voters get in touch with you?
Phone Number: 804.516.9805
Email: AmrouKotb@gmail.com
Address: 1435 Newton St. NW Apt. 109
Facebook Page: ‘Amr for ANC’ or search for ‘@AmrforANC1A02’
Twitter: @amrqotb



Sunday, November 4, 2018

Know your Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates: 1A01, Ernest A. Johnson


Let's meet the candidates in our local ANC races! Up first Ernest A. Johnson, who is running in ANC1A01 (see map.)

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a nonpartisan, elected body that advises city government on neighborhood issues and also has some power over liquor licenses. The ANC is made up of Single Member Districts that cover a few blocks and commissioners for those districts are elected to two-year terms. The opinions on the ANC are supposed to carry "great weight" at government agencies like the Planning Commission, Alcohol Board, Zoning Board and others, who hear applications for permits such as doing something outside of what's allowed (like maybe more square feet or fewer parking spaces for a building.) Commissioners can also help their constituents with city issues, such as missed trash collection or other problems, and can stop or force changes to liquor license applications and renewals as well.

There are two ANCs in our area: ANC1A covers northern Columbia Heights and Park View while ANC1B covers southern Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains and part of the U Street and Shaw areas, and sadly only four races have more than one candidate -- the rest either have one or no official candidates. I sent the candidates in these contested races a questionnaire. Here is what Ernest had to say. His opponent, Layla Bonnot, did not respond to my emails.

Tell us about yourself.
I am Ernest Johnson native Washingtonian and long time residents of Columbia Heights. Attended Shaw, Banneker, Cardozo and American University. Served on the board of directors for the 3rd District Citizens Advisory Council, Columbia Heights Development Corporation, DC Apprenticeship Council and newly created Friends of the Frank Reeves Center. Entering our 6th year of adopting Raymond & Tubman Elementary Schools Back 2 School Block Party. We gave given away 100’s of pack backs and school supplies and sent both teachers and students on filed trips.

Why are you running for ANC?
I have not been pleased with previous ANC’s ability to produce real improvements for this single member district.

What are your main priorities that you plan to work on, if elected?
In 2016 I worked with DDOT and DPW to repave Parkwood Place and Ogden Street. I want to add new side walks Parkwood, Perry and Spring Road with chandelier street lights. I have a service request in to repair street lights on Perry and hand cleaning for alleys and streets. Plan to work with our business owners and the great streets program for uniformity of store front facades. I believe a clean Single Members District with uniform business facades will reduce petty crimes and loitering.

One of the ANC's main duties is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
It is the responsibility of (abra) Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to regulate liquor licenses. I do have a good relationship with Chairman Donovan Anderson members Nick Alberti, Ruthanne Miller, James Short and Mike Silverstein. ABRA’s office is located on the 4th floor of the Reeves Center, 2000-14th St. NW. I personally do not favor liquor stores on every corner and have advocated my idea for DC Liquors for years.

How can voters get in touch with you?
I live at 1451-Parkwood Place , EJohnsonRealty2@AOL.com, 202-882-9790.
I am a licensed Realtor and Certified Notary Real Estate Closing Agent in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Get reimbursed for driving to PA or VA to volunteer for Democrats running for Congress

The Ward One Democrats have a new program to reimburse volunteers who drive to Virginia or Pennsylvania to help get out the vote this election. Details are below. 

Get Reimbursed for Going to VA or PA for Volunteering

If turnout is high, Democrats will win! And a great way to help turnout is volunteering for campaigns on Get Out the Vote efforts, such as door-to-door canvassing where you talk to Democrats and encourage them to get to the polls. There are only a few days left, and this is the most effective way that DC Democrats can help elect Dems to Congress who can fight for our issues.

And thanks to the DC Democratic State Committee, the Ward One Democrats will reimburse DC residents up to $75 for a car rental or $25 for gas per day! 

There are a number of close Congressional races near DC that you can help with. Abigail Spanberger and Leslie Cockburn in Virginia can use the most volunteer help, while Jennifer Wexton is closer to DC, but is in the lead. And if you want to go a little further, there are some tight Pennsylvania races as well that can use more volunteers.

Virginia Congressional races:
Leslie Cockburn, Virginia 5th district  (Fauquier, Charlottesville and more) https://www.lesliecockburnforcongress.com/volunteer
Abigail Spanberger, Virginia 7th district (Culpeper, northern Richmond suburbs, etc.) https://abigailspanberger.com/volunteer
Jennifer Wexton, Virginia 10th district (Fairfax, Dulles, Loudoun area) https://jenniferwexton.com/get-involved/volunteer/

Pennsylvania Congressional races:
George Scott, Penn. 10th (York and Harrisburg area) https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/scottforcongress/
Susan Wild, Penn. 7th (Allentown, Bethlehem area) https://wildforcongress.com/get-involved
Scott Wallace, Penn. 1st (northern Philadelphia suburbs) https://go.scottwallacepa.com/page/content/volunteer

Here's what you need to do. Let's turn Virginia and Pennsylvania blue!

Requirements:
  • Email correspondingsecretary(at)wardonedemocrats.org if you're interested so we can get a sense of how many people there may be
  • Volunteer at a campaign office in Virginia or Pennsylvania for canvassing/door to door, phone banking or office work. Canvassing/door to door is preferred and does the most good. 
    • Make sure to register via the links above!
  • Provide a dated receipt to tcorrespondingsecretary(at)wardonedemocrats.org for your rental car, ZipCar or similar service, or for your gas
  • Provide documentation that you volunteered, such as a picture of your name on the sign-in sheet at the campaign office (with date), a picture of you and friends canvassing with a packet (with date), or a screenshot of a canvassing app
Suggestions:
  • Share this email with friends and fellow Dems! Webpage here too: http://www.wardonedemocrats.org/gotv2018
  • Bring friends! More people canvassing is better.
  • Try to do more than one packet -- often there are needs for lots of packets.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and dress in layers in case it gets warm or cold.