Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B07

The thirteenth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B07, which you can see at right.

ANC 1B07 is currently represented by Juan E. Lopez, who is running again, unopposed. His answers are below. 

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.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a DC native. I was born at Columbia Hospital for Women and spent my early childhood years right near Meridian Hill Park.  After serving in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years, I worked in the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. My partner and I moved back to the Columbia Heights neighborhood six years ago, making it a homecoming of sorts.
2. Why are you running for ANC?
I first ran for ANC in 2008 after realizing our then-commissioner was missing the vast majority of meetings. Because the neighborhood was undergoing such rapid development, I felt it was very important for my neighbors to have a say in the changes occurring across Columbia Heights. I worked very hard to provide the thoughtful representation we needed and was reelected in 2010. Our neighborhood has seen and will continue to see new businesses and residential units and we'll need to continue to balance this growth with the quality of life issues that affect our residents. That's why I'm running for reelection.
3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
The main issues facing ANC1B07 continue to be public safety, litter and garbage collection and engaging the community's youth.
4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
We can always work better to engage neighborhood residents and promote open communication. I'd also like to continue to encourage more citizen involvement in the various committees that help the ANC represent our residents in a more effective manner.
5. What do you think the area needs more of?
ANC1B07 can always benefit from continued cooperation and improved communication with our residents, encouraging a visible and engaged police presence and enhanced youth programs.
6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues? 
The issue of liquor licenses is a major topic that regularly arises in ANC 1B, especially as more restaurants and nightlife establishments move into the neighborhood. I think it is important to take into account residential concerns about noise, litter, hours of operation, etc., when a new business applies, and a balanced, common sense approach should be taken. I encourage new businesses to reach out and build a dialogue with residents and neighborhood associations.  When appropriate, Voluntary Agreements can also help achieve each party's goals.

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