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 ,, 202-882-9790.
I am a licensed Realtor and Certified Notary Real Estate Closing Agent in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

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