New Blood & Diverse Perspectives

One of my priorities if elected to the ANC is to open up the process to more points of view and recruit more experts to help inform commission decisions.

ANC commissioners are unpaid elected officials, and the bulk of what they do is consider pending DC agency business that involves their neighborhoods:  zoning, historic preservation, liquor licenses, schools, sanitation , transportation, social services, etc.  Most ANC commissioners are not experts in all of these areas – and I am not expert in these areas.

I’m a working dad of little kids that volunteers in the community he lives in and loves.  My view is that our ANC needs diverse participation to be truly successful in representing the entire neighborhood.  We can’t hand over the voice of community only to those people who through resources or stage of life have the capacity to devote endless hours to the task.

If elected to the ANC, here’s my plan and my promise: ANC3C is going to have a strong committee system that draws on both experts and a diversity of members of the community.  ANC committee work need not be carried out exclusively by Commissioners.  I would argue that a better representation of the community will result if participation is expanded.  None of ANC3C’s committees includes participation from non-commissioners, and hasn’t for many years.  That is a huge mistake.

Cleveland Park is fortunate to have so many smart, dedicated professionals representing expertise in so many areas.  Any one of these people may be turned off by the consuming commitment an ANC seat entails.  But offered a limited role is providing counsel, through a position on an ANC committee, you can see where more people can give what they can.

Take, for example the Cleveland Park Historical Society’s Architectural Review Committee, which includes architects, realtors, historians, and interested citizens.  Every HPRB case reviewed by the ANC and the ANC’s Historic Preservation committee is also reviewed by the CPHS ARC.  The ARC has 11 expert citizens participating.  The ANC’s committee has two commissioners.  I suggest that ARC become the ANC’s Historic Preservation Committee.  Streamline the process and rely more heavily on a diverse group of experts.

Currently the ANC has no committee dedicated to the economic health of our retail corridors.  I will work other commissioners to recruit experts in commercial real estate, local business owners, interested citizens looking for greater urban vitality to form a Local Commerce Sustainability committee.  I have ideas, but I don’t pretend to have all the answers, nor do I have all the relevant experience.  Guess what – neither do the incumbents!

Cleveland Park  needs leadership on the ANC that can mobilize our greatest resources — our smart, energetic and committed neighbors — to proactively get to work planning our future.

More on this as the campaign progresses.

From the ANC3C Bylaws:

ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES

Section 1. The establishment and operation of Committees shall be in accordance with D.C. law and as provided by these Bylaws and the Commission’s Rules.

Section 2. Standing Committees are those prescribed in the Commission’s Rules. All other Committees are Special Committees, and must be established by the Commission.

Section 3. The Chairmanship of each Committee is open to any resident of the Commission area, and must be appointed each year by the Commission. The purpose, composition, size, manner of selection and duties of all Committees, and the duration of Special Committees shall be determined by the Commission, except that each Committee must include at least one Commissioner. With the concurrence of the Commission, Committees may establish subcommittees made up of one or more members of the Committee as well as nonmembers of the Committee. The time and schedule of Committee meetings shall be established by the respective Committees themselves.

 


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