It has been 16 years since the voters in Cleveland Park’s 3C09 single member district have had a choice of candidates to represent their local interests. Sixteen years is long time.
So much has changed over that time – almost a generation. How we shop, travel, communicate has all been turned on its head. In 2000 we were using flip phones and texting on pagers. AOL was synonymous with email and the Internet. The first smart phones didn’t exist. Online shopping represented a scant 1% of our retail purchases. We still rented movies from Blockbuster (which took until 2007 to die in Cleveland Park).
In that time, DC has gone through a metamorphosis, with tens of thousands of new residents moving in. Places like 14th Street, Shaw, Eckington and Bloomingdale have become magnets for urban renewal.
Here in Cleveland Park we used to debate if the 25% street frontage cap on restaurants was denying us the best choices. Today we can’t fill the 25% restaurant cap. Empty restaurants from Palena, Dino’s and the Uptown Tap House (4P’s) are haunting our commercial strip, taunting our dowdiness.
It took 16 years to redevelop the Wisconsin Giant site!
What hasn’t changed much in the past 16 years is the leadership of our neighborhood. They are the champions of low density, of suburban values, of concern for what change may do to the character of Cleveland Park, of the obstruction of progress through the imposition of process.
Nearly two-thirds of the voters in SMD 3C09 (62%) have never had a competitive election for their ANC commissioner, having registered to vote here after the 2000 election. In local elections especially, campaigns should be about ideas, about taking stock in where are as a community, and about planning for the future. In 2016, the residents of Cleveland Park have a choice. I invite you to follow my campaign, follow me on Facebook and email me with any questions.