When I ran for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner four years ago, I made a commitment to contribute my time, talents, and treasury to the community we love.
Working together with you and our neighbors, we improved our roads, alleys, and sidewalks. We expanded community resources to seniors and our youth as well as connected vulnerable residents to job training, educational opportunities, food, and housing. We fought for increased investments in crime fighting, community policing, public education and housing for residents at all income levels. We cleaned streets and green spaces, added new liter cans, and tackled illegal dumping. We installed new traffic-calming devices, addressed residential parking concerns, and helped neighbors resolve disputes. And we secured funding for a new recreation center that will be tailor-made for Anacostia.
We have a lot to proud of. But I know we still have a way to go before we can truly claim victory. Public safety continues to rock our community; too many residents are forced to stretch their budgets to pay rising housing cost; and some of the new development headed our way threatens to overtake our community.
That’s why in my next term, I will continue work begun to tackle crime by reinvigorating neighborhood watch programs like the Orange Hats patrols and help residents overcome the fear of speaking up. I will continue working with residents who want security cameras installed at no cost. I will continue to fight for quality jobs and career training for residents. I will continue fighting to improve our infrastructure and transportation network. And I will continue fighting for quality housing for residents at all income levels.
I can’t do this alone. I will need your help. That’s why once again I’m asking for your vote on November 6. I’m ready to continue the work we’ve started as we put our neighborhood first.
LIST OF HOT ISSUES
Public safety is one of the biggest issues impacting our community and it requires "all hands on deck". I will continue pushing law enforcement partners and city agencies to address hot spots and nuisance properties. I will continue applying pressure to agencies, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations to assist residents facing personal crises at home. I will work with partners to re-institute a gun buyback program, hiring more violence interrupters and credible messengers to mentor and connect young men and women to city services. Lastly, I will continue working to organize residents and businesses into a neighborhood watch group and push more residents to use the District's camera rebate program.
All parents deserve access to great schools without regard to the zip code they call home. I believe every child can learn if we set high standards for them. There is absolutely no justification for families lacking access to a high-quality education in Nation’s Capital. And the numbers are not great in Ward 8. That why for more than two decades I have been on the front lines fighting to increase educational resources. I have called on parents to stop being a bystander in their children’s education and get involved at school. I will continue to support the Ward 8 Education Council’s push for innovative instruction and funding equity in our education system. It should not matter if a child attends a DC Public School, DC Public Charter School, religious, private, or on voucher/scholarship, our children are worth a high-quality curriculum, great teachers, safe buildings, and being surrounded by adults who want them to succeed. I will continue to fight for our children so they are prepared for college and the careers of the future.
I believe, as a rule, it should be an imperative that the District develop quality housing for residents at all income levels. While we already have a large stock of what is considered “affordable” homes and apartments compared to inventory west of the river, the cost of housing continues to rise. This is especially true for our neighbors who pay a large percentage of their income for housing.
From a public policy perspective, I fully support increasing the requirements for Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) from the current 8-10 percent to between 15 and 20 percent. The current rates have not done enough to keep up with the demand for housing on the lower end of the average area income. In fact, our ANC recently finalized an agreement with a developer to make 20 percent of the development’s housing units affordable, well above the statatory minimums. This should be a model for how public policy can play a role in addressing our housing crisis, which is long overdue.
Many residents in our neighborhood, myself included, depend a great deal on public transit. I fully support the expansion of new and innovative transit options that improve the way people get around the city. Three things we can do now to improve transportation in our area:
Show down traffic on 16th Street with traffic calming device(s);
Return to opening parking lanes on main thoroughfares during rush hour to better move traffic through the area, especially on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue; and
Synchronize traffic lights in the area to give buses signal priority on clogged roads and prevent bus bunching.
People deserve to live in neighborhoods where everyone—residents, businesses and ANCs—buys into the collective vision and values for their community. I will continue pushing these entities to work across visible and nonvisible boundaries on issues impacting us all. I will encourage robust civic engagement among residents and business owners at ANC meetings, community meetings, and meetups to ensure residents and businesses are supportive of each other. I know sharing information is important to having an informed community. That's why I will continue to post important community information to neighborhood social platforms, listservs, as well as ANC and community websites.