An Open Letter Revisited: Dear ANC Commissioners,

   Several years ago The DC Voice published an article titled \”An Open Letter to Ward 5 ANC Commissioners, Councilman  McDuffie, and Mayor Bowser\”.  I re-read that article the other day and two paragraphs jumped out at me.

With all of this [renovation] rushing towards some predictable end, the questions I’m left contemplating are who’s going to bridge the gap between the residents who’ve waited for generations for a change in Ward 5 and the newer residents moving into the District. Who’s drafting the neighborhood integration plan so that long-time Ward 5 residents, who feel it’s only a matter of time before they are displaced or priced out of their communities, feel protected? Who’s going to protect the seniors who serve as cultural landmarks? Or even the physical landmarks that bear so much history?

Great cities and neighborhoods find a way to hold on to these landmarks and incorporate them into the new environment. Ethnicity and diversity means that one culture or economic class shouldn’t minimize or marginalize another. Some areas of the District have only recently recovered from the blight created by the riots of the 60’s and white flight of the 70’s. Amidst the architectural drawings, groundbreaking ceremonies, and money flowing into this ward – where is the social plan?

   Those questions still need answers. I’ve lived in Ward 5 approximately 30 years. I’ve watched its sparkle dim and seem like it was about to be extinguished amidst the growing commercialization of the area. I read through the Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Study and feared that our seniors and residents who’ve braved staying in the area would lose out. The DC Voice was born out of that concern.

   We attended ANC meetings to get a feel for the climate and anxiety of the Ward 5 constituents. Now it’s time to pose the questions squarely to the persons on the front lines who can really make a difference and ensure a well-balanced social plan is in place: the ANC Commissioners.

   So, this open letter is directed to the over 300 ANC Candidates, in general, and the 50 Ward 5 ANC Candidates in particular. You can make the difference on how well we come together as a Ward or splinter into warring communities of discontent. This is even more critical when you realize that the qualifications to run as an ANC candidate are so low.

“… the qualifications for running for ANC are also quite simple. You must be a registered voter and have lived in your SMD for 60 days before submitting your nomination petitions (in other words you must have begun living in your SMD by June 9th of this year).” – DC Board of Elections

   Is that really enough time to understand and become a part of any community? The rules are the rules but we still must hold every candidate accountable. That being said, The DC Voice is offering any and all Ward 5 ANC candidates a chance to get their platform out to the Ward 5 residents. Given the results of the 2014 election, our readership could provide the margin of victory. With margins of victory as low as a single vote (see 2014 ANC Election Results below) getting your platform in front of The DC Voice readers might make the difference!

   We’ll be reaching out to ask you to tell us about yourself. We’d like to know your interest, concerns, and priorities for your specific SMD and Ward 5 as a whole.
The Editor
The DC Voice
Always Forward®

2014 ANC Election Results

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There’s tons of information hidden in plain sight! Check out the DC Board of Elections 2014 General Election Results and the DC Office of Planning Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Study.

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