Northern Ward 6 contains the rapidly-growing Mount Vernon Triangle, NoMA and H Street areas. These are some of the most dynamic in DC and very likely will see the greatest amount of change in the near term.
Development is coming to the rail yards north of Union Station, a number of vacant lots in NoMa and the Mount Vernon Triangle are getting filled in, a streetcar is coming to H Street, and much more.
Therefore, ANC comissioners in this area, especially 6C on the western half, have had to become rapid experts in zoning. They have generally been very supportive of the projects and of the neighborhood’s evolution. However, a number of commissioners, including some excellent ones, are not running again, creating opportunities for significant improvement or regression for these ANCs.
ANC 6C01 extends from the CityVista apartments almost to Union Station. Recent transplant from Southwest Marge Maceda is challenging incumbent Keith Silver. Silver likes to picket, and at a recent forum highlighted four picket protests as his main accomplishments. Sometimes, however, his picketing seems somewhat bizarre, such as when he protested an effort to set up an urban farm in a vacant lot near Walker-Jones Elementary and donate the food grown to the school and a nearby senior center. He also called the new buildings in the district “monstrosities.”
Maceda, on the other hand, says she moved to the neighborhood so she could drive less, and looks forward to more sidewalk cafes in the area. She also had encouraging words about the Circulator, the streetcar, and bicycle lanes. We feel Maceda would best work with residents on positive visions as the neighborhood’s large surface parking lots evolve into more.
In 6C02, along New Jersey Avenue north of K Street, we support Rob Amos in his challenge to incumbent Mark Dixon. Amos has already served the neighborhood on the board of the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association and as a non-commissioner chair of the ANC 6C zoning committee. He believes in building a more livable and walkable neighborhood.
Dixon has been on the ANC a very long time, and in fact hadn’t planned to run again but changed his mind at the last minute. He cares about the community but isn’t good at connecting with the newer residents. He doesn’t even use email, despite having an ANC email address, and complained at a recent MVSNA forum that he hadn’t received any notice of the meeting only to be told it had been sent via email.
Sitting commissioner Anne Phelps is running unopposed in 6C04, which contains most of NoMa from K Street to Dave Thomas Circle and the residential areas to the east, but she deserves special mention as an exemplary commissioner.
Phelps advocated admirably for her neighborhood’s needs in a zoning case concerning the Florida Market, across Florida Avenue from the ANC. Tommy Wells subsequently hired Phelps to coordinate advocacy for the H Street streetcar project, a role she has also adeptly filled.
6C05 encompasses Union Station and the residential blocks to the east. It will also contain the Burnham Place development atop the rail yards and a number of upcoming development projects along H Street’s western half. Sitting commissioner Tony Richardson has not opposed Burnham Place despite living immediately adjacent to the project, and challengers Brian Cox and Jennifer Zatkowski all seem supportive of the general evolution of Union Station and H Street.
Richardson has experience, Cox brings a youthful energy and zeal for more outreach to members of the community, and Zatkowski has the valuable background of being a small business owner in the neighborhood and mother of smal children. We think any of them would be a fine choice for this district.
Ward 6’s westernmost segment is 6C09, covering the blocks around Georgetown Law and Judiciary Square. The longtime commissioner there is not running again. Residents have expressed enthusiasm for Kevin Wilsey, the property manager of a Penn Quarter building and board member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. During recent liquor license debates, Wilsey worked hard to bring both sides together to an amicable resolution.
His opponent, Leroy-Jacob Smith, had fewer specific neighborhood ideas at a recent forum beyond wanting to do more for the homeless. We support helping the homeless, but ANCs have little influence on citywide social policy.
In 6A01, north of H Street, three candidates are vying for an open seat. We support Adam Healy, who described some excellent reasons to vote for him including strong support of the streetcar.
Fellow candidate Angelia Rice gave a very bland statement that didn’t make much of a case for her candidacy, and Lawrence “Russ” Russell wants to make the district more auto-oriented, saying his top priority was making sure residents can park right by their property.
The Hill is Home writer Sharee Lawler has our endorsement (and Tommy Wells’) over new resident and Fenty community liaison William Mohring for the open 6A05 seat, around D Street NE from 10th to 16th. Lawler is a member of the 6A Economic Development and Zoning committee currently working to encourage growth on H St NE, and is an advocate for the C Street NE project to calm and reduce traffic.
In 6A07, which covers the Rosedale neighborhood and the northeasternmost edge of Capitol Hill, incumbent Gladys Mack has displayed a less than stellar record on transportation issues. For example, she has opposed the conversion of 17th Street from a one-way thoroughfare into a two-way street because she feels it will double traffic. This is a dangerous street that is sore need of some traffic calming. We endorse challenger Necothia “Nicki” Bowens, president of the Rosedale Citizens’ Alliance, which has been pushing for many positive changes in this neighborhood.