Five people have been killed in the past four years in traffic accidents within or just beyond the boundaries of ANC 2B06. One was a pedestrian, one a bicyclist, one a scooter user, and two were simply sitting in a park. All were killed by motor vehicles.
Safe streets are, indeed, a life and death issue. We need to make our streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter users, drivers, and everyone. This has been a top priority of mine, creating this video pointing out safety hazards on M Street after Jeff Long was killed, and working with MPD and DDOT to hold a public awareness campaign to highlight safety hazards in Dupont Circle on the first anniversary of the death of Carlos Sanchez-Martin.
Housing and Especially Affordable Housing
The District has a shortage of more than 30,000 housing units. The Mayor is calling for creation of 36,000 additional units by the year 2025 – with at least one-third of them being affordable housing – and has said that all eight wards will have to do their part.
Our neighborhood is already one of great housing density, but we can push for conversion of older, commercially zoned buildings to residential. We also need to support changes in the zoning laws to allow construction of duplexes, triplexes, and row houses in other parts of the district that are zoned single family only.
D.C. has no LGBT+ oriented senior housing, while other major cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago do. Dupont Circle is the historic epicenter of D.C.’s LGBT+ community. We need to work to establish a place where our seniors can continue to live in or near the gayborhood.
We also need to pass legislation protecting the LGBT+ community from hate crimes. Legislation to ban the “gay panic defense” and the “trans panic defense” in court cases has been bottled up for more than a year in Council. As a founding member and spokesperson for the ANC Rainbow Caucus, I pledge to work on these and other issues vital to our community.
COVID-19 and Small Businesses
This is a time of unprecedented difficulty for all businesses everywhere. Small businesses and restaurants are in survival mode all around us.
Sidewalk cafes have been a cherished part of our neighborhood for decades, and COVID-19 has brought about Streateries. Outdoor dining is safer and is one of the tools we have to help our independently owned restaurants and small businesses survive. ANC 2B has been in the forefront of the push for Streateries, and we all need work together as neighbors to help our neighborhood-serving businesses to get through this difficult time.
A key part of being an ANC Commissioner is helping constituents navigate the day to day problems of city living. Trash not picked up? Graffiti problem? Questions about historic preservation or getting a permit to do renovations? Your ANC Commissioner should be the person to call to put you in touch with the right person at D.C. government or to handle your complaint for you.