my priorities for ANC 1C
There is no cookie cutter way to solve all the challenges we in Adams Morgan currently confront. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have principles guiding our decision-making, which is why I've chosen to focus my platform on three keys areas: safe homes, vibrant streets, and affordable living.
Personal and neighborhood safety are quintessential for sustaining a place where we all feel comfortable, both as residents and visitors. I focus on a dual approach to safety because I believe a place is not safe unless its residents are happy both inside and outside of their homes.
Beyond safety, embracing and protecting the rich history of our neighborhood is a central tenet of my vision. There's a reason Adams Morgan is one of the country's most recognizable neighborhoods. Ensuring the longevity of our dynamic, adaptive area is an obligation I won't take lightly.
But all our efforts to build a long-lasting neighborhood are futile if no one can afford to live here. This is why the affordability of housing, as well as related wage and labor issues, form a backbone for my platform.
Cars are important tools for many of us, especially when our physical mobility is constrained. But that doesn't mean our city should be solely designed for the automobile. This is why I will push to make DC transportation more diverse, and it starts in our neighborhood. Walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists, public transit patrons & all others deserve to move freely out of harm's way.
As a health issue, my goals are twofold:
Promote a longer-term vision of healthy & sustainable transit
Facilitate a decline in car crashes & fossil fuel dependence
No human being should have to fear entering their own home. Yet the devastating truth is that many of us—overwhelmingly women—have had to coexist with abusive partners, friends, and family members before. While the issue of violence is fundamentally a societal one, change begins in communities and neighborhoods. My goal is to make Adams Morgan a leader in offering support systems for survivors of abuse.
Criminal justice & police reform
Neither residents nor police officers benefit from tension between the two. But hundreds of thousands of DC and Adams Morgan inhabitants can tell you that hostile police relations are an institutionalized injustice. Fortunately, the MPD is one of the most progressive police departments in the country, but there is always more progress to be made. I intend to contribute to that work as an advocate for a more equitable budget. By defunding the school to prison pipeline we can refund the people who stand to gain from this necessary realignment of priorities.
Growing small businesses
Adams Morgan's strength has always been its diversity, both of residents and small business owners. But despite the enthusiasm of many who bring their entrepreneurial spirit to the neighborhood, lack of business education resources often is too big a barrier to keep businesses alive. My goals are:
To build an Adams Morgan economic empowerment project
Outreach to underrepresented & minority business owners
Make available tax, legal, and business strategy support
Outdoor pedestrian & dining space
Outdoor public space already seemed crammed, and then the coronavirus showed up. The coming months or perhaps years will inevitably center around communal efforts to think selflessly and proactively when it comes to our shared spaces. Public support for a permanently pedestrian-oriented 18th street is at an all-time high. I support this as a medium-term goal, and also emphasize the need to expand our attention to Columbia Road. Adams Morgan is one of the best prepared neighborhoods in DC to lead a public space revitalization. We must do our part to shepherd this new age gracefully.
Kalorama, Hargrove, Walter Pierce. Ours local parks were already a lifesaver pre-pandemic. Now they do more than breathe us oxygen: they offer piece of mind in a chaotic world. But parks don't care for themselves, which is why I am determined to keep ours in the high quality they deserve. As commissioner I will:
Advocate for improved park upkeep & equipment renovation
Support grant-seeking for Kalorama beautification groups
Encourage public-private partnerships to fund park costs
Rent & mortgage cancellation
Every human being has a right to dignified housing. In my view, this must be a non-negotiable pillar of any platform, political or otherwise, on moral grounds alone. But even as an economic development issue, rent & mortgage cancellation during a public health crisis is necessary damage control for the District of Columbia. We in Adams Morgan have a responsibility to fight for our neighbors, near and far, whose labors have helped our city flourish. As ANC commissioner I will push to hold all city officials to know this demand is widely supported.
Paying workers fairly for their labor is a crucial element to sustaining a prosperous local economy. While I can't rewrite the law as an ANC commissioner, I do intend to promote fair wages in local businesses as a foundation for my economic platform. Adams Morgan has a proud history of a diverse workforce. By ensuring our local workers receive a living wage I plan on keeping it this way.
About 66% of our ANC rents the place they call home. I'm one of those people, and I believe we deserve to know our rights as renters and have easy access to the legal resources that can help us to become long-tenured residents and homeowners. Creating a safety valve for local renters can be both easy and effective. My objectives are:
To better inform Adams Morgan renters on their rights
Defend affordable housing as an unwavering right
Expand & strengthen rent control measures for all DC