my priorities for ANC 1C
In a neighborhood as busy as Adams Morgan, there is no shortage of problems to fix. But if I've learned anything, it's that communities who work together are the best problem solvers.
Two key issues I plan on addressing as commissioner deal with safety: traffic safety and gun violence. Until everyone can enjoy their city free of fear from reckless drivers and senseless shootings, we have work to do.
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.
Progress, however, requires more than just a nice platform. We need to be proactive and advocate for what's right. Although the list could be much longer, below are some examples of when I've done exactly that by giving testimony at official DC government meetings.
Clean public spaces
Whether on the sidewalk, in an alley, or throughout the green space of our magnificent parks, cleanliness is important. Rats and commercial waste are particularly urgent hazards to contain. That's why I will continue engaging with residents and DC agencies to make sure areas of concern are given proper attention.
Every human being deserves a home. Sadly, many people go weeks, months, or even years without a sturdy roof over their head. We can and must change this, and it starts with ensuring any unhoused resident is treated with dignity. That means prioritizing housing in order to better address other issues an individual may face, such as healthcare, employment, or migration status.
Many Washingtonians are suffering as a direct result of corporate greed. The ongoing opioid crisis is evidence of that. As commissioner, I will continue to urge DC government to invest in harm reduction measures and lead the nation as an example of how to prevent overdoses. Our need is great and every moment counts.
If you are reading this while in DC, there's a good chance it's on a device powered by nuclear energy. A lot of people get scared of that term, but the reality is that nuclear power is safe, clean, efficient, and likely the only non-fossil fuel energy source that can run a city. My goal as commissioner is to push for an energy mix that complements nuclear power with renewables like solar panels. Doing so will lower energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint.
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.
Washington, DC is proudly queer. And Adams Morgan plays an important role in that history. As commissioner I will keep supporting queer leaders throughout the community while also fighting for fair treatment to all regardless of their gender, sexual, or romantic interests. Local efforts are especially important as federal and state governments attempt to gut protections for those of us who are LGBTQ.
big picture objectives
Choosing budget priorities
An important but underutilized way commissioners can influence DC policy is during budget season. Every year, the Mayor and Council determine what public funds will be spent on for the next fiscal year. I will remain fiercely dedicated to urging investments in those of us who don't have expensive lobbyists at our disposal. This mentality is crucial as more and more people get priced out of their own neighborhoods.
Community participation in decisions
I've spent many years speaking with people who feel left out of the political process. Some of that can be fixed with education on how the system works. But in many instances, our democratic government gets hijacked by whoever is loud and has free time. My solution to this is simple but challenging: seek out those who are overlooked and listen to them. The more we learn from and empathize with one another, the more good we can do together.
Our lives should not revolve around wage labor. But a healthy, happy workforce is an important part of Adams Morgan or any neighborhood. Whether an employee is blue collar, pink collar, undocumented, disabled, underpaid, exploited, or simply tired, they deserve elected officials who understand their battles. I have a diverse work history and will utilize that knowledge regularly as commissioner. Solidarity forever.