As Councilmember, my door would be open to all, and I intend to engage in regular dialogue with community leaders on pressing issues facing Ward 3 residents. I strongly believe we all do better when we work together and learn from each other. Some examples of the kinds of predictable, regular meetings are outlined below.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions
Having served on an ANC for six years, I know how deeply immersed in community affairs diligent ANCs can be. Mayor Gray convened quarterly meetings of ANC chairs during his Administration, which were enormously productive. If elected, I and relevant members of my staff would meet at least quarterly with two representatives from each of Ward 3’s six ANCs. Such meetings would provide a useful vehicle for me and my staff to stay informed of frontline issues and for ANCs throughout the Ward to learn from each other and work together where appropriate.
School parent leaders
A parent of three DC public school graduates, I led the creation of the citywide Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC) to improve information sharing and advocacy among education advocates, often Ward-based Education Councils. At the time there was no Ward 3 Education Council. I convened parent leaders from schools throughout the Ward to establish the Ward 3 Wilson Feeder Education Network (W3EdNet). W3EdNet has done excellent work convening monthly meetings and magnifying the impact of individual school communities. As Councilmember, I will build on that work, attending W3EdNet monthly meetings and convening quarterly meetings with parent representatives of each of the schools in the feeder system.
Senior service organizations
Ward 3 has the highest percentage of residents aged 65 and older of any ward in the city. As a complement to Iona Senior Services’ Citizen’s Advisory Group, on which I previously served, I will hold quarterly meetings with Ward leaders on senior issues, including representatives at the UDC CAUSES Program and representatives of neighborhood Villages that enable seniors to age in place, and other organizations focused on serving seniors in Ward 3. Coordination across organizations would maximize my office’s ability to anticipate and respond to issues impacting senior citizens.
Main Street organizations
Having served on the board of Tenleytown Main Street, I have seen firsthand how big a difference these organizations can make in our commercial districts and surrounding neighborhoods. I intend to meet quarterly with the seven Ward 3 Main Street organizations to discuss the unique issues facing small businesses and support collaboration across Main Streets.
These examples are not intended to be exclusive. Crime, housing and youth sports, to name just a few, are also critical and deserving of regular checkups and collaborative engagement. Nor will such meetings replace open access to me and my office. I offer them as examples, however, to illustrate my view, born from experience, that no one person has all the answers (or even knows all the questions) and that everyone benefits from sharing perspectives, learning from each other, and teamwork.