This posting continues the series of ANC 6C01 candidate questions between challenger Marge Maceda and incumbent Keith Silver. The 6C01 single member district is the most critical to residents of the Mount Vernon Triangle as all the residential hi-rises within our borders, with the exception of Golden Rule Plaza, fall within this district (boundary map).
For part one of the series follow this link.
As a commissioner, what will you be looking for from developers who are wanting to build in the Single Member District? There are planned development projects at 5th & I, all along K Street and the I-395 Air rights.
Maceda: When I lived in SW, ANC6D working with the SW Neighborhood Assembly were excellent negotiators. Developers were asked to give back to the community by employing residents to build the project by setting up apprenticeships leading to permanent jobs at excellent wages as journeymen. One developer was asked to supply space for the ANC offices as well as offices for the Civic Association with a meeting space for 150. Working together the civic association and the ANC encouraged a voluntary agreement and the developer built a great relationship with the community. Arena Stage entered an agreement to offer a Southwest Nite for all productions at a cost of $10 for residents. The Nationals have provided tickets camps and chances for the youth of SW to meet and speak with players as part of their agreement with with the community. Then Mayor Williams, took SW children to the very first game in Philadelphia as his guests for opening day. In our own neighborhood, we need to make our city leaders maintain the integrity of the Master Plan and follow it allowing activities to be on our sidewalks and park areas. There should also be a city representative who will work with the community to make that Master plan a reality, attend our meetings and give us updates when things are happening.
Silver: As ANC Commissioner for the past 4 years, I recognize the bottom line, by far is …that here in 6C01 residents are losing out on jobs because our government is failing to enforce its own law requiring local hires for taxpayer-funded developments as Mandated by the DC First Source, HUD Section 3, and other Provisions and requirements
we need aggressive oversight and enforcement of the District of Columbia First Source Program, which requires developers with taxpayer-funded projects to fill 51% of newly created jobs with District residents. We also need to ensure that the Direstraits Living Wage Act of 2006 mandating that city contractors pay workers at least $12.10 per hour is implemented.
We need to greatly improve job training programs in Construction Trades. Secondly, we need in this Single Member District to put young folk to work, and revitalize or start our own Summer Job Program, I say start our own because on the City Level, the youth program has been grossly mismanaged and allowed to waste taxpayers dollars. I readily without hesitation “picket these construction sites” it is the only option left to address the disappointment with the “Fuzzy Math” of the DC First Source Employment Agreement DC Law 14-24, D.C. Law 5-93, and Mayor’s Order 83-265
On one hand, Residents and ANC Commissioners recognize “on paper” the DC First Source Agreement… which holds Developers and Contractors responsible to meet their obligation that 51% of new hires are… DC Residents, …however, in reality, this simply just is not the case. I countiously protest “gigantic loopholes” in the First Source Agreement allows Developers, and Contractors to “tap dance” around the law by… simply by rotating their workers from site to site. Secondly, equally disturbing is the fact …. millions of dollars, and City Finances going towards these projects, in this City…single member district, yet …we only have one to three persons designated to monitor, these construction projects. …This isn’t exactly Rocket Science, we have here…I am urging DC Residents to go to your neighborhood construction site… take a visual inspection of the workers car tags, and suggests you have conversations or interviews with construction workers on site, … I am thouroghly convinced …it will become increasingly clear,… the DC First Source Agreement… is broken and in dire need of repair
As a commissioner, what will your approach be to advance effective solutions in our community? Many in the neighborhood feel that the incumbent arrives at the conclusion to picket/protest far too frequently and leaves the neighborhood associations to lead the issues that require writing memos to city agencies and navigating their protocols.
Maceda: Picketing was a good way in the 60’ s to get a movement going. Today, I think we need to make our elected officials work for us, help us to maneuver all of the agencies to get work done. Your representative needs to be able to connect with the agencies and people in them as well as our city council to get support to accomplish tasks that sometimes seem impossible to master. The red tape and maze we often have to go through to get anywhere in the city agencies should be something that your commissioner should help you with. A perfect example of this is the owners at the K at City Vista and me are trying to get a NO PARKING ENTRANCE SIGN allowing pick up and drop off for their residents. After going to the DDOT agency, they were unable to get what they needed and I suggested that we approach Tommy Wells to get help. The sign is not approved yet but we are working towards it.
Silver: To the contrary Community Protests are my ABSOLUTE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE , I employ picketing as my very last option, Diplomacy without exception is the first rule and option to communicate. with powers that be.
The reality is, picketing and protesting is a far more difficult challege because it is a much harder route to take, in any picket or protest I have actively been involved the first 3 steps have been exhausted BEFORE I ever got to step 4
I always follow these basic Steps preceeding BEFORE any picket or protest I have been involved in:
- Information gathering and research to get the facts straight
- Education of Stakeholders, Residents, and public about the facts of the dispute
- Negotiation with the Stakeholder in the spirit of goodwill to correct the injustice
- When negotiation fail, breakdown, consider the option of picket and/or some form of protest to help persuade the Stakeholder to work toward Resolution
- Reconciliation of former adversaries in a win-win outcome in establishing a sense of community
Picketing in the 30 inch snow, this past February, March, and April, to convey our community dismay with the City putting in a “parking lot” …without any community engagement and no absolutely no transparency!!..fell in the area, for me,… I knew something had to be immediately done about it. Hopefully, that may speak to how passionate I am… about protecting our communities’ interest and being an effective ANC Commissioner. You may recall, after we got through, that picketing and protest.. although it was a small gesture by comparison… we got the “amenity for community use of the parking lot on the weekends”…and subsequently showed “outdoor movies” the month of August.
the funny thing , is if you say “We are More than Parking Lots!!” you actually start believing it!! then you realize this is a fact!! I am not saying Picketing or Protest is the best solution for every equation…It’s something wrong about a Government that circumvents the system and does not properly engage the community…there is something wrong…when a process is not “Transparent”
One quality of life issue of great concern to downtown residents is new liquor licenses – especially those sought in conjunction with entertainment endorsements and/or patio seating which bring noise concerns. Do you feel the ANC should seek some standard provisions in voluntary agreements for establishments that serve alcohol?
Maceda: As new restaurants and pubs begin to pop up in our community I believe opening a dialog between nearby residences and the business can be beneficial. Communicating concerns/expectations and discussing agreements with them would be beneficial. As the neighborhood matures it is also important to have these discussions when renewals come forth. Where noise was not an issue while the buildings were empty years ago it can become a different problem as the neighborhood changes and buildings fill with hundreds of residents.
I actually look forward to next “patio season.” I hope more restaurants offer outdoor seating. Me personally? I’d like my dog Bessie to be able to sit with me and enjoy watching her friends stroll by as I people watch.
Silver: Whether the decision involves a liquor license or other community concern, it is human nature to a whole lot of people they are confident they know how to do it right, Listening to all stakeholders involves a lot of patience, a little more time and demonstrates respect to the intelligrnce and sensitivities
It comes hand in glove with the revitalization Single Member District 6c01, of our neighborhoods as we in attracting business new developments, and with Liqour licenses, entertainment endorsements and outdoor seating…Noise concerns will continue to be our top priority. We can not stray away from the issue of “noise concern” again we are a “community of residents”, building a Model Single Member, Not Big Business, Not Developers,… We live in a high-density residential area…. Resident concerns ALWAYS come first. Noise concern has always been a top priority with me.
What has worked best thus far over the past 4 years has been addressing the issues on a case by case basis. We need strong Voluntary Agreements. We all know that it is very hard to shut down a business or even get a nuisance issue addressed if it wasn’t part of the voluntary agreement…
The Mount Vernon Triangle has long been dominated by parking lots and cut-through Maryland commuters. Recently the area has begun making strides towards becoming one of the model livable, walkable community that Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells promotes. As ANC commissioner how will you support this continued evolution?
Maceda: I supported the Southwest community for more than 25 years but living there meant having to drive to the post office, drive to do shopping just drive everywhere. Here in my new community, I park my car on Friday after work and do not have to use it again until Monday if I choose. I love walking to local bars and restaurants. I love shopping both downtown and at Union Station. If I decide not to walk I have the Circulator and hopefully very soon the streetcar with add to our list of options. Of course if you need anything for your home or apartment we are lucky to have ACE Hardware as they seem to have everything!
I should add that I support continued improvements for bicycle use in the community as cycling further adds to mobility in a green and sustainable way.
Editor’s Note: Mr Silver did not respond to this question.