Tuesday, October 31, 2006

VOH: ANC Questionnaire Omission

I'm posting this ANC Commissioner candidate Q&A because it was inadvertently left out of the recent Voice of the Hill voter guide. Since the voter guide gets pretty good circulation, this Q&A is not only being posted here, but sent out on plenty of listservs as well. My posting of this Q&A is not intended to be an endorsement of Mr. Rauch's candidacy. You can read Q&As from all the other candidates in the latest issue of Voice of the Hill.

ANC Questionnaire Omission

The Voice of the Hill inadvertently left out Jesse Rauch’s response to our questionnaire sent to all advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) candidates, whose responses were published in the Oct. 26 issue.

Here are Rauch’s responses with our sincerest apologies:

Jesse B. Rauch
Single-member district (SMD): 6A03
Occupation: Research Assistant, American Federation of Teachers
Age: 24
Years in D.C.: 2 ½ years
Years in your SMD: 2 ½ years
Incumbent? No.

1. What experience do you have that you feel qualifies you for the ANC?

Since moving to D.C., I worked to improve our community's quality of life. Working with city council, the Riders' Advisory Council, Dan Tangherlini, WMATA staff, I saved late night D6 bus service. During my tenure as DCPS teacher, I observed how important community was in developing a neighborhood, so I involved my community to push my students to make significant gains in reading & math. I learned that improving our schools requires community activism. Also, as a member of the ANC 6A Schools & Library Committee, we are attempting to reach out to support our neighborhood schools.

2. Why do you want to be an ANC commissioner?

We live in a great neighborhood during exciting times. However, our schools need help, our children need safe places to play, we are threatened by inappropriate zoning, and our streets are plagued by burgeoning traffic and parking problems. The only way to make progress in our community is to work together. I pledge to unite our neighborhood to protect it. I want to listen and advocate for my neighbors. The operative word in advisory neighborhood commission is “neighborhood.” Currently, “neighborhood” is a concept; as commissioner, I will make it a reality. I want to bring community back to Capitol Hill.

3. What do you feel is the primary responsibility of an ANC commissioner?

Capitol Hill is a historic community undergoing significant changes. Thus, the primary responsibility of an ANC commissioner is to advocate and represent the concerns of the neighborhood. This can only be done if the commissioner involves the community at-large by informing and collaborating with them. A commissioner must be relentless and innovative in the pursuit of answers and be creative problem solvers. I promise to do all these things. If I were to define the ideal ANC commissioner, it would be a committed, active, energetic, person who unites residents and community members to advocate for the concerns of the neighborhood.

4. What do you see as the single greatest issue facing your ANC in the next year? The city?

Conversations with my neighbors have led me to believe that a “lack of community” is a looming threat to our neighborhood. If we are able to re-unify our neighborhood, by working with local schools and community members, including local businesses, we will be more able to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood. The continued economic development of our city, while it brings tremendous capital and great diversity, is also pressuring us and forcing us to reexamine our values. If we do not elect strong, thoughtful leaders, then the historic vitality of our neighborhoods will be challenged.

5. What do you want voters to know about you that will help them in deciding whom to vote for?

If I am elected, I pledge to bring my energy and relentless drive to build and strengthen our community. And I want to do it with your help. It is only when we act together, as a unified voice, will we accomplish our goals. I have extensive experience and contact with members of the city council, Board of Education, WMATA, D.C. Public Schools, and local businesses. I have experience with many of the diverse issues affecting our neighborhood. I am excited to utilize my resources to make “neighborhood” a reality in Capitol Hill. Also, anyone can contact me by email.

6. If you are an incumbent, list three successes from your time as a commissioner. (If you are challenger, list three things you would bring to the ANC or three things the current commissioner has failed to achieve for your single-member district/ANC.)

Our SMD deserves a lot of attention and my work will involve three prominent themes: community, collaboration, and communication. These concepts are what allows our neighborhood to function and allows us to work together to solve problems. Three things that I would bring to the ANC in particular are that I will build stronger relationships with our schools to turn them into blue-ribbon institutions; engage police on issues of public safety to make our neighborhood safer; and address zoning and parking concerns. Essentially, as commissioner, I want to build and strengthen our neighborhood through a better sense of community.

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