This November, Most ANC Elections Are No-Contest

by Lark Turner

This November, Most ANC Elections Are No-Contest: Figure 1

Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC

Most of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats up for grabs in November are no-contest. In two-thirds of the available seats, candidates are either running unopposed or no one is running at all.

Mark Lee first pointed out the figure in the Washington Blade. A look at the list of who’s eligible to run (PDF) tells the same story.

ANC seats go up for grabs every other November. The commissions, which are organized by neighborhood, can support or oppose applications to the city, like zoning exceptions and liquor licenses, as well as assist constituents with other problems. In matters before the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Zoning Commission, ANC recommendations legally carry “great weight.” That means ANCs can frequently influence development in their neighborhood.

The race in ANC 2B shows how politics can change when elections come around. The controversial redevelopment of the St. Thomas Parish Church was initially shepherded through the ANC by former 2B-07 commissioner Leo Dwyer, who ultimately supported the project. But Dwyer was charged with assaulting a homeless man earlier this year, and his name does not appear on November’s ballot.

Whose does? Justine Underhill, who’s been active among a group of Church Street neighbors advocating for significant changes, or a delay, to the project. Underhill is running unopposed.

See other articles related to: november elections, anc

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/most_anc_elections_are_no-contest/9115

1 Comment

  1. Jack McKay said at 1:38 pm on Wednesday October 22, 2014:
    The "great weight" supposed to be given to ANC recommendations amounts, in practice, to little. Legally it means only that the agency is supposed to respond in writing to "each of the Commission's issues and concerns" -- not that the ANC's opinion is supposed to count for more than anyone else's. In practice, District agencies don't bother to respond to ANC resolutions. Not many people have the time and resources to do the ANC job, which requires a lot of time, for zero pay. I've been doing the job for 12 years, and it's been possible only because I'm retired. Anyone with a full-time job and family to worry about has a hard time.

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