Not all the names on the ballot this Election Day will be national political figures, or well-known citywide. But they will influence policies that will have an impact on life in our neighborhood. And now is your opportunity to serve.
Members of DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are elected every two years. The seven volunteer members of ANC 3F serve the Forest Hills, Wakefield, North Cleveland Park and Van Ness communities. See more about what they do below.
Two current members have told Forest Hills Connection they are not running for reelection. Mary Beth Ray of ANC 3F03 and Sally Gresham of ANC 3F04 have decided to instead pursue community service through Van Ness Main Street. Ray serves as president of the 12 member board of directors, and Gresham serves as a founding board member and co-chair of the VNMS Design Committee.
Both Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Gresham (email@example.com) are available to answer questions about their specific single member districts (SMDs) for those interested in running for their seats.
As for other incumbent commissioners, 3F02’s Shirley Adelstein, 3F05’s Andrea Molod, 3F06’s Malachy Nugent and 3F07’s Pat Jakopchek picked up nominating petitions from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics as of DCBOEE’s July 29th update (DCBOEE updates the list every Friday at dcboee.org). Jakopchek may face a challenger. Andrew Gerst picked up his petition on July 18.
The next step for all candidates is to collect 25 signatures from registered voters within their single member districts and turn them in by close of business on Wednesday, August 10th.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissionswere established when District voters approved them in a referendum in 1974. The ANCs represent neighborhoods on a range of policies and programs, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and the District’s annual budget.
Decisions of the commissions are given great weight by District agencies and the DC Council. In each of the areas listed above, the purpose of the ANC is to ensure that input from residents of the affected neighborhoods is heard at the highest levels of local government. For that reason, the ANC is the body of government with the closest official ties to the people in our neighborhoods.
ANC 3F presents its positions and recommendations on these and other issues to various District government agencies, the Executive Branch, and the Council. It also presents testimony to independent agencies, boards, and commissions (Chick-fil-A is the most recent example), so that local voices may be heard at every level.
How to run
If you are a civic-minded neighbor interested in running for this volunteer elected office, you must be a registered voter and have lived in your single member district for 60 days before submitting your nomination petitions. Enter your address here to find out which SMD you live in.
You will begin by heading to the DC Board of Elections in person to pick up a nomination petition. You may also send a representative with a letter authorizing that person to pick up the petitions on your behalf. The Board of Elections is located at 441 4th Street NW in room 250N. Their phone number is (202) 727-2525. You can pick up a lot of useful information by visiting the DC Board of Elections and Ethics website.
In addition to petitions, the board will give the candidates a list of the registered voters who live in their SMD and a map of the SMD’s boundaries. Candidates will also need to file a “Declaration of Candidacy” for their name to appear on the ballot. You can file this form when you pick up the petitions or turn them in.
Again, August 10th is the deadline for submitting the petitions with signatures of at least 25 registered voters who live in your SMD. Or, if you miss the deadline, you can submit this notarized form to declare yourself a write-in candidate.
Early voting starts October 24th for absentee voters and October 25th for early voters. The last day to vote is Election Day, November 8th.
The winning candidates will take office after noon on January 2nd, once they are sworn in. The Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions will provide orientation and training.