Several ANC single member districts in DC have no candidate on the 2022 ballot. Most have one. ANC 3F06 is the rare SMD that has three candidates running for the seat: Courtney Carlson, Bridget Schwartz, and Rona Walters, whose statement is below.
The ANC 3F redistricting makes 3F06 one of the northernmost single member districts in ANC 3F. Places of note include the rehabilitated Linnean and Broad Branch streams, Forest Hills of DC and Sunrise Senior Living, Engine 31, and the Connecticut Avenue commercial district between Fessenden Street and Nebraska Avenue. The diverse housing stock includes detached single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and multi-family apartment buildings and condos.
Here is Rona Walters’ statement:
What I Want for Our Neighborhood
Change is in the air. Pressing housing, development, and safety issues are before ANC3F— neighbors’ voices must be heard loudly and clearly in deliberations that affect the ANC and the District. I am committed to that principle.
My focus is on the ANC charter’s “neighborhood’s voice.” This informs my platform and commitments to my constituents.
It cannot be overstated: Listen to the people of Forest Hills
Residents deserve proactive and accurate information about local and District-wide issues facing the neighborhood. In speaking with neighbors, I hear a frequent concern that ANCs are often influenced by well-funded lobbyists and interest groups than the people of Forest Hills. I commit to residents of ANC3F06 that local voices are primary in ANC deliberations and take precedence over consultants, lobbyists or special interest groups. Of course it is useful to hear professional opinions and advice, but ultimately the voice of the ANC is the people’s voice.
I also commit to communicate issues and proposed alternatives to the neighbors of ANC3F06, and to advocate for our neighbors’ concerns with the ANC and District Government. To do so, if I am elected to ANC3F, one of my first official actions will be to introduce resolutions for the ANC to improve constituent communication by:
Revising the ANC website to be more user friendly and highlight key news and events.
Introducing an “ANC3F Newsletter” or similar that residents of Forest Hills are invited to subscribe, as well as utilizing not only the Forest Hills Connection but other local Northwest DC listservs, Nextdoor, and other outlets to post regular ANC news, meeting schedules, agendas well in advance of meetings, and other important information from the ANC.
My primary concern: ensure the safety of all Forest Hills residents
The District’s Department of Transportation (“DDOT”) is working on a project to reconfigure Connecticut Avenue from Legation Street NW to Calvert Street NW. (The scope might extend to Chevy Chase Circle.) All the ANCs along Connecticut Avenue voted “yes” for the project. The reconfiguration would install dedicated bicycle lanes in the curbside lanes, reduce parking along the Avenue, and change locations for bus stops and commercial delivery drop-off points.
In June, DDOT published high-level concept maps of the “new” Connecticut Avenue, and held a public town hall at UDC to explain further details of its design concept. I believe our ANC should reach out to all Forest Hills neighbors to explain the effect the designs might have on the safety of the Forest Hills neighborhood, and the District overall. We should take proactive action to reduce accidents and injuries, for all users of Connecticut Avenue, as well as preparing the District for reduced dependence on pollutant fuels.
Not surprising for DC, there have been strong voices raised, pro and con, over the Connecticut Avenue reconfiguration proposal. I believe the ANC should play the lead in keeping all Forest Hills residents informed about the potential changes, and take their concerns and needs into account, so that there is a positive outcome for all. Hopefully, we all agree that safety on our streets and sidewalks for all should always be the uppermost goal for the ANC.
As your ANC Commissioner, I will focus on helping your ANC actively and aggressively collaborate with Forest Hills residents, DDOT and the Ward 3 DC Council Member to ensure that everyone who uses Connecticut Avenue — pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, city workers, businesses, law enforcement, the elderly and disabled — can do so safely. Let’s work together to make the change a positive one for all of us.
I believe that DDOT must put traffic calming and traffic routing action plans in place to handle overflow of traffic from Connecticut Avenue and other major streets into our neighborhoods. Your ANC should hold DDOT to account to make sure that happens, and I will work to that end.
Housing equity and inclusivity
Affordable, inclusive housing is a right of all DC residents, and rent control, housing vouchers, and other programs are part of solutions that lead to positive change for all residents. I will work to keep housing equity in Forest Hills and Ward 3 overall on the ANC’s radar at all times. Though housing policy and administration is not part of the ANC’s oversight, the ANC is an important channel to make sure Forest Hills residents’ concerns and needs are reaching the Mayor and Council.
I welcome taking on the ANC commissioner’s traditional advocacy role with District agencies and our Council Member, to ensure residents get the District services they are entitled to.
I am Independent — to Serve You Better
From the day I registered as a ANC candidate, I was asked to complete surveys circulated by lobbyists and special interest groups. One organization that appears to be very interested to the changes coming to Connecticut Avenue promised to endorse me and publicize my campaign as long as I promised to vote in favor of matters coming before the ANC that they want approved.
I feel these requests are inappropriate, and I declined. I will never promise my vote for or against any ANC matter in advance of the matter coming before the ANC. If I am elected to be your commissioner in ANC3F06, I will give due consideration to every proposal and request for concurrence brought forward to the ANC. I will listen to, and question, every side of every issue. I will do my best to solicit and hear my district 6 constituents’ views. Then I will consider all the facts and arguments, and only then will I will vote in the way that I believe is in the best interest of Forest Hills DC.
I am honored to be vying for the ANC3F06 seat with two highly qualified, successful women candidates, and I am encouraged by their interest in serving the community and bringing about positive change for a better future for the District. While I am confident that I am the most qualified candidate for the office of ANC Commissioner, I invite all ANC candidates to endorse the principles and hopes behind my platform, for the benefit of all of Forest Hills and the District of Columbia.
Contact me and tell me what you think