Saturday, October 29, 2016

Still Life with Robin: A Critically Important Election

by Peggy Robin

You’ve heard this before. This may be the most consequential election of our era. The results will affect us in so many different ways, possibly far into our future. So your vote counts more than ever. Especially when you consider that even a small handful of votes could affect the outcome. And yes, I mean right here in DC...because I’m talking about candidates for seats on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3-C, where vote totals may be just a few hundred. While most of the 9 positions on the Commission have candidates who are running unopposed, this year, right here in Cleveland Park, we have three exciting, hard-fought contests going on. In Single Member Districts 3C-09, 3C-08, and 3C-05, there are candidates running against each other who have sharply opposing visions of the future of the neighborhood. You have a real choice to make if you live in one of these three SMDS. See for a map of the districts involved.

To find out what SMD you’re in, go to this webpage and put in your address. Your address will come up with links to a number of different maps, including your ward, your police district, your police service area (PSA), your census tract, your voting precinct and yes, your Single Member District. You can click on the SMD link shown to see the boundaries of your ANC voting area. 

You may not have bothered to vote in an ANC election before. If you don’t think these part-time, volunteer positions matter all that much, well, you’ve probably never had a neighbor propose to build a deck right out to your fence line….or you’ve never applied for a curb cut to build a driveway and suddenly discovered that it was not possible because your ANC rep has already gone on record opposed to anything that takes away street parking spaces, and the ANC usually defers to the wishes of the affected commissioner. Or you’ve never been kept up till three in the morning by the music blasting from the bar across the alley from your house, and wondered if there was any way you could do anything about it.  Well, your ANC Commissioner is your go-to person, a hyper-local representative who is supposed to keep up with the block-by-block nitty-gritty quality of life issues. Stop signs. Zoned parking. Street lamps shining too brightly or pointing the wrong direction. The little things. Except that they become big things, once you’re the one with the bright light shining in on you all night.

If you live in ANC 3C-09, -08, or -05, you still have 10 days to familiarize yourself with the candidates. The Northwest Current’s most recent issue, October 26, with the candidates’ answers to five questions, may help you out:

I have also included links to the candidates’ statements for the Vote411 resource produced by the League of Women Voters. And when I found a website for a candidate, I have included it as well.

ANC 3C-05: Margie Siegel (incumbent) vs. Emma Hersh

ANC 3C-08: Malia Brink vs. Chaz Rotenberg (current incumbent not running for re-election)

ANC 3C-09: Nancy MacWood (incumbent) vs. Bob Ward
Nancy MacWood website:
Bob Ward website:

You can also search the archives of the Cleveland Park Listserv to find messages written by the candidates of 3C-09 and 3C-05 on a variety of issues – including the current election. Just go to the listserv’s list of “Conversations” at and use the search box at the top of the page to look up each of the candidates by full name – put it inside quotation marks to be sure you bring up all messages by or about that person.

Then go VOTE!
Still Life with Robin is published on Saturdays on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local by Peggy Robin (former ANC 3C Commissioner, 1981-88).

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