While Tuesday’s general election was devoid of city-wide news of any note, it did mark the changing of the guard for the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. The 286 seats split across the 8 wards work as an advisory council for various city programs and city agencies, as we explained in our ABCs of ANCs guide from earlier this year. Various stories out of the ANCs, including some controversy about local liquor licensing, lead to a lot of discussions online about running for ANC. Something sure happened, because in Tuesday’s election 114 of the 286 seats changed hands, a 40% turnover rate.
More interesting than just the turnover, is that the number of seats in which there were 3 candidates or more doubled, and the number of seats that were uncontested went down by 5%. In addition, there are 9 fewer empty seats on the Commissions than there were after the 2008 election. Take into account controversial ANCs like ANC 5C saw 50% turnover, and you’ve got a recipe for some interesting action over the next two years a bunch of new commissioners get their feet wet.
Good luck, new Commissioners, you’ve got a big load on your shoulders. Click through for some of the interesting breakdowns from the DCBOEE results.
Ward by Ward Breakdown
Ward 1: 36 seats (23 unopposed, 8 contested, 5 multicontested) 23 changed hands
Ward 2: 34 seats (29 unopposed, 4 contested, 1 multicontested) 10 changed hands
Ward 3: 42 seats (32 unopposed, 10 contested) 13 changed hands
Ward 4: 33 seats (28 unopposed, 4 contested, 1 multicontested) 13 changed hands
Ward 5: 36 seats (22 unopposed, 12 contested, 2 multicontested) 11 changed hands
Ward 6: 35 seats (15 unopposed, 15 contested, 5 multicontested) 16 changed hands
Ward 7: 35 seats (26 unopposed, 8 contested, 1 multicontested) 16 changed hands
Ward 8: 35 seats (24 unopposed, 10 contested, 1 multicontested) 12 changed hands
Notable ANC Changes
Just one ANC in the whole city didn’t swap out a single commissioner. ANC 2A, which encompasses George Washington University, the Watergate Complex, and the West End, didn’t swap a single seat. Of the 37 commissions, it was the only one not to change out any of its commissioners. Citywide, Ward 2 had the most stability, changing out just 29.4% of the commissioners.
ANC 1A swapped out 6 of their 11 commissioners, and left two seats empty, causing the single highest number of changed seats in the city. The Columbia Heights ANC, running from 16th to Park between Harvard and Spring Road is certainly one of the most rapidly changing parts of the city, and it fits that there might be a good deal of change across the commission.
ANC 5C made news when they turned down Stu Davenport and Big Bear Cafe, who had applied for a liquor license. Interestingly enough, half of that commission have been replaced, including outspoken commissioner Barrie Daneker, who lost by 211 votes. ANC 5C also has the tightest race so far, with Tim Clark leading by just 3 votes over incumbent Denise Wright.
ANC 2D makes up the smallest commission in the city, with just two single member districts. It’s sandwiched between 2B (Dupont Circle), 2E (Burleith/Georgetown) and 1C (Adams Morgan) and covers Kalorama Heights. This cycle, ANC 2D is represented by just one person: Commissioner-Elect David Bender. I’m sure those ANC meetings are short and sweet.
ANC 7A turned over the highest percentage of seats of any of the ANCs, with 6 of their 7 commission seats changing hands. Pending the results of three write-in candidacies (7A01, 7A02, and 7A06), only Villareal Johnson will remain on the commission from the previous term. 7A covers Fort Dupont Park as well as Benning Ridge, just on the far side of the East Capitol Street Bridge and the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge.
Congratulations to all the new commissioners!
Anyone who’d like to use the dataset that I created this article from can download the .zip file with the summary and detail views. These reports were based on the unofficial results post at DCBOEE. Some results may change after the polls are certified.