Voting! It’s so patriotic! I’ve never missed an election (even when I was studying abroad in Australia and generally tipsy the entire time). I get really into voting. Not so much into politics, what with the big bird, and the binders and all the yelling, but I feel extremely strongly about exercising my right to vote. And this, my friends, is my first big DC election.
Having resided in Arlington for most of my post-college twenties, I was used to um… normal politics. You know, senate races that aren’t prefaced with the term “shadow” and local county elections. But DC is not… normal. That’s why we love her. We have all kinds of whackadoo local representation, and earlier this month I decided it was time to buckle down and be a responsible citizen and figure it all out. So one day in early October, I sat down do ALL THE VOTING RESEARCH! And I came upon this weird thing called the ANC, and got rull, rull confused.
I’m a relatively smart person, and I pay attention, but I was seriously confused about my ANC. There were letters, and numbers and oh my. Was I voting for 4C? 7D? Why are there numbers? What does it do? Why is it there? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? (Oh. Well, that I know. 42.)
Anyways, I got around to asking my smart, competent friends who live in DC about their ANC commissioner, and none of them really knew what an ANC was. Well, okay then. I vaguely recollected the ANC thing from a post Dave Stroup wrote for WLDC a while ago, so I started there. That was helpful. But I still had questions. So I did a whole lot of grilling of the WLDC staff, and a whole lot of googling. And the rest of this post is what I figured out, so that you, too, can be an informed DC voter.
ARE YOU READY?
parking sign in the C&O Canal
Someone in Georgetown is clearly not a fan of the new parking regulations that took effect in January. And I have to admit the addition of Saturdays has been the bane of my existence, however instead of throwing signs into the historic C&O Canal, let your voice be heard by contacting Mayor Fenty, your Ward representative and/or your ANC with your complaints/comments/suggestions.
‘A packed ANC 4C meeting in DC tonight’
courtesy of ‘Wayan Vota’
Doing what I do here at We Love DC, I am constantly looking for a way to keep track of what the heck is going on in the city. Don remarked once how grateful he is that he’s the one who actually likes reading the DC Register, since it’s basically a never-ending source of article ideas. Well, he’s welcome to it, because I don’t see myself developing that particular habit anytime soon. But I have run across three handy Internet/database projects of the DC government that help me dig up context on all the various bits of info constantly hurled my way. Being a total nerd, this stuff makes me giddy:
DC Guide, which I prefer to refer to by the name referenced in its URL: Citizen Atlas. This database gathers all the random little bits of information you’d need to know as a District resident- what Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) do you belong to? Who is your specific representative to that ANC? What’s your voting precinct? You can see on their sample report that it also shows you a map of the address in relation to certain points of interest, like Metro stations. Handy also if you’re looking to buy a house in the District. Other methods of search will show you things like maps of neighborhood clusters, maps of zip codes and which ANCs and voting precincts serve them, etc. Continue reading
‘when politicians get stoned.’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
Complaining about ANC members is sort of a pro-am sport in DC. If any of you live in the right spot and want to light a candle rather than curse the darkness, there’s a vacancy in 3C04, the small area in Cleveland Park east of Connecticut Ave. You can punch up the exact boundaries over here, but if you want to go out for the job don’t dawdle too long: the petition circulation period started Tuesday and closes on October 19th. You only need 25 signatures from qualified voters – surely there’s 25 people in your neighborhood that don’t know you well enough to hate you.
Or hate you enough to want to see you get a job that often irks people in exchange for the big annual salary of $0.00.
Participation Lager… Originally uploaded by dharmabumx
Well folks, it seems, much like the application of parking rates, D.C.’s leadership have painted with a large brush in order to solve a detailed problem. On February 9th, the D.C. Council enacted, at the behest of of several ANC members, a ban on the sale of single bottles of beer in several wards in D.C.. The Washington City Paper has an excellent write up on the issue. The local beer aficionado and brewers list (which includes many of the brewers for local brew pubs in the area, local breweries and others), DC-Beer, has lit up discussing the issue.
In short, to paraphrase the City Paper, too many people in certain areas of the city have been pissing in the wrong people’s yards after a night of drinking and revelry. So far Ward 2 (Georgetown) and 6 (Capitol Hill) are directly affected (can anybody say “staffers”) but has the unintended affect on those who drink beer for taste rather than rote consumption. A number of specialty stores (or those who actually stock something other than the corn-fed varieties, such as Budweiser) are left shipping their stock to the basement to avoid penalties while trying to get responses back from unresponsive commissioners and councilmen. I ask, dear readers, have you been affected by this issue, or have an opinion?