Other ways to be contacted?
Facebook: JoshHartDC; E-mail: info @ JoshHartDC.com
Where do you live?
When did you move to the neighborhood? Why?
I was one of the original Capitol Quarter workforce housing lottery winners in 2006. Unfortunately, my house wasn't completed until 2009. I welcomed the opportunity to be part of a new neighborhood in a fantastic location where people weren't separated by income.
What made you decide to run for the ANC?
When David Garber decided not to seek reelection, I realized that we had lost an excellent public servant for our neighborhood. Given the growth and challenges facing the area, I felt it was a good time to run. I don't take for granted winning the workforce housing lottery many years ago, and I want to do my part to keep the neighborhood on the path envisioned in the Hope VI grant to revitalize this pocket of SE DC.
How do you envision the role of an ANC commissioner? And of the ANC in general?
I view the ANC as the most fundamentally democratic public office in the District. It is the commissioners' duty to what they believe is the will or in the best interest of their constituency. Each commissioner should serve as a point person with District Government agencies for community needs and keep aware of emerging issues to bring to the full commission.
As an entire commission, the ANC should ensure that it is fulfilling its responsibility to comment or guide DC agencies on community matters with the full authority of the “great weight” ANC resolutions carry. The ANC resolution is a very important (formal) check on the District Government.
What sort of experience do you have that would make you a good commissioner?
As a twice-elected commissioner in Cleveland Park, I already have experience with the ANC and how the body functions, including how to interact with DC Government agencies. I was an Economics major in college and I have a Master's Degree in Public Policy, so I have the analytical skills to approach the issues facing the community. I've also studied and worked with groups where everyone isn't coming from a similar vantage point, and dealt with contentious issues while maintaining a sense of comity.
Do you have a specific topic area or theme that you would bring a particular focus to?
I want to keep the community on the path set forth in the decade-old plan to revitalize this area. For example, the CSX / Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion and a proposal to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow a mixed-income multi-family building to be split in two for the “haves” and “have-nots” are both items I feel would be detrimental to our community's growth.
I'm also concerned about long anticipated construction essential to redevelopment like the new Capper Community Center and remodeling Van Ness Elementary School. Although funds have been allocated for both projects, I learned in my past tenure on the ANC that doesn't mean things will get done. I will hold DC Government agencies accountable for construction time frames, especially when we may lose Federal funds as a result of delays.
If you could wave a wand and get something done in the neighborhood tomorrow, what would it be, and why?
I'd have CSX route all freight rail out of the District, making the Virginia Avenue Tunnel a moot issue. Tunnel construction creates a headache and safety hazard for years. It also potentially limits the District's ability to implement needed transportation solutions for decades if not centuries to come.
How do you reconcile the somewhat different concerns and profiles of apartment dwellers and SFH residents?
And what about public housing residents versus the more well-off newer arrivals?
I feel that I am well suited to deal with these dynamics in our Single-Member District (SMD). The SMD I represented in Cleveland Park was mostly apartment and condo dwellers with a sizeable constituency of rowhouses like 6D07.
I am proud to live in our new, mixed-income neighborhood. I believe that my neighbors within the Hope VI development area support our foundation of buildings for those of all incomes. I could never have purchased my house had I not qualified for workforce housing. As such, I will oppose any attempts to alter the PUD that will diminish this principal feature of our community.
What do you think residents of your ANC think is/are the most pressing issue(s) in the neighborhood?
The Virginia Avenue Tunnel; the future of neighborhood institutions like the Capper Community Center and Van Ness Elementary School; transportation; construction coordination; and retail choices.
Where do you stand on the CSX/Virginia Avenue Tunnel project?
I oppose the project. That said, I can't promise that I can stop it should I win the election. Nonetheless, I will work to create a clear framework under which CSX can perform construction – and hold the company accountable whenever it fails to abide by that framework.
What do you want voters to remember about you as they fill out their ballot?
I've lived in this community longer than my opponents. I've seen how things have grown and been delayed. I want to make sure we stay on the right path.
What do you call the neighborhood?
I usually say Navy Yard.