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Ward 6's no-longer-quite-so-new councilmember Charles Allen is hosting his first Budget Town Hall, on Thursday May 7 at 1100 4th St., SW, in room E-200.
Allen will be highlighting "both the good and the bad" of Mayor Bowser's proposed FY16 budget, as well as talking through his own budget priorities. But beyond that, this event is being billed as an opportunity for residents "to ask your budget questions and share your own priorities" before the council starts voting on its possible changes to the mayor's budget.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm.
Comments (2)
More posts: budget, politics
 

With possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana becoming legal in DC on Thursday, the Washington Post helpfully mapped out all of the federally owned tracts of land in the city, since pot possession will still most decidedly not be legal on federal land.
So, in the interest of providing pertinent information to my readers, I zoomed the map in to show these locations in and around Near Southeast, of which there are many. The Navy Yard is one such spot, obviously (see how that "The" comes in handy?), but so is Canal Park, Virginia Avenue Park, the Marine Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, DC Water's land, various lots around the Yards including parts of the Yards Park, and the government warehouse at Half and L. Not to mention all of the shoreline east of 11th Street, plus Garfield Park, Randall Recreation Center, and a whole host of other public spaces nearby.
While the map shows you where possession will be illegal, it's not like the new law is allowing public consumption, federal land or not: "D.C. police will be instructed to continue ticketing for public smoking of marijuana, a ticket akin to drinking in public, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine."
In fact, it's probably best to read this other Post story, along with the FAQ and fact sheet released by the city--to find out exactly what is and isn't legal. But here's the basics:
As of Thursday, any individual 21 or over can:
* Possess two ounces or less of marijuana;
* Use marijuana on private property;
* Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person, as long as: (1) no money, goods or services are exchanged; and (2) the recipient is 21 years of age or older;
* Cultivate within his or her primary residence up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature.
However, it will still be illegal to:
* Possess more than two ounces of marijuana;
* Smoke or otherwise consume marijuana on public space or anywhere to which the public is invited; including restaurants, bars, and coffee shops;
* Sell any amount of marijuana to another person; or
* Operate a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana.
UPDATE: The mayor's FAQ notes that it will remain illegal to smoke in public housing residences.
Comments (20)
More posts: politics, pot
 

It took way too long to fnd out the result (Precinct 131 was one of the last three of the city's 143 precincts to be posted), but with the votes tallied, Meredith Fascett has won the three-way race to be the next commissioner of ANC 6D07.
Fascett won with 62.2% of the vote, beating Josh Hart (14.4%) and TD Stanger (12.5%).
A total of 763 of the precinct's 2,911 registered voters cast ballots either today or in early voting, a 26.2% participation percentage. (Boooo....)
This was the only one of the seven ANC 6D races to be contested. Near Southeast's other commissioner, Stacy Cloyd, ran unopposed in 6D02, the district that spans South Capitol Street and includes the ballpark and blocks up to I Street SE.
In other races, Charles Allen is now officially Ward 6's council member, taking the precinct with 75% of the vote, and Joe Weedon has won the Ward 6 State Board of Education seat.
While Muriel Bowser has won the vote and will be the city's next mayor, David Catania was the neighborhood's choice by a slight margin, 366 to 336 votes or 48% to 44%.
Precinct 131 mirrored the rest of the city in the voting for the two at-large council seats, with Anita Bonds and Elissa Silverman the top vote-getters, at 20% and 13% of the vote respectively. (Though it looks like a whopping 368 of you didn't realize you could vote for two candidates in that race.)
UPDATE: Dang it, I forgot the pot vote! Neighborhood partiers voted for Initiative 71 68% to 27%. Duuuuude.....!
And congratulations to Meredith!
Comments (2)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

I know it's easy to filter out most of the now-incessant election-related noise around the city (though believe me, I'm trying), but even total exhaustion with the process is a lame excuse to not vote. I've always felt that, if you don't vote, you really do lose all right to complain about what your elected officials--and the staffs they hire--are doing. Not to mention that whole civic-duty living-in-a-democracy thing.
The ANC commissioners running for 6D02 and 6D07 may be unfamilar to you, so I suggest again that you read the questionnaire they were all nice enough to fill out (even though one of them told me it was like filling out a college application).
Neighborhood residents will be voting not only for mayor and the aforementioned ANC Commissioners, but also for their Ward 6 council member, either Charles Allen or Libertarian candidate Pranav Badhwar. Voters will also choose the delegate to the US House of Representatives, two at-large council members, and the city's attorney general, which is an elected position for the first time. There's also the race for Ward 6 representative to the "state" board of education, and the "shadow" US House/Senate seats.
And if none of those races get you excited, there's also the vote for or against Initiative Measure No. 71, the "Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014."
Here's the Ward 6 sample ballot, if you don't believe me. (Scroll to page 5 for the "back side.")
The DC Board of Elections is happy to tell you that early voting is underway, up through Saturday, Nov. 1. The closest early voting center to Near Southeast is at the King Greenleaf Recreation Center, at 201 N St. SW, and it's open from 8:30 am to 7 pm daily. It's only had 504 voters so far as of this writing, the lowest of any of the early voting centers. Let's step it up, people!
If you're feeling old-school and you plan to vote on Election Day itself (that's Tuesday, Nov. 4, if you REALLY aren't paying attention), you can find your polling place here, though for most of the residents of Near Southeast you'll be voting at Van Ness Elementary School, 1150 5th St. SE. It will be open on Election Day from 7 am to 8 pm.
The Voter's Guide (with its upside-down DC flag now fixed) can help you as well.
Plus, when you vote you get one of these, which is really the best part of all.
UPDATE, 10/30: The Hill is Home interviewed mayoral candidates about Ward 6 issues. See who responded, and who didn't.
Comments (3)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

ANC 6D07 Commissioner David Garber announced on Facebook on Friday that he will be resigning his position later this week, a little more than 2 1/2 months before his full term would have ended. (He announced a few months ago that he would not be running for reelection.)
The reason he gives for the decision to quit early is that he is moving to Shaw/Logan Circle/U Street, a location that one might note is a handy confluence of two wards (with another close by) in which to continue trying to establish a base for a run for city-wide office, if one were interested in such things. Especially if one had already spent a few years in Ward 8 followed by a few in Ward 6.
But before David skedaddles, he plans to anoint a chosen successor for his ANC seat, which he will be doing on Monday, followed by an event at Willie's on Tuesday where he will "introduce people to the candidate I think will do a great job."
If you haven't checked out the questionnaires I submitted to the three people running to replace David as commissioner for 6D07, here they are.
Comments (1)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

(First off, don't forget Monday night's Near Southeast/Southwest Mayoral Forum!)
It seems like the city has been in campaign mode for about 15 months, but we are now down to the final four weeks before the Nov. 4 general election. Which also means that it's the final four weeks before the elections for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D.
Near Southeast is covered by two Single Member Districts--6D07 and the South Capitol-spanning 6D02--and so for the third time since I started blogging I sent out questionnaires to the candidates to try to better gauge their positions, their opinions, and their interests.
Meredith Fascett, Josh Hart, and TD Stanger are the three candidates running for the 6D07 seat being vacated by David Garber, while incumbent 6D02 commissioner Stacy Cloyd is running unopposed. All four were generous enough to reply to my multiude of questions.
While we know that I generally frown on political fisticuffs in the comments threads, feel free to mix it up in this one about your preferred (or unpreferred) candidate. Keep it civil and away from personal attacks, though.
If you are new to this whole ANC thing, here's a good explainer from, go figure, anc.dc.gov. (That's also where I pilfered the above clip art from. Couldn't resist.) The short version is that ANCs "ensure input from an advisory board that is made up of the residents of the neighborhoods that are directly affected by government action. The ANCs are the body of government with the closest official ties to the people in a neighborhood."
Also, note that the deadline to register or update one's information for the Nov 4 election is mere minutes away, on Oct 6. You can do it online at www.vote4dc.com.
Comments (13)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

If you are wanting to hear from the city's mayoral candidates about issues of interest to Near Southeast and Southwest, a mayoral forum is being held on Monday, Oct. 6, at 7 pm, in the Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage.
Co-sponsored by ANC 6D, the Navy Yard Neighborhood Association, and the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, the event is billed as your chance to get answers on the pressing neighborhood issues of the day, such as: "Van Ness School and DCPS boundary realignment issues, how to get our long promised Community Center off the ground, how to improve Metrorail, the Circulator, timing of an M Street streetcar, parking solutions, cleaning up the Anacostia, how to attract more community serving retail, better coordination during major construction projects, pace of development and concentration of new apartment units, CSX, possible big box stores, the $1 billion South Capitol Street and Bridge reconstruction project ... "
The organizers also promise to get you home before the Nats game that night, though I fear that's a political promise that maybe should have been kept in the quiver until the full NLDS schedule is known. (The Redskins game that night doesn't start until 8:30, at least.)
And, speaking of elections, watch this space next week for the now-traditional JDLand ANC Candidate Questionnaires.
Comments (2)
More posts: politics
 

Interested in serving on your Advisory Neighborhood Commission? The process for November's election begins today, with nominating petitions now available. Potential candidates have until Aug. 6 to get the signatures of at least 25 registered voters in the Single Member District they wish to represent.
And with the launch of the season came the shocking tweet this morning that ANC 6D07's current representative, David Garber, will not be running for re-election. That means there's an opening for the seat that represents almost all of Near Southeast, as you can see on this map. It doesn't cover the corridor from Nationals Park up to I Street, but covers Florida Rock, the Yards, 70/100 I, Capitol Quarter, and the Navy Yard.
There is also SMD 6D02, which straddles South Capitol Street in both Southeast and Southwest, and is currently represented by Stacy Cloyd (who filled the seat after Ed Kaminski resigned). UPDATE: Stacy has confirmed to me that she will be running in this election.
For sticklers, SMD 6B04 also has a notch south of the freeway, from 7th Street to 11th Street north of M. Kirsten Oldenburg is the current representative.
And if you're embarrassed to admit that you don't actually know what ANCs do, here's part of how the official web site describes it: "The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and the District's annual budget."
If you're planning on running and feel like announcing it here, feel free to do so in the comments.
Comments (3)
More posts: ANC News, politics
 

* CSX I: Eleanor Holmes Norton tells USDOT to get moving: "I ask that you help ensure the prompt release of the Final EIS for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project so that the surrounding community is aware of the preferred alternative, any impacts this project may have on them, and any mitigation and benefits to the surrounding community."
* CSX II: ANC 6B writes to Mayor Gray: "We have serious concerns about the VAT project proposed in the draft environmental impact statement, and we urge you to ensure those concerns are adequately addressed before the District issues the requisite approvals for the project."
* POCKET CHANGE: The Wall Street Journal reports that "Investors who own the storied Hawk ā€˜nā€™ Dove bar and other Capitol Hill eating spots owe more than $9 million to D.C. restaurateur Xavier Cervera and his partners who sold the restaurants to them in late 2012." An earlier WSJ piece gives a wider view of the mess of financing this all appears to be.
* FOR THE RECORD: In Precinct 131 (Near Southeast), Muriel Bowser received 40 percent of the vote, Tommy Wells 30 percent, and Vince Gray 24 percent. And in the Ward 6 council race, Charles Allen beat Darrel Thompson 57-43. A grand total of 444 people cast ballots out of the 2,085 registered voters in the precinct. So, yay to 21.29 percent of you!
* BLUEJACKET AND BASEBALL: It seems like the brewery has already been here forever, but Bluejacket is about to embark on its first season of providing refreshments to Nats fans. They've announced that they will be "tailgating" on their patio at 10 am Friday for the season opener, and that their new outdoor grill will be open for business "weather permitting, all season long Thursdays through Sundays from 11 am until 10 pm and on all game days beginning two hours before the first pitch."
* SWEET!: Sweetgreen has gotten its tenant layout permit to begin the buildout of its space in Twelve12, on 4th Street across from Bluejacket.
* THROWBACK THURSDAY: I did a bit of purging in my office over the weekend, and found at least two museum-worthy items (here and here). That's in addition to the Canal Park groundbreaking shovel I still trip over on a regular basis.
 

It's DC Primary Election Day, in case you haven't heard. I'm not a rah-rah #spiffyhashtag get-out-the-vote cheerleading type (nor will I tell you who to vote for), but I do firmly believe that you forfeit your right to bitch about government if you make no effort to participate.
* The main Near Southeast polling place is at Van Ness Elementary at 5th and M Streets, SE. If you aren't sure of where to vote, search for your polling place.
* The Post offers Five Things About Voting in DC You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask. (Starting with, "Can I vote?" Short answer: Yes!)
* The official Voter Guide can help you prepare, in case you don't want to just wing it once you're in the booth.
And then we'll do this all again in November, adding in ANC elections to boot!
(A thousand bonus points go to the [likely not young] reader who knows where this entry's title is from, especially when coupled with the line that follows: "Vote for the Kennedy of your choice, but vote!")
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More posts: politics
 
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