Wednesday night, the new ANC met for the first time. And while nobody at the meeting noted it, the makeup of the commission this term has reached a notable achievement: half the commissioners are women. That includes existing commissioner Lisa Palmer (who was elected vice-chair), along with newcomers Elizabeth Miller, Gwendolyn Lohse, and Anna Landre.
As recently as 2013 the commission was entirely male. Moreover, for what it’s worth, this commission is far younger than previous commissions were.
(But unfortunately one thing hasn’t changed: the role of secretary has been once again assigned to a student commissioner. And the one female student commissioner at that. This marks the third term in a row that the job of secretary has been assigned to the female student commissioner. And since at least 2005, the role of secretary has always gone to a student commissioner. This can hardly be a coincidence, and it suggests that intentionally or not the students are not being treated as full equals of the commission.)
As far as matters discussed during the meeting:
- Rick Murphy was voted chair, and, as mentioned, Lisa Palmer will serve as vice-chair
- The commission expressed concern about the proposal to prohibit right-turns-on-red at 29th and M. Mostly they want to hear more information before supporting it.
- Lawyers Have Heart were approved for yet another year, but was warned to stay within the rules (re: sound, traffic control, etc.) lest they be opposed next year
- The ANC approved an accessory dwelling in a house in Burleith. Until zoning changes were pushed through several years ago, such a change was virtually impossible.