Over the weekend, Joe Gibbons announced that he will not seek reelection to serve on the ANC representing SMD 2E02. He has served on the Commission two terms, including one term as chair. He cited a growing gaggle of grandkids as reason to step away.
I’ve been neighbors will Joe since he moved here with his wife Hillary from Chicago. He’s been as fantastic a Commissioner as he’s been a neighbor. I wish he’d stay on, but spending more time with grandkids than at OGB meetings is about the easiest decision anyone could make.
And I am running to replace him on the ANC.
Georgetown faces unprecedented challenges right now. The one-two punch of coronavirus and a spurt of violent looting has left virtually every storefront boarded up. And even once the plywood comes down, it’s unclear how many businesses will even be left to open. And how.
It will take extraordinary cooperation between all groups to create an environment where as many shops and restaurants can reopen as possible. Because I know I cannot imagine living in a Georgetown where I can’t step out my front door and walk to buy a book, get a haircut, and eat dinner all within a few blocks. And I suspect you can’t either.
We will have to come together to decide how to organize our streets and sidewalks in a way that makes Georgetown a safe and comfortable place to walk in or stop for a bite to eat. While this will obviously be geared toward getting visitors to come back to Georgetown and support our businesses, this will benefit residents just as much.
And the challenges are obviously not just about businesses. The city will face enormous financial strains as revenues dry up. As it looks to cut expenditures, we will have to be diligent in protecting our parks, streets, trees, schools, and other resources that keep Georgetown beautiful and livable. Pulling together citizen and advocacy groups will be critical to see our neighborhood through the crisis. We’ve got to stop fighting the fights of the past and realize we are encountering a possibly existential threat.
And I know the fights of the past because I’ve been in them. I’ve lived in Georgetown for seventeen years. I’ve been on the board of the Citizens Association of Georgetown for ten years, including as chair of the Transportation committee. I previously served on the board of the Friends of Volta Park. And I’ve been on countless ad hoc working groups like the Georgetown 2028 effort or the Georgetown Community Partnership.
And of course I’ve written this blog for eleven plus years. The fights I wasn’t actually in, I was documenting daily. I’ve sat through more hours of ANC meetings than just about anyone who wasn’t actually on the Commission. I’ve seen where things go wrong, where things get sidetracked with grandstanding or footstomping. But I’ve seen where things go right. I know how to achieve that.
I always thought I’d run for ANC someday in the vague future. But today I recognize that the future is happening right now. I’m ready to help. I hope I have your vote.