3 Great things about Bradley A. Thomas, who happens to be running for the Ward 5 seat

Bradley A Thomas on roof

So my ANC Bradley A. Thomas is running for Kenyon McDuffie’s Ward 5 seat. I have mixed feelings, mainly because I don’t want to lose a good ANC. But if you don’t know anything about Bradley Thomas, here are three things that I think makes him a great guy.

1. He’s competent. That might not seem like a great thing, but when you’ve had or observed ANCs who weren’t, especially when you were trying to work on something that required a semi-functional ANC, it is a big deal. This is why I don’t want to lose him to the rest of the ward. At the last BACA meeting I did ask him what was meant by ‘affordable housing’ and he knew the government definition along with a general idea of what incomes fell into the target categories.

2. He’s honest or he doesn’t sell you B.S.- Yes, he will tell really bad dad jokes, but I noticed he won’t always tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear in order to achieve the best possible goal. A great example of this was with the store at 3rd and P that wanted a liquor license and the neighbors up in arms against it. The store operators had a advisor/attorney so familiar with the ABRA license process, that a license was almost a given. The neighbors, included a faction that believed their mere opposition was enough to deny a license. Bradley, could have told those neighbors what they wanted to hear but he didn’t. He reminded resident’s how the system worked and aimed for the best case scenario given what residents (who weren’t going to hire their own lawyer & Bradley is a lawyer) were up against.

3. He has worked to make the neighborhood better for all residents. Really early on he was one of many people who helped make the reconstruction of the Florida Avenue Park reality. Before it was a park for homeless and drug dealers, not for children, regardless of the playground equipment. Now old-timers hold court in one section, basketball players are on the courts, parents and their children get the playground area, and the residents of the co-op don’t have to live with a criminal element under their windows. He has kept an eye out for opportunities, where the neighborhood could take advantage.

I probably should mention, Bradley nor anyone from his campaign didn’t pay me to write this. I’m just home with the flu and figured I should post something.

Bradley A. Thomas
Website- https://www.bradleythomas4dc.com/
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/bradleythomas4dc/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/bradleythomasdc/

Oh #4-His name is not a color.

ANCs- A really short history

The following is a very simplified history, which hopefully will give some understanding of the present. During the Big Bear ABC license kerfuffle there were a few emailers questioning the rationale for ANCs or Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.
ANCs are a product of Home Rule. Prior to Home Rule (via the Home Rule Act of 1973) Congress (the Federal government) ran the city. It wasn’t until 1974 that DC residents were able to vote and have some real say in how the city ran. Before Home Rule the mayor and the city council were federally appointed. Neighborhood wise there were citizens (white) and civic (black) associations that appealed to Congress and city government officials for things like neighborhood improvements, traffic, crime and so forth. As far as I can tell civic and citizen association leaders were elected by the association’s membership. These groups could only beg or appeal to bodies and officials whom they could neither vote for or vote out of office.
With Home Rule, neighborhoods got something new:

… the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), brought the city administration closer to ordinary voters than any other elective units. The city council created 36 ANCs and 376 smaller single member districts, each representing about two thousand residents. The ANCs were intended to serve as neighborhood mini councils that advised the council on local problems.
City of Magnificent Intentions: A history of Washington, District of Columbia 2nd edition P.584

Some notes on the 2C notes

Commissioner Theresa Sule posted the notes of the ANC 2C meeting on the 2C04 listserv, which then was reposted on the MVSQ listserv. So if you want the full notes you will need to consult those listservs.

The case of the sexual assault that occurred a few months back on th 1600 block of Marion has been closed and a suspect arrested.

Parcel 42 is a project that will be 100% affordable at 50% of the Area Median Income which $51,350. The project is exploring its financial options. The project would be workable if the project had and higher AMI. If this were possible a lower AMI could also be able to create a range. In its current situation the project can not be financed. Given the current problems if the AMI was lowered on the project without making some of the units market, the project would be even more
difficult to finance.

and it is not the only project in the Shaw area with financing problems, Radio One, understandably may not be able to anchor the big project that was supposed to go on Parcel 33.

Tom Petty wanted support for the Friends of Bundy Field to have a dog park on the Bundy vacant lot. He has a petition of 200 supporters. The parking lot is a 75 car parking lot. Commissioner Chapple motioned to develop a compromise between OPM and the friends of Bundy. The motion was 2nd by Commissioner Padro. Motion failed with a 2-2 vote.
Commissioner Sule motioned to actively support the Friends of Bundy Field in finding alternative space in ANC2C for a dog park. Motion was 2nd by Commissioner Brooks, motion failed with a 2-2 vote.

And lastly the commission voted to have Pair Networks host the ANC website. I’ve been using Pair for a decade for my hosting needs and I have enjoyed their consistently good and affordable service, so good choice.

Before the ANCs

Everyso often I see on other blogs commentary about the ANC system here in the District. Suggestions on how to improve them varies, but I wanted to share something, which may or may not add to the discussion. The ANC system came about after Home Rule in the 70s and are in line with the Ward system. Before Home Rule there were the civic (black) and the citizen (white) neighborhood associations that would advocate for city services.
I noticed, when poking around in early 20th century DC history, some associations’ borders kept changing or had proposed changes due to population changes or other reasons. In 1925 the North Washington merged with the North Capitol and Eckington Citizens Asssociations to become the North Capitol Society. The reason was the two groups tended to overlap and replicate each others work.
Even after the ANC system, there were changes in size and number. The system that was put in place in 1974-1976 does not look the same as the one we have today. So changes can be made, because they have been made.

No stopping Leroy

Today on ANC 2C02 Kevin Chapple’s blog is a letter announcing that Mr. Leroy Thorpe, who was deposed, dethroned, by Kevin in 2006, is requesting a recount for the 2008 election. I’m not that concerned this year, as the difference is 29 votes, as opposed to 5 votes in 2006.
This is just one thing, but Leroy surprised us back in 2006 with his take over of the ECCA and the invented position of puppet master, I mean Parliamentarian for ANC2C chair Doris Brooks. So any guesses of what else he’ll do besides this? Will he start up a ANC2C centric ‘non-profit’, or his own publication. What will he do next because I don’t think he’ll go quietly.


Part of me is screaming and cursing.
Reason 1- Michael Brown has the majority of the non-Democratic vote for city council. I’m so unhappy about that.
Reason 2- I regret that Jessica Lanza was not able to secure the seat for ANC2C03 with only 40% of the vote, according to the unofficial results.

The results between Chapple vs Thorpe and Sule vs Curtis look good, close, but it appears that the puppet show may come to and end, Praise be to G-d. And of course Padro wins by a landslide.

Over in Ward 5, Anita Bonds wins over the tree killer Jerry Mack. Sadly Ted Mcginn is behind Sylvia Pinkney. And Mark Jones, who had no spelling errors on his signs, got the DC School Board seat for Ward 5.

ANC2C02- Don’t vote yourself into an abusive relationship

They basically confirmed something that I always knew to be true, many in this neighborhood fear reprisal from Leroy Thorpe if they ever “supported” his opponent in his re-election bid. Just two years ago I will admit that I was in the same boat but today I am not scared and to tell you the truth if Leroy were stupid enough to do something to me or my family it would say more about the man than anything I have ever written on this website.

Off Seventh
Another commenter on the Off Seventh’s blog already compared it to an abusive relationship. But let me stress that point even more. Voters of 2C02, you are like Tina Turner, just after she’s escaped a long abusive marriage to Ike, redone her image, and Ike comes threatening Tina with violence to force her to come back. ANC2C02, be the strong Tina. Be the Tina that goes forward on to bigger and better things, not the Tina who makes excuses and lives in fear.
Please don’t be in denial about how bad it is and was. Daddy 5-O has a good refresher of why you don’t want to go back. It should also be good reason why the rest of you all in 2C shouldn’t keep the enablers of the abuse (Brooks & Curtis) on either.
Before I finish this I want to thank everyone who voted for Kevin Chapple back in 2006. Especially the voters who were abroad at the time and submitted their absentee ballots, who made their neighborhood a better place to come back home to. By doing so you brought in a man who truly serves the people of 2C. Kevin is a man who shares information with the people, knowing that information is power, and power belongs to the people.

Kevin needs signs

Walking around the hood, I noticed a lot of Leroy Thorpe signs in yards. The puppet master of ANC 2C02 wants his job back. Well if you don’t like being informed about what’s going on, unless you belong to a small clique of loyal followers, go ahead vote him back in.
But you can’t tell me you don’t want current ANC2C02 Kevin Chapple’s seasonal magazine or his informative website with video and updated info of things going on in around central Shaw. These did not exist before Kevin people. What you got before was yelled at or a poorly edited flier that may or may not have found its way to you.
Let’s not go back to the bad old days of Thorpe. Let’s not even stall in the bad present of an unelected Thorpe puppet regime (yeah, lotta drama for such a little slice of DC) with Ms. Brooks, as the puppet ANC 2C chair. By re-electing Kevin Chapple and Alex Padro, and electing Lanza and Sule you get rid of the whole puppet show, or at least move it to a civic group where it can’t do too much harm.
So I’m distressed at the lack of Chapple signage. Guess I’m going to have to write a check to campaign fund. It seems Kevin had a fundraiser earlier this month, but lo, there is a place to where monies may be sent, according to his website:

P.O. Box 26064, Washington, DC 20001. The maximum contribution is $25. Checks should be made out to Kevin Chapple, with “reelection campaign” written in the memo section.

Supporting Jessica Lanza

After some thought I have decided to have InShaw endorse the ANC candidacy of Ms. Jessica Lanza. Though I don’t live in Ward 2, I work in Ward 2, ANC2C03 exactly. Having someone who is both interested in the Penn Quarter/ Gallery Place area as a developing and residential place is a good thing. Downtown is a little different, but the residents of that area and Shaw share some similarities. And due to its proximity to Shaw, the ups and downs of Downtown can impact Shaw and Mount Vernon Sq.
Another reason why I support Ms. Lanza is that the current ANC2C03 leader is lacking and is holding back ANC2C as a whole. A change will hopefully shift things in ANC2C and move away from the unaccountability and ineffectiveness.

Check out Jessica’s website, see her informative blog.

Diversity of Buildings

Yesterday I did stop by Jessica Lanza’s fund raiser. I was superfashionably late because I had to sell a man an air conditioner. Thank you craigslist.
First thing I did when I got into the building was write a check. Yes, I live in Ward 5, and not in the Ward or ANC single member district that Ms. Lanza is in. However, I walk through it and work in it, and what happens in 2C impacts my life in 5C. And really there is so much development and lunch option goodness happening in 2C-03 that it should be represented by someone with more strength than a sock-puppet. Seriously, can Ms. Doris Brooks conduct a meeting or two without her puppet master pulling her strings and throwing his voice?
Anyway, after writing a check for political change, I went out on the patio of the condo building on the corner of 7th and H and gazed at the sights. What I really liked was the diversity of building styles jumbled up together representing different periods. There was the synagogue dome on 6th & I, with the brutalist Wah-Luck House, and 555 Mass in the background. There was little homogeneity, and that’s what made it so lovely. Looking over at 555 Mass I thought about all the people living there who came to stake their claim on downtown. With the older 19th and turn of the 20th century facades I thought of an earlier DC. And then the larger buildings set back that house the residents, hold the employees, and draw in the shoppers and diners who give life to the streets below.
And then I saw the lightening in the distance, and high tailed it out of there.