Get to Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 3E-01

ANC Election 2014

As we wrote the other week, Tenleytown, D.C. believes that one of the most important elections on the ballot this November is for our local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3E. OK sure, ANC 3E does not set public policy or have budget authority or the ability to enforce its recommendations, but it does represent our community directly to those in the District government who do. Further, ANC commissioners have influence on the direction and development of our neighborhood during their two-year terms.

Each week Tenleytown, D.C. will feature profiles of candidates running in each of the five single member districts that comprise ANC 3E to help residents learn a bit more about who might be representing them at the neighborhood level. The profiles are based upon answers to questionnaires sent to the candidates, which were designed to provide voters with more information about the candidates’ backgrounds, involvement in our community, and vision for it moving forward.

Let us know what you think about the series – or if you have any additional questions for the candidates – in the comments section. Don’t know in which SMD you reside? Find out here.

This week, we begin with SMD 3E-01:

ANC 3E-01

ANC3E-01

The district is roughly bounded by 38th Street to the east, Brandywine to the north, 47th Street to the west, and Yuma Street to the south; for a more complete outline of the boundaries, see this map. Within its boundaries lie the Metro station and surrounding businesses along Wisconsin Avenue, Janney Elementary and Woodrow Wilson High School, and a large area of single-family homes in Tenleytown and AU Park.

The seat was previously held by Kathryn Tinker, who recently graduated from American University. She held the position for a little over a year, taking over mid-term from Elizabeth Haile, who vacated the seat when she moved away from the District. Tinker is now a field organizer with the Democratic Party in Colorado.

Two candidates are vying for 3E-01: Kathleen Sweetapple and Anne Wallace. Greg Drury submitted a petition to be put on the ballot but withdrew his candidacy due to an issue with his address of residence; he is currently running as a write-in candidate for ANC 3D-01.

Candidates for ANC 3E-01

Kathleen Sweetapple pictureKathleen Sweetapple
4551 Grant Road, NW

After living in various neighborhoods in the District, Kathleen Sweetapple settled in Tenleytown almost five years ago, purchasing her home on Grant Road where she resides with her family. She is a former journalist, television producer, reporter, and anchor who now owns her own publicity and media firm – Sweetapple Media – here in DC. She also did a short stint on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent and speechwriter for Texas Congressman Ted Poe.

Sweetapple earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University. She also holds a certificate in broadcast meteorology.

Tenleytown, D.C.: Why are you running for office?

Kathleen Sweetapple: I am running because ANC 3E needs more commissioners who listen to their neighbors and act in a way that is representative of the majority of our community. The recent legacy of our ANC is one that represents strong personal agendas—not the will of our neighborhood. I want to help change that.

At a recent ANC meeting, a commissioner told a group of concerned residents (myself included) that commissioners don’t have to listen to us because it was their meeting—not ours. The ANC is ours and ANC commissioners are elected to represent us. This is a commission that provides testimony to the city on key issues and that testimony needs to accurately reflect the needs, interests and desires of our neighbors.

Furthermore, we must improve communications and engagement around community-wide issues that affect us all. Important things are happening—we not only lost a grocery store but major bus routes are changing and major construction to upgrade our local electricity distribution will begin in several months on Western and Wisconsin Avenues. Our neighbors deserve clear communication about community issues and a forum that is open, welcoming and considerate so they feel comfortable voicing their opinion.

Tenleytown, D.C.: What changes would you like to see during the next ANC3E term?

Kathleen Sweetapple: I would like to see the ANC become more transparent and open to community input and suggestions. The changes I would like to see during the next ANC term include:

  • Better organized, more efficient, and more accessible meetings that are also live-streamed on the internet so residents can watch meetings even if they cannot attend. In the past, some meetings have become bogged down in issues that do not have a clear link to our neighborhood. If the agenda is confined to resolutions with clear neighborhood interest and support, meetings could be more concise and important business resolved at an earlier hour (not after midnight.)
  • Better opportunities for community feedback and engagement, including an informal online polling system that is open to ANC3E residents to help commissioners identify and reflect on community priorities, interests and needs.
  • Communication with the community through timely release of meeting minutes or an e-newsletter to update the community about meeting discussions.

Tenleytown, D.C.: What is your vision for this community over the next 5 years?

Kathleen Sweetapple: I actually believe we should be asking is what is OUR vision for the community. When we elect our commissioners, they should be prepared to work for their neighbors above themselves.

Let’s start by acknowledging there are many visions for Tenleytown. Our community is unique and we shouldn’t settle for a one-size-fits-all approach to development that doesn’t account for our unique neighborhood, the environment, walkability, biking, and parking needs. Nor should we refuse all development along the Wisconsin corridor. Many candidates talk about “smart growth” strategies for the future (such as not requiring parking for new developments) but that plan doesn’t seem smart for Tenleytown and AU Park and the people who live here. Let’s focus on growth that’s smart for us. Let’s talk about what we want and make it happen without the outside influence of people focused on homogenizing large swaths of D.C.

We should feel safe, our children should be able to walk to local neighborhood schools, and we should not have to venture to other areas of the city or into other states for shopping, parks and pools, restaurants, and other services.

We have a wonderful community and now we need to build upon the greatness of Tenleytown together. If we are open minded, collaborative, and constructive in the path we build, we will have community that thrives and prospers over the next five years and beyond.


Anne WallaceAnne Wallace
4101 Albemarle Street, NW

Originally from New York City, Anne Wallace moved to Tenleytown in February 2013. However, she is no stranger to the area, having previously lived on Massachusetts Avenue following law school. For many years she also lived in McLean where she raised her two daughters.

She holds her undergraduate degree from Fordham University and law degree from Boston University. During her extensive career, Wallace has practiced financial services law in the federal government, as corporate counsel, and in private practice. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Consumer Financial Services at the Financial Services Roundtable. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee and Consumer Financial Services Committee.

Her partner, John Sweeney, is also a lawyer. Wallace’s two daughters live in Atlanta and Philadelphia, while Sweeney has a son and a daughter who live in the DC area.

Tenleytown, D.C.: Why are you running for office?

Anne Wallace: I am running because I love my neighborhood, which combines the energy of city life with small-town friendliness and charm. Tenleytown is a vibrant and diverse community and has the potential to be even better. I welcome the opportunity to use my personal and professional skills to help D.C. grow in a responsible, positive way.

Tenleytown, D.C.: What changes would you like to see during the next ANC3E term?

Anne Wallace: I want to ensure the availability of essential services, such as affordable food shopping. I would like to see more commercial options including restaurants and specialty merchants to serve the needs to residents and visitors. Another important focus is fostering a strong sense of place to connect key elements of the community – schools, residences, merchants and transportation – in an attractive, safe and pedestrian-friendly landscape. A good example is improving the appearance and functionality of the Metro station and the plaza on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue.

Tenleytown, D.C.: What is your vision for this community over the next 5 years?

Anne Wallace: My vision is for a strong and sustainable Wisconsin Avenue corridor with mixed residential and commercial growth near Metro stations and bus stops.  As we grow, we need to preserve affordable housing options and find creative solutions to manage vehicle traffic and ensure pedestrian safety.

To me, one of the most attractive features of Tenleytown/AU Park is its demographic diversity. I want to live in a community that welcomes and works for the young, the old and everyone in between.

Advertisements

7 comments

  • I agree with Anne that our neighborhood is exciting and vibrant because of its diversity. As a resident of Cityline, I love the mix of commercial and residential providing activities for all: the kids in Janney’s playground, the range of folks at Wilson’s pool, and the seniors at Iona. But we are part of the larger city with demands for affordable housing, transportation (metro, buses, bicycles, and sidewalks), and schools. We need someone like Anne who is open minded and has the analytic skills to listen to local interests but still see the big picture.

  • Both candidates are corporate, but if you google KS it looks like she is way to the right of even AW. She has worked for at least two companies representing the likes of Dinesh D’Souza, Newt Gingrich, and Clarence Thomas. http://mnspublicity.com/about-mns/ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/business/media/25forbes.html
    http://www.regnery.com/about/

  • I would ask Sweetapple how she would have changed the PUD for the Babe’s site. This was a question of using the existing building without the need for a costly and environmentally destructive dig – not a referendum on parking.

    I am dubious when I read statements that suggest that more needs to be done to accommodate drivers, when 98 percent of our infrastructure caters to cars. Is the idea that we need more cars and how is that compatible with better streets for pedestrians and bikes? And I don’t really understand how having more cars makes life safer for our children, as she seems to advocate for. As a cyclist, pedestrian and parent, I don’t see how promoting more car use can even be part of her agenda.

    I would also ask how something like a citywide zoning rewrite is not appropriate for consideration by the ANC, as Sweetapple is suggesting. I don’t see how the ANC focus can be entirely on 3E issues only when Citywide rules do affect how we live locally.

    I’ll leave the question of Sweetapple’s political party affiliation for someone else, since this is a nonpartisan elected position.

  • I’m a lifelong liberal Democrat, but when it comes to our ANC representatives, I don’t care a whit about party affiliation. The only thing I care about is representation that reflects my views and concerns as a long-time resident and homeowner. I have long felt that ANC 3E has lost sight of its basic representational obligations in its headlong rush to embrace the “smart growth” philosophy—which may have cost us our Safeway, among other things. What seems to be missing is the recognition that Tenleytown and AU Park are first and foremost residential neighborhoods; that the housing stock is overwhelmingly single-family homes; and that residents are predominantly families and older folks. I’ve yet to speak with anyone in the neighborhood who wishes to see our strip of Wisconsin Ave. become a nightlife destination like Logan Circle or a retail canyon like Friendship Heights. Kathleen Sweetapple is the first ANC candidate in years who seems to share my outlook. I have never heard of her prior to reading this post, but if her positions are in fact what she claims they are, she has my vote.

    Oh, and that Babe’s site? I’m no construction engineer, but the hole that was excavated once construction began certainly looked like it could have accommodated a level or two of parking.

  • Isn’t Ms. Sweetapple one of the group who insisted that their homes be exempt from redistricting for “walkability” reasons, because otherwise they might have had to drive to Hearst and the most important thing is to prevent car trips in the neighborhood? I guess walkability and fewer cars is something thats important for her but not for others.

    I dont care about her party affiliation either but she is also for transparency for others but not her. She listed a bunch of jobs but didn’t list her positions, one which is current according to the website, representing criminals like Dinesh Dsouza. NWDC is pretty liberal so i guess she didnt want to be transparent about what she does for a living because winning is whats important.

    pp, can you explain how smart growth might have lost a supermarket? do you mean that if the ANC told Safeway it could build less than it wanted on top of its store Safeway would have stayed?

  • Editor’s note: Candidates submitted information about their professional background, and much of the content provided was included in the candidate introductions on the website. However, unlike the responses to the questions, these introductions were edited by Tenleytown, D.C. with some details omitted for space and some information added for clarity.

    Given this, we would ask that readers not infer that candidates currently being profiled or included in future profiles are intentionally keeping details of their professional careers from readers. If commenters believe an aspect of a candidate’s professional background is relevant to the election, they are welcome to share their perspective in the comments section.

    We support, and appreciate, lively discussion and debate. We ask, however, that comments remain civil, constructive, and respectful of the candidates and other commenters, regardless of whom commenters support.

  • I am very happy to see a local blog covering these local elections. I hope there is opportunity for follow up so the voters can get more than Bowser-style platitudes to try to win an ANC seat. I think the question above regarding Babes is an important one. As was covered in the local media and before the Zoning Commission, the site is on a hill and isn’t very big. The developer went to the community and asked whether it would prefer the 10 or so parking spaces that could fit in the footprint or new retail amenities – they cited places like Matchbox and Bethesda Bagel as the types of new stores the neighborhood could expect.

    So, I would directly challenge Ms. Sweetapple – how she would have voted on this issue? Does she think parking for 10 cars in a building of 60 units would be better for the neighborhood than new retail places like Bethesda Bagels and Matchbox? If so, how are those parking spots better?