Ed McAllister – Candidate for ANC 3E-05

Ed McAllisterThomas Edwin (Ed) McAllister
4230 44th Street, NW

Ed McAllister moved to AU Park in the summer of 2002 from his hometown in rural upstate South Carolina. Growing up in a very small town, McAllister says his family instilled a strong sense of public service, civic responsibility, and obligation to neighbors.

He served on local soil and water conservation boards, the state Coastal Commission, and county zoning and planning boards; led a variety of community development and historic preservation initiatives; and played a variety of roles in managing the family timber, cattle, and land interests as well as the family-owned general store in operation since 1888. McAllister’s efforts on behalf of historic preservation, the local rural telephone cooperative, and a planned retirement community brought him into regular contact with state and federal officials. He also served on the Board of Visitors of Clemson University and the board of the Ronald McDonald House in Columbia, South Carolina.

McAllister’s years in Washington have focused on building a new career outside the family business and settling into D.C.’s urban environment. He worked at the Washington Design Center as a sales representative for two interior furnishing firms and is currently an agent for W.C. and A.N. Miller Realtors. He attends All Souls Memorial Church, and is an avid gardener, cook, and world traveler.

McAllister holds a B.S. in agricultural economics and rural sociology from Clemson University. He lives with his partner Paul and Welsh corgi Isabelle. His son Thomas is a junior at the University of South Carolina and a frequent visitor to D.C.

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

Ed McAllister: From a young age I’ve been actively involved in a wide range of community development, historic preservation, and environmental quality efforts. Through that experience I developed an ability to build effective coalitions of diverse constituencies and advocate community interests successfully across intergovernmental entities. Having lived in the neighborhood for over 12 years, I think I have a good enough perspective now on AU Park, Ward 3, and the District government to be of real service to the community.

Tenleytown, D.C.: What changes would you like to see during the next ANC 3E term?

Ed McAllister: Overall, I think our ANC has done a very creditable job addressing issues within the limited span of influence and authority they hold. What makes sense to me from a process standpoint would be to increase the two-way flow of ideas between the ANC and residents. The current method of communicating ANC agendas and decisions isn’t as effective as it could be. Residents should understand not only what issues are on the table but also why the ANC has acted as it has.

As for specific changes, I’d like to see the ANC play a more proactive role in commercial, district, federal, and AU initiatives that effect the neighborhood before these reach the approval stage. The more we residents know and the earlier we know it, the better the outcome for all concerned. I believe the District and Army Corps, for example, should be more transparent regarding projects that affect the neighborhood’s streetscape. I’d imagine that few of us know why the “mini traffic circles” were installed on 42nd Street, what criteria are in place to decide whether they’re effective, and how negative impacts are being evaluated.

I also think we should build better working relationships within the ANC to insure balance between the greater needs of the community and the concerns of an immediate neighborhood. The final resolution of the Secret Safeway expansion at 42nd and Davenport is an example of why the ANC should take a more holistic approach to the neighborhood’s welfare especially given the closure of the A&P/Superfresh/Fresh Fields grocery.

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

Ed McAllister: My vision would be that the community itself has a five-year vision so that specific issues that require decision are dealt with in a coherent way. Three areas in particular come to mind:

  • design and siting of AU dorms, offices, athletic fields, and classroom buildings that respect adjoining neighborhoods and minimize negative impacts on the community.
  • resident-friendly development of the Tenleytown corridor of Wisconsin Avenue that attracts quality shops and restaurants while protecting the character and livability of the surrounding neighborhoods. By the same token, enhancement of the Friendship Recreation Center (Turtle Park), Tennis Courts, Athletic Fields, and Community Garden as well as existing green spaces such as the Nebraska Avenue/Van Ness Street intersection and the Van Ness Reservoir fence lines.
  • coordination of infrastructure improvements such as underground utility lines, street alterations (e.g., sidewalk renewal, curb cuts, crossings, and speed bumps), alley resurfacing, and parking access to achieve the best results while minimizing noise and traffic disruptions.

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