We had the pleasure of meeting Anita Hairston the other night and were happy to hear that she has launched a write-in campaign for the soon-to-be-vacant ANC 5B05 seat. As we posted back in August, current 5B05 Commissioner Jenese L. Jones is not running again and until now, no one else has declared a candidacy to fill the seat. We would like to thank Commissioner Jones for her service and are excited about the prospect of having this part of the neighborhood, near Turkey Thicket and the Metro represented after all. We caught up with Ms. Hairston and asked her a few questions about her campaign. If you live within 5B05 (see boundaries below and to the right), we encourage you to write her name in when you vote.
1) Why are you conducting the write-in campaign?
I am conducting a write-in campaign for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of Single Member District (SMD) 5B05 because I would like to be a voice for the aspirations and concerns of my neighbors. The current ANC 5B05 Commissioner, Jenese Jones, is not running in this election, and has endorsed me. A write-in campaign requires initiative on my part to make sure that my neighbors in 5B05 have information about the upcoming election, about me, and how to vote for me. The write-in campaign requires initiative on the part of 5B05 voters as well. The ballot for this election does not include any names for the position of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of Single Member District 5B05. Voters filling out a paper ballot will need to locate the section of the ballot for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, fill in the “write-in” bubble on their paper ballot, and then write in my name, Anita Hairston. Voters filling out an electronic ballot will need to locate the screen for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, select the “write-in” check box, and then key in my name, Anita Hairston.
2) Tell us a little bit about your background
Public service and civic engagement have been a driving force of my career as a public policy professional. During my time working for PolicyLink and DC Office of Planning, I have played a role in shaping policies that revitalize neighborhoods and foster strong and inclusive communities. Through that work, I have developed a deep appreciation of the role of authentic community voice in how priorities are set for cities and neighborhoods. My public service / civic engagement activities include: Ward 5 representative for the DC Pedestrian Advisory Committee, member of the MoveDC transportation plan committee, and member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board Citizens Advisory Committee. I am currently active with Neighbors United for DC Statehood, which began as an initiative of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association.
3) If elected, what issues will you focus on in your SMD?
I will focus on community safety, particularly pedestrian safety. Our residents need to be able to travel safely and easily to Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, the Brookland/CUA Metro station, businesses on 12th Street NE, local schools, and other important destinations. Additional attention to this issue by the city, particularly the District Department of Transportation could make these trips safer. Given the expected development in the SMD and adjacent to it, I will focus on how residents can influence the development process to ensure that there are positive benefits to our community. In addition, I will focus on community engagement, getting a broad range of residents to connect with one another and share information that will make sure we maintain a strong quality of life for all of us. I will also look to pursue other priorities that 5B05 residents identify as important concerns during SMD meetings and neighborhood walk-throughs.
4) What do you love about Brookland?
When I moved to DC in 2003, I recall taking a walk down 12th Street NE and saying that this is a neighborhood where I would love to live. It took me a few years before I could settle in the neighborhood, but since I moved to Brookland 7 years ago, I have felt so “at home”. There are so many things that I love about Brookland. I love that the people of Brookland are so diverse, and that we say “hello” to one another as we pass each other on the street. I also love that once I step outside my front door I am a short walk from Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, the Franciscan Monastery, a grocery store, a hardware store, farmers markets, locally-owned restaurants, and the Brookland/CUA Metro.
5B05has the following boundaries – the railroad tracks to the west, Varnum and Taylor Streets NE to the north, 13th Street NE to the east and Otis Street NE to the south, see the map above.