02 Mar 2011

Your Corner of Capitol Hill: Meet your ANC Rep

Photo by Studio Juno

An abundance of trash on your street? Cars driving too fast in your neighborhood? Looking for a way to get more involved in the community? Your Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is here to help (and yes, he/she ran for the position knowing it was unpaid!) This week, Sharee Calverley Lawler (ANC 6A 05) tells us about the improvements she’d like to help implement in her neighborhood. In the interest of full disclosure, you may recognize this week’s featured ANC rep, she’s an esteemed editor and writer at The Hill is Home.

1 – Tell us a little about yourself and the reason(s) you sought a position on your neighborhood’s ANC.

I adore my husband and my dog, in that order (if my husband asks).  I have a great business, mainly because my clients are so fantastic to work with.  I’m endlessly curious and I love trying new things — every year for my birthday my present to myself is to do something I’ve never done before.  Its led to some things I never thought I’d do, like going to trapeze school two years ago.

As far as why I ran for ANC, the fact is I have the absolute best neighbors.  Not only the people who live on my block, who are truly the salt of the earth, but all the people I’ve gotten to know over the course of almost 10 years of being part of my local community.  I’m a big believer in the importance of local governance – it has such a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.  So when our previous commissioner decided not to run again, I felt like representing my neighbors on the ANC would be a good way to use my skills in support of continuing to improve our corner of the Hill.

2 – What is the number one issue facing your neighborhood and how do you plan to address it?

Aside from the typical nuisance issues, we continue to struggle a bit with the residue from the serious crimes that used to take place regularly in my Single Member District (SMD).  When we first moved into our house, drug dealing was not an uncommon occupation in local alleyways.  Thanks to the vigilance of the community and MPD, that is not as much of a problem as it used to be but we still have to be proactive.  Things have definitely improved, but problem areas still exist that we can’t ignore if we want those improvements to continue.

3 – What will you do to increase resident participation in the ANC process? Do you have any plans to make meetings more appealing to residents in your neighborhood and/or solicit increased community involvement?

While it would be wonderful if more people could make it to community meetings, I understand that it just isn’t always possible.  Instead, I’m using new online and existing printed resources so I can go to my neighbors even when they can’t come to us.  I started a blog where I post meeting summaries and neighborhood info, plus I have Facebook and Twitter accounts for more regular updates.  I also have quarterly public SMD meetings and a monthly open house of sorts where people can drop in and chat at SOVA in the morning before work.  I also use our neighborhood newsletter, The Buzz, to promote SMD meetings.

4- What do you need from residents in your neighborhood in order to be a good representative?

Not everyone will be interested in every issue, but I definitely want to hear a neighbor’s opinion when they have one.  Its my objective to have as many flexible options out there as possible for people to tell me what they think.

5- Complete this sentence: “Capitol Hill is the best place to live in DC because ____________.”

…so many people have invested their time, energy and resources to make it great.

Leave a comment below or suggest an ANC rep to be featured in an upcoming post!

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