It’s 56 days until election day and most of you have probably made up your minds about whom you will vote in the general election. However, when it comes to local elections, most people have no idea how their District, Ward or advisory neighborhood commissions are divided or affect them. Local outlets such as Greater Greater Washington do a good job of bringing hyperlocal politics news, and reasons why you should run for these nonpartisan offices. OpenANC allows you to learn more about your own single-member district, so you know the names of the people in the race. As is now a tradition, The Hill is Home is publishing candidate statements in the order in which we’ve received them, so you know a little more about the people running and don’t go into the voting booth (or mail-in ballot) blind. –Maria Helena Carey
Statement by Mark Eckenwiler, ANC 6C04
Your Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner connects you to local government. Although ANCs have no legislative or regulatory power—by definition, we are advisory—a knowledgeable commissioner can update you on local development projects; guide you through the maze of DC bureaucracy; demand accountability from unresponsive agencies; and advocate for better, more responsive government.
Since 2013, I’ve served the residents of single-member district 6C04 (map) in countless ways, including,
- getting alleys repaved after years of inaction from District government
- answering residents’ questions about tree boxes, parking rules, how to get a utility pole relocated, and numerous other issues
- negotiating settlement agreements with liquor-license applicants to ensure the neighborhood’s peace and quiet while supporting our local businesses’ ability to thrive and grow
- fighting successfully to make a major developer reimburse a resident for ticket & towing fees wrongly assessed because of no-parking signage posted with inadequate notice
- working tirelessly to promote safety improvements in our transportation system, and
- crafting construction-management agreements to resolve concerns over potential impacts from nearby development projects.
Currently I serve as ANC 6C’s Vice-Chair and Chair of its Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee. In that role, I’ve testified dozens of times before the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment, both on individual projects and proposed amendments to the zoning regulations, to serve our neighborhood and represent its interests.
One of my proudest moments was pursuing an appeal against a dishonest Virginia house-flipper who filed fraudulent permit drawings and then proceeded to damage the homes of the owners on either side. I forced the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to back down; revoke a permit that authorized illegal work; and enforce laws meant to protect residents from construction damage by careless workers.
Over the past seven and a half years, I’ve seen firsthand how poorly many District agencies, especially DCRA, serve local residents. In the process, I’ve devoted countless hours not just to fixing individual problems, but also to addressing the systemic unresponsiveness and inefficiency that makes DC government so dysfunctional.
That’s why I’ve testified at dozens of Council hearings on legislation and agency oversight. I’ve publicly called out department directors who tried to paper over agency malfeasance with misleading testimony. (N.B. You can read about that here.–MHC)
As a result, I’m known and respected by managers and policymakers across District agencies, from Public Works to Transportation to DCRA—and I use those contacts to make local government work better for you. It’s not always possible to make an agency take action, but I can almost always get you a clear, timely answer and recommendations for next steps.
Most importantly, after living here for over twenty years I know this neighborhood well. I’ve walked your alleys; inspected your sidewalk sinkholes (and gotten them fixed ASAP); and listened to your concerns and suggestions. Odds are good I’ve done something concrete over the years to improve your individual block. (Don’t take my word for it; ask your neighbors.)
It would be a privilege and honor to continue using my skills, knowledge, and deep experience to serve as your ANC commissioner for the next two years.