Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ever since the Greater Greater Washington endorsements of Ward 3 ANC candidates were announced, there has been a spirited discussion on the Tenleytown listserv centered around the open ANC 3E04 race between Sally Greenberg and Tom Quinn.

Ms. Greenberg and her "endorsers" (where have these endorsements been published?) seem to be for Smart Growth, but their version of it appears to be different than what Greater Greater Washington and Ward 3 Vision embrace. According to one Ward 3 Vision leader, Ms. Greenberg has not been active in any of the Smart Growth touchpoints in the Ward:

I received Sally Greenberg's literature as well, and from her one sentence on Smart Growth, I cannot discern her views on the issue at all. In her "Goals for Our Community" section, the only thing she includes about Smart Growth is a one sentence bullet -- "Smart growth, i.e., development which balances the needs of business with the concerns of the neighborhood. That sentence is so vague as to be meaningless and also does not address any of the basic elements of Smart Growth.

Since she includes Smart Growth as a goal, I would be interested in hearing more from her about how she defines Smart Growth; what her views were about some of the specific projects over the past few years in which Smart Growth has been part of the discussion -- e.g., the Akridge project, the Tenley Library / Janney School PPP, the Safeway redevelopment, etc.; and what her involvement was with any of those projects or any other Smart Growth issues in the neighborhood. (I have been reasonably active in neighborhood issues and am not aware that I have encountered her in public meetings, hearings, etc., so her views are a blank slate to me.)

Given that the stewards of the alphabet soup of community associations seem to be exuberant supporters of Ms. Greenberg, and given that Ms. Greenberg appears to not even take the trouble to join the neighborhood listserv, much less participate in any of the key community issues in the past, it makes it difficult to assess any sense of where this candidate stands on issue of importance to voters in this Single Member District.

ANC candidates should be active in their communities and at a minimum, have the time and concern for their future constituents to participate in an open digital forum (where available) to demonstrate their accessibility and knowledge and positions on important issues. Ms. Greenberg, to date, has not demonstrated any such concern, and hijacking a charged term like "smart growth" in an attempt to paint themselves as something they appear not to be is disingenuous.

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