Voters' Answers: 8. Anti-Ping-Pong Crusader Is Out
Question #8: Will voters in the northwest Washington neighborhood where Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Frank Winstead crusades against sidewalk ping-pong tables, benches and double-parked delivery trucks rise up and take a stand for street life?
Yes, in a big way. Voters in the Forest Hills section of upper Northwest Washington swept Winstead out of office, giving challenger Tom Whitley a 73 percent to 25 percent victory over the man who was offended by the sight of people enjoying a game of ping-pong on a public sidewalk.
In other ANC races around the city, voters repeatedly--but with some big exceptions--sent the message that they crave more aggressive efforts to boost density, enhance street life, expand the tax base and put an end to political domination by small clusters of residents who loudly proclaim their desire to live in a more suburban setting.
In Cleveland Park, where the redevelopment of a 1950s Giant supermarket and its surrounding site has been paralyzed for many years by neighborhood concerns about parking and congestion, two new members of the ANC will create a majority on that commission in favor of getting that long-promised complex off the ground.
In Shaw, longtime commissioner Leroy Thorpe, a tireless voice against gentrification and a frequent antagonist of gay activists in the fast-changing neighborhood, failed to regain the seat he lost two years ago, losing to commissioner Kevin Chapple by 53-46. As City Paper's Mike DeBonis explains, that's just a piece of a larger shift in that ANC, in which Thorpe's allies lose control of the commission to a group that has long criticized Thorpe for turning the commission into a personal fiefdom.
In Foxhall, incumbent Betsy Sandza narrowly beat Kent Slowinski, a longtime advocate for protecting the area's green space from housing and school developments.
In Tenleytown, pro-growth candidate Jonathan Bender--who told the Northwest Current paper that he's opposed to the current commission's reflexive opposition to any development that exceeds what builders can put up as a matter of right--beat Joe Carlson, who described himself as opposed to overdevelopment, by 56 percent to 43 percent.
But just a few blocks from there, in Chevy Chase D.C., incumbent Lucy Eldridge beat back a challenge by Tom Quinn, a leader of Ward 3 Vision, a group that pushes for more smart growth development in the upper Wisconsin Avenue corridor.
And in a coda to the neighborhood's recent vote against declaring Chevy Chase a historic district, a current neighborhood commissioner and a former commissioner who were associated with the campaign in favor of a historic designation were defeated yesterday. Commissioner Cris Fromboluti lost to Henry Griffin, an opponent of the historic district proposal; and ex-commissioner Mary Rowse, a leader of the Historic Chevy Chase movement, was defeated by David Engel, who opposed the designation.
As always, a great many of the ANC seats around the city, especially in less affluent parts of the District, were uncontested, and too many seats attracted no candidate at all.
By Marc Fisher |
November 5, 2008; 2:55 PM ET
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