The New ANC 7D Elects Officers in First Meeting

ANC 7D Meeting Report

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ANC 7D met virtually via Microsoft Teams in January to elect officers and discuss community concerns.  Screenshot: Microsoft Teams/ANC 7D

The newly redistricted Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 7D consists of most of the areas south of Benning Road NE and east of 15th Street. North of Independence Avenue SE and East Capitol St. over the Whitney Young Bridge, ANC 7D reaches to the Anacostia Freeway. Below Independence Avenue SE, it ends at 19th Street and as far south as Potomac Avenue SE on the west side of the river. See the full map via the DC Office of Planning.

ANC 7D. Detail. Map: DC Office of Planning (OP)

ANC 7D met Tuesday Jan. 10 via Microsoft Teams. Commissioners Siraaj Hasan (7D01), Wendell Felder (7D03), Milton Hardy (7D04), Ebony Payne (7D05), Marc Friend (7D06), Brett Astmann (7D07), Brian Alcorn (7D08) and Ashley Schapitl (7D09) were in attendance. Both Single Member Districts (SMDs) (7D02) and (7D10) are currently vacant.

In their first meeting of the year, ANC 7D unanimously voted to elect new officers for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.

Commissioner Wendell Felder (7D03) was elected to serve as Chair of the commission. Commissioner Siraaj Hasan (7D01) spoke about Felder’s prior work in public service and how he will serve as an asset to the commission in this new capacity.

“I think that we’re lucky to have someone like Commissioner Felder who’s young and energetic and very passionate about serving his community,” Hasan said of his work with Felder.

Commissioner Brian Alcorn (7D08) echoed Hasan’s comments in support of Felder’s leadership. “I am inspired by his commitment to the community and I’m inspired by his commitment to wearing many hats to serve the community,” Alcorn said.

Alcorn was nominated and elected to serve as Vice Chair of the commission. Felder expressed confidence in Alcorn’s ability to take on this position.

“I’m extremely confident in his leadership ability, and I think that he is a true asset to this commission,” Felder said. “I have no doubt that he’s going to put in hard work for all the residents within this commission.”

Commissioner Brett Astmann (7D07) was nominated and elected to serve as the commission’s treasurer. Alcorn emphasized Astmann’s commitment to the community and fit for this role.

“Brett is a well regarded community member, a caring parent with children in schools and a community volunteer who stepped forward to serve the community,” Alcorn said.

Finally, Commissioner Ashley Schapitl (7D09) was nominated and elected to serve as the commission’s secretary.

Commissioner Ebony Payne (7D05) said she has gotten to know Schapitl over the past several days and is excited about what she will bring to the commission in this capacity.

“I’m very excited to have her on this commission, and I have full confidence that she will perform the job with a lot of professionalism and experience,” Payne said.

Meeting Schedule

ANC 7D will meet on the second Tuesday of each month throughout the remainder of the calendar year from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. These meetings will take place on Feb. 13, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 11.

The meeting schedule was unanimously amended by the commission to remove both the July and August monthly meetings and to reschedule the Feb. monthly meeting to Monday, Feb. 13, in observance of Valentine’s Day.

The Commission Voted Unanimously To:

  • Adopt the ANC 7D bylaws and establish a bylaws committee, given that redistricting combined multiple ANCs together, in order to amend the bylaws. Commissioner Felder, who proposed the committee, emphasized the importance of collaboration of both members of the commission and the community on these bylaws. “We can get residents from the community to weigh in to help advise us to contribute to some of the changes that we’re going to make,” Felder said. “Then that way, not only are we collecting feedback from the community, but [from] the Commission as well.”
  • Participate in the ANC security fund and allocate $50 to the fund.

Other Matters:

  • Commissioner Hasan was officially sworn in to his position as commissioner for SMD 7D01 by at-large Council Member Kenyan McDuffie.
  • Ashley Wells, a consultant from the DC Smart Street Lighting Project, attended the meeting to share updates on the modernization of the more than 72,000 street lights in DC. This project will convert the lights to LED technology and also provide remote capabilities including the ability to dim the lights and see when lights go out. The project is expected to begin within the next few weeks and continue through spring of 2024.
  • Director of constituent services for Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray, D.L. Humphrey, spoke at the meeting with updates from the Council member’s office and the DC Council budget. He encouraged residents to utilize the 311 service to report issues within their community so the District could address issues and areas of concern.
  • Ward 7 liaison from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office, Lawrence Devin, spoke about the Mayor’s ‘DC Comeback Plan’ and one goal, to eliminate illegal dumping in Ward 7. Devin expressed excitement about his upcoming work with 7D commissioners and residents during his two year term.

Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.