DCNorthstar has been covering uptown meetings and events for nearly four years. During that time, we have learned a lot about how our local elected officials work. Being an effective representative requires a special collection of skills and talents and an amazing level of dedication.
Residents have the privilege to choose a neighbor to help them understand the intricacies of the vast city government. However, it is not easy to learn about the candidates for these local elections before we step into the voting booth.
As we did last election cycle, we invited all the candidates for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 4A and 4B representing neighborhoods from North Portal Estates to Riggs Park to send us a video or answer a few questions to share their plans and ideas with the community.
We hope that you enjoy and are informed by this series. This video is with Carolyn Steptoe, candidate for ANC 4A05 commissioner.
- Legal Case Manager/Paralegal
- Former 3-term Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner/Ward 5-Brookland
What is the most important issue facing your Single Member District and how do you intend to address it?
Families and households in 4A05 are hurting and suffering. The majority of 4A05 residents are apartment dwellers. 4A05 has roughly 50-60 apartment buildings. These apartment dwellers reflect the city’s most vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has further exposed the pre-existing intersectionality of systemic racial, social, and economic disparities. Many 4A05 residents are marginalized, left out, pushed out, and ignored by city leadership.
The District’s “tale of two cities” income inequality is stark: research and city data shows the median income for white households over the last 10 years continues to significantly rise, while income for black and brown families has remained flat at roughly $40k. As 4A05 commissioner, I will work diligently in advocating the city’s elected policy members to substantively legislate policy and enact laws that address the District’s systemic economic and racial inequities.
How will you engage with residents to be an effective Commissioner, especially reaching those who are unfamiliar with the role and value of ANCs?
The current COVID public health emergency has hampered conventional engagement. As 4A05 commissioner, however, such will not prevent my direct circulation of materials to the 4A05 community. Nor will the pandemic prevent my walking, soliciting, and communicating with the 4A05 community.
4A05 is a lively, family district where neighbors exercise and frolic. Neighbors are also in dire need to know and engage regarding their various needs, especially during this pandemic. This new normal requires the 4A05 commissioner to remain creative, proactive, and visible in the 4A05 community. I will safely and cautiously remain public and available to the 4A05 community to ensure effective constituent communication and engagement.
Is there a question you wish we had asked? If so, what is the question and how would you answer it?
I believe the most poignant, real-time question to any District of Columbia political candidate is “how will a candidate address the glaring, systemic racial, social, and economic disparities impacting the District’s black and brown residents?”
My response to this hypothetical question is reflected in my statements to question #1: As 4A05 commissioner, I shall work diligently in advocating the city’s elected policy members to substantively legislate policy and enact laws which address the District’s chronic economic and racial inequities impacting 4A05 residents.