One of my core beliefs is empathy. I practice empathy by starting from the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have… until they indicate otherwise through their words and actions. “Tools” is best interpreted broadly, from background and education, to the knowledge of the right thing to do and the right way to do it.
Empathy is essential in conflict resolution and negotiations, from a dispute between neighbors to an elected official supporting or not supporting a controversial policy or piece of legislation. But empathy is also really hard. Our first response to most conflicts is often the presumption that the other person is an idiot at best, an enemy at worst. Empathy allows us to see the humanity in the the other person and build a solution to shared problems through mutual understanding.
I believe one of the roles of government is to reduce or resolve conflicts between people. Empathy allows a person to feel truly heard. Empathy allows a problem solver to seek resolutions through providing better tools.
I believe my background and experience makes me well qualified to represent Shaw on the ANC. I am an urban planner and an transportation engineer by training, and I have 14 years of experience with big-picture, visionary thinking and fact-based decision making in the public sector.
During my time in DC, I’ve been a student, a small-business owner, a corporate drone, a start-up techie, a waiter, a culture blogger, an urban planner, a data scientist. I’ve lived in Foggy Bottom, Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Ledroit Park, H Street / Hill East, and now Shaw. I’ve experienced car ownership in DC, but have lived car-free since 1996. Since coming to DC in 1991, my primary modes of transportation have been car, Metrobus, Metrorail, bicycle, and foot.
Since moving to Shaw, I’ve been an active and vocal member of the ANC 6E transportation advisory committee (TAC), and participated in several ANC 6E meetings to advocate for safer streets for our most vulnerable roadway users.
I believe in fact-based and data-driven decision making. I believe that elected officials have a dual role of listening to and representing the views of their constituents AND educating and building consensus among those who elected them. Communication and engagement, they go two ways.
Listening to vocal constituents provides one set of data. But truly representing your constituents means engaging as many of them as possible using communications tools that work best for them, and listening to all their perspectives. But just because the majority of constituents supports a policy or program doesn’t mean their representative must champion it. It’s important for elected officials to understand what’s in the best interest of all parties impacted and support those with the broadest set of benefits.
- A reactive leader listens to the loudest voices.
- An innovative leader listens to everyone and finds a solution where everyone wins.
Two options for engagement right now:
- Submit Your Personal Geography: Download blank map as a PDF or image file, draw on it — print and draw, or use an app — and email your “personal geography” to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if I can share your map on line.
- Take my Voter Survey: Fill in as much as you want. I want to hear from you about your issues and how I can help. Launch survey!