Greater Greater Washington is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that brings people together online and offline to discuss, organize, and advocate for an inclusive, diverse, growing Washington, DC region. Below are Walter Deleon’s (5C02) responses to their ANC candidate questionnaire:
The status of the controversial redevelopment of Brookland Manor is uncertain. What is your position on the RIA development and how would you engage with the project’s future?
I’m disappointed that the Brookland Manor redevelopment project has been scaled back and stalled several times since it’s announcement over two years ago. Ideally, the redevelopment would give us a chance to preserve and expand housing stock, including affordable housing, in an area so close to the RIA Metro station.
Because of DC’s housing shortage, I would only continue supporting the project if it could be done without mass displacement and the one-for-one replacement of affordable housing units Mid-City Financial initially promised.
What is your vision for economic development in your neighborhood, and how would you support that as a commissioner?
DC Brau, Scratch DC, and Harper Macaw are great examples of businesses that have moved into our community in recent years due to the abundance of vacant warehouses. I will push the DC Council to give tax credits to businesses that move into disused warehouses in my Single Member District.
I will also push DDOT to study an infill MARC commuter rail station at NY Ave & Bladensburg Rd. A commuter rail station would help make our community less of a transit desert and connect us with the rest of DC.
What is your stance on the proposal to use eminent domain to remove the trash collection facility on W Street?
As ANC of 5C02 in 2016, I was proud to support a resolution in favor of the Council’s legislation authorizing the use of eminent domain for the trash transfer facility on W St.
I will continue to support the use of eminent domain not only for the W St. trash transfer station, but for the trash transfer facilities at 2160 Queens Chapel Road and 2106 Bryant St. (both in my SMD.) It’s high time for these blighted facilities next to residential areas to close.
What are your hopes and/or concerns with the ongoing development at Union Market? How can we better support our neighborhood’s connectivity to that area?
I would like to see better connectivity between our neighborhood and Union Market through the establishment of a direct bus route between Woodridge, Union Market, and Downtown through New York Avenue. I also support the creation of a separated bike trail between these areas alongside N.Y. Avenue.
If there were a way to improve bus transit or bike infrastructure in your neighborhood, but it required removing on-street parking, how would you approach the situation? Give a specific example if possible.
Methods of transit that carry more people than a car should always be accommodated more.
For example, I would support removing a parking spot if it allowed for the construction of a bus boarding island/platform in its place.
Where would you like to see new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or other infrastructure to make it safer for residents, families, and seniors to walk and bike? What are the top Vision Zero priorities for your community?
This is a question that requires my community and constituents to weigh in. However while campaigning, many neighbors across 5C02 have asked for more speed bumps on their streets and have pointed out areas where sidewalks should be replaced.
What role do you think your ANC could play in addressing housing affordability challenges? How can your neighborhood contribute its fair share of the housing our growing city needs?
As DC goes through a severe housing shortage, every neighborhood has a responsibly to take on new housing. With regards to the ANC’s role, the Commission could demand more concessions from a new development project, like more affordable housing units.
What is the biggest controversy in your neighborhood not already listed on this questionnaire, and what is your position on it?
For many years, the overabundance of nightclubs in our community has been a huge source of concern for neighbors. The lack of decent transit options paired with lack of space for cars/taxis along Bladensburg and Queens Chapel Road cause enormous traffic jams on many weekends and headaches for residents nearby.
I will continue seeking solutions to the issues of noise, congestion, and lack of transit options by working with neighbors and businesses in our area.
Why do you think you are the best person to represent your SMD? What’s your vision for your ANC in 2 years?
As a proud DC native, activist, and former Commissioner I’ve been proud to establish strong relationships with community and civic leaders, members of the DC Council, and residents. These ties have helped me effectively advocate for my community in the past and will help me effectively advocate for my community again as Commissioner.
If given another chance to serve, I’ll keep fighting for an even more safe, equitable, and transit-connected community.