ANC Races: The Year of the Gays, Especially at 14th and T
In case you missed it, the Washington Blade has a nice piece on gays running against gays in the hot, hot, hot ANC races. (Note: Our candidate, Arthur Delaney, is not gay. If he was, he probably would have clean pants ready to go.)
Among the gay races, we're keeping a close eye on ANC 2B09 in Dupont Circle. Chairman Ramon Estrada, who's served for six years, is facing a challenge from Doug A. Rogers. News we broke about the planned development at 14th and T is shaping up as the issue that divides. Rogers is a big backer of the Diner/Tryst/Comedy option at the former Church of the Reformer, where Minneapolis-based furniture chain Room & Board is looking to open. Estrada, although not openly against the local-biz project led by restaurateur Constantine Stavropoulos, is also not carrying the project's water, mainly because of the disturbance a 24-hour Diner hybrid could create. We could not confirm that. Estrada has never returned our calls.
Rogers did and will be checking in with us as his race unfolds.
From the Reeves Center at 14th and U, Rogers says exit polls are looking good for him. "I'm very hopeful. I've seen a lot of my supporters here."
Rogers, who's lived in the Dupont area 10 years, got into the ANC market primarily because of the 14th Street Divide: On the east side (represented by Greater U Street ANC) stores and restaurants dominate. On the west side, which is under the jurisdiction of his ANC, boarded-up buildings are the norm, he says.
"What has my opponent done for us...except for block local businesses?," Rogers asks.
Rogers says that Estrada's opposition to the Diner project is one of omission, and points to his opponent's blog post on the matter.
The two also went at it in our comments section last week:
According to The Blade:
Stavropoulos said Estrada told him he would seek to block a 24-hour diner and would place restrictions on Stavropoulos’s plans for outdoor seating for the diner.
“He basically said, ‘No, no, no,’” Stavropoulos recalled Estrada as saying.
Two Dupont Circle residents who know Estrada said they believe his aim is to make sure both projects don’t create neighborhood problems and that he would likely agree to the projects if certain changes are made. But the two said the changes sought by Estrada could result in delays in the completion of the projects.