City Desk

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:

  1. Doug A. Rogers Says:
    This is indeed sad news to hear for the neighborhood. From what I’ve heard from my neighbors, everyone I spoke with fully supported the coffee house/restaurant/entertainment space in this location. I’m concerned about this big box retailer who will be taking the place of independent local business owners who care about the neighborhood. Perhaps my oppenent, who is the current chairman of the Dupont ANC, will enjoy the furniture delivery trucks pulling up next to his house every morning.

    We want more independent retailers in our neighborhood, not more big-box retailers. Go to my blog ( to find out how you can contact Room and Board’s President to tell him that ‘thanks, but no thanks’. Let’s keep our neighborhood big-box free!

  2. Ramon Estrada Says:
    It is unfortunate that the local business group was unable to lease or purchase the property. The ANC was not involved in any of these matters. In fact, because there was no lease nor ABC applications, the matter never came before the ANC for any approvals. The group presented their concept over the summer, but never returned for approvals. I followed up, but was told that lease negotiations were still underway. Everyone wants to see this property improved and occupied and the DC based property owner tells me he has accepted a contract from Room and Board. It is not the role of the ANC Commissioner to undo contracts, but I will continue to serve to bridge constituent concerns and business objectives in our area. I think it is unfortunate that my opponent chooses to mischaracterize the situation and my record in his attempt to promote himself. There is additional information about this site and other projects coming to our neighborhood at

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.

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  • ANC resident

    I'm in the ANC and live VERY close to the site. I don't care what goes there and don't think it's the rold of government to tell private property owners what they can do. But Estrada is lying. His partner went door to door explicitly OPPOSING the diner idea. I asked what they wanted and he said.....(I swear to you)...."A GAP." I love Room & Board, by the way.

  • Ramon Estrada

    Dear Jule,

    I haven't received any telephone or email messages from you, but would appreciate being contacted when you are writing about me or matters in my SMD. My email address and telephone number are listed on the Dupont Circle ANC website. Thanks.

  • Jule Banville

    I called you several times when I wrote initially about 14th and T. I also e-mailed you asking for a call or a response. Never got one, but am glad we are in touch on the comments now. If you have a phone number you answer more frequently, could you e-mail it to me? jbanville [@] Thanks.