Hi, I'm Yousef K. Bashir and I'm running for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Dupont Circle - ANC 2B03
AN advocate for all
Today, I am proud to be a citizen of the United States and a resident of Dupont Circle. I want your vote for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) for Single Member District (SMD) 2B03. I hope to earn your trust and represent you as your next Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. Public service is my vocation. I will always be there to take your calls and read your emails and learn about your concerns. As a resident of our SMD, I know our views and interests have not been well represented in the recent past. We can do better. I will be your voice in the Dupont Circle ANC, and I will encourage as many of you as possible to participate in the councils and committees that will balance development and preservation to create a vibrant future for our unique neighborhood.
After moving to Washington in 2015, I was selected for the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship and worked for the Partnership for a Secure America, a think tank that promotes bipartisanship among congressional staffers. I briefly worked in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate before joining the Office of the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States as the Congressional Affairs Advisor. After that office was shut down by the current administration, I was selected by Peace Action to campaign during the 2018 midterms for Dr. Kim Schrier who won the race for Washington state’s 8th district. During my junior year as an undergraduate student, I wrote my first book—The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine published by HarperCollins. This book tells the story of my childhood in the Gaza Strip, how I was shot by an Israeli soldier, and saved by Israeli doctors and how I have become the person I am today. See my interview on Amanpour & Company. Currently, I work at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
The primary responsibility of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is to act as the official voice of his or her Single Member District to the District government. I will monitor opinions, complaints, and suggestions, and call for improvement in city services, infrastructure maintenance, public transport, regulatory enforcement, and law enforcement. I will hold city officials accountable for doing their jobs, and you can hold me accountable if I don’t.
The more challenging part of the job is voicing the neighborhood’s advice to the District government on its approach to the many often divisive issues that face us. I will start by listening; by hearing what you think. I will then make certain that your views become an important part of the dialogue that leads to resolution.
Following are my thoughts on some of the issues that are likely to come up in the near future. I look forward to hearing what you think about them.
Equal Justice for All.
The initial national protest occurred a few blocks from our doorsteps. The first attempt to repress it occurred right there, too, as well as the outpouring of citizens to protest the repression. It is clear now that the discussion is just beginning. As for our own Metropolitan Police Department, I think we all agree it is better than most, but no force made up of hundreds of individuals achieves perfection without a lot of help. The city council has already passed some reforms and established the Police Reform Commission. As the discussion goes on, we should promote new studies, hearings, conferences and finally new standards and training programs. DC needs to support, participate and finally adopt further changes that make sense for us.
The pandemic has increased homelessness in Dupont Circle. DC needs to do more about this urgent problem. First, we must insist that the District government continues to help residents sustain their living situations during the troubled economic times ahead. Even with such aid, the number of homeless will increase. We need more outreach services and more temporary housing for families and singles. And of course, that housing must allow isolation and quarantine as long as the pandemic continues. The ANC was created as an instrument through which we advise the city government about the issues that concern us. Let's use the ANC to urge our leaders to make this issue a priority.
Sustainability of Neighborhood Businesses.
It is certainly to our advantage for the District government to continue extending a helping hand to neighborhood retail and hospitality businesses during the late phases of the pandemic and the economic slowdown that is likely to follow. We have all grown accustomed to buying online and remain a little uneasy about entering enclosed spaces. That habit and that fear may persist after the all-clear. We need to make a point of frequenting the businesses closest to our homes. An empty storefront adds neither excitement nor vitality to the neighborhood. The time may come when we need to organize a grassroots campaign to remind us all to patronize the shops and restaurants in Dupont Circle.
To make room for those just starting out and those who are less affluent, we need more affordable housing in DC. In the weeks ahead, we should carefully review and consider the Mayor’s housing initiative. Will it lead to the desired end? Is it safe from subversion? The developments the initiative promotes must conform to current zoning regulations and rules for historic preservation. Review of these projects, which is in part the responsibility of the ANC, should be rigorous and transparent. The work of the regulatory agencies should be beyond reproach. We should all hold these agencies accountable for growth that does not diminish the quality of life in the city.
Our neighborhood will continue to face challenges ranging from ensuring the safety of the pedestrian to ensuring equal justice for all. We will always hold differing views on how to meet those challenges. But in the end, we will find the answers through dialogue and reconciliation. Dupont Circle has always been a community striving for unity and inclusion. Even in trying times like ours, we will be able to move forward and find solutions because we are able to listen to one another.
Please send me your ideas and opinions on the issues raised here or any others at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to ANC 2B03 - The place I call home and would be honored to represent. The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) has 9 Commissioners. ANC 2B03 is located in Northwest DC in Ward 2 and includes specific blocks within Dupont Circle.
The current ANC seat for 2B03 is vacant.
Early Voting Centers for the November 3 General Election will open Tuesday, October 27, 2020, through Monday, November 2, 2020, from 8:30 am - 7:00 pm.