A student and community leader is publishing a website to track his progress on his annual goals as a local politician and make himself more accessible to his constituents.
James Harnett, a senior and the vice chair for the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission, is launching a website Thursday outlining what he plans to advocate for and work with officials to complete in the neighborhood this year. Harnett, who was first elected to the commission in March 2018, said he hopes the website will provide students and his constituents with a way to keep track of the ANC’s projects and hold him accountable to his progress on his goals.
“It’s a tool really that constituents and students can use to keep track of the resources that I put together to not only get in touch with me, but to keep me accountable and to make sure that the goals that I’m setting are, at the end of the day, reflective of what I’ve been able to accomplish,” Harnett said.
He said the website currently details his roughly 12 main priorities for the year, like live-streaming each ANC meeting for people who can’t attend or pushing for a protected bike lane that would run through campus.
ANC commissioners have been negotiating with the District Department of Transportation about building a protected bike lane route through parts of Foggy Bottom for more than a year.
“It’s going to be 2.08 miles of protected bike lanes, the very first in Foggy Bottom and the West End, and to me that is really important because so many students are concerned about being able to bike safely in our neighborhood, and, frankly, they’re absolutely right,” Harnett said.
He said he will regularly update the list to reflect his progress on each goal, regardless of whether a goal isn’t completely met.
“I’ll be routinely updating the site with updates, even if something is incomplete, just letting people know where things are at, so that even if a goal isn’t completed, people are still aware of where a project is at so they can help inform their friends and people who might be interested in seeing where things go,” Harnett said.
He added that he included a section with his phone number and email to make him more accessible to students. The ANC’s website is the only public place in which his contact information is currently available, he said.
“The hope is that, through having direct communication access on this site, people will be able to more immediately get in touch with me and raise ideas and suggestions, often because that’s how the things that go unnoticed get addressed,” he said.