As part of this year’s election guide, The Hatchet compiled information about candidates in each Foggy Bottom and West End ANC race. This article profiles candidates in noncompetitive races. To read about the three contested ANC races, click here.
A slate of unopposed candidates consisting of incumbents and newly filed candidates are set for election to the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission this November, with five unopposed and one empty seat among nine district races.
Incumbent Commissioners Evelyn Hudson, Joel Causey and Trupti Patel are running unopposed for ANC seats along with newcomers Jordan Nassar and Jim Malec. But single-member district 2A05, which encompasses Shenkman Hall and Columbia Plaza apartments, remains without candidates on the ballot.
Here’s a rundown of the unopposed races for local ANC seats this November:
Jim Malec runs for 2A02 after Causey looks to swap seat
Malec, the president of a digital media consulting agency, is running unopposed for SMD 2A02, which spans the uppermost Northwest quadrant of West End. Malec said ANC oversight of the landscaping renovations of Francis Field is the most pressing issue in the SMD, which he will prioritize during his tenure.
In late May, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser allocated $3 million for “improvements” to Francis Field in the Department of Parks and Recreation’s 2023 budget.
“I wanted to make sure that there was going to be oversight for that project, and there was going to be representation for the community as that project gets going,” Malec said. “So, in my SMD, that’s the big thing that’s happening right now.”
Malec said he wants to expand community access to GW’s Foggy Bottom campus for buildings like Lerner Health and Wellness Center and Gelman Library. Locals can currently access Lerner for a monthly fee of $53, but the public does not have access to Gelman Library.
He said GW shouldn’t “swallow” the Foggy Bottom neighborhood because it overlooks residents who have been there for decades, but can’t use facilities like libraries and dining halls.
“I want to explore, with the University, different ways to foster more integration,” Malec said. “And I think that it’s good for students, I think it’s good for the community.”
Malec is the sole candidate for 2A02 after Commissioner and ANC Chair Joel Causey, who held the 2A02 position for one term, decided not to run for the seat, instead opting to run as a write-in candidate for 2A06 when city officials redrew ANC SMDs in June.
Commissioner Trupti Patel runs for third term representing 2A03
Patel has represented 2A03 – which sits between New Hampshire Avenue and Georgetown – for two terms since 2018 and is running unopposed for her third term. Patel, who received a master’s degree from GW in 2005 and has lived and worked in Foggy Bottom for nearly 20 years, is also one of three commissioners who opted to appear on the ballot instead of running as a write-in.
Throughout her four years on the ANC, Patel has supported food and job security, tipped minimum wage increases and traffic safety improvements in Foggy Bottom. This year, she supported a bill that allows noncitizens to vote in local elections and joined Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau in urging Congress to codify Roe v. Wade after the Supreme Court ended federal abortion protections.
Patel said she wants to be a voice for Foggy Bottom residents and a “bridge for progress” and cultural preservation in her SMD.
“The spirit of being an immigrant provides a lens on appreciating the traditions and local culture that distinguishes Foggy Bottom from other D.C. neighborhoods,” Patel said on her campaign website. “I want all my neighbors to have safer streets and sidewalks that prioritize neighbors walking, biking and using public transit.”
Joel Causey runs for 2A06 seat after Epstein steps down
Causey is running unopposed as a write-in candidate to represent 2A06, which covers the Northeastern side of West End and properties like Yours Truly and the Ritz-Carlton. Causey said he didn’t mean to run as a write-in candidate, but missed the deadline to appear on the ballot.
Causey said his main priorities are reducing the neighborhood’s rat population and increasing pavement markings on the streets of 2A06 to improve traffic and sidewalk safety. He said he hopes to accomplish commission-wide goals like housing individuals experiencing homelessness, getting rid of the “food desert” near the Watergate and cleaning up the neighborhood with repairs of public spaces and grass replacements.
“That’s my primary goal, to work on improving the neighborhood’s safety, also to continue working with MPD and other organizations to make sure that our neighborhoods stay safe,” Causey said.
He said the ANC SMD where he resides changed after D.C. officials changed the commission’s boundaries earlier this year, prompting him to run for 2A06 instead of 2A02 despite living in the same location.
Commissioner Jeri Epstein, who has served in 2A06 for two terms, is stepping down to take care of her mother in assisted living and continue her leadership positions in other organizations like Arena Stage and the Scheherazade Project, nonprofit storytelling and theater projects, leaving the seat open for Causey.
Jordan Nassar runs unopposed for SMD on campus
Jordan Nassar, a D.C. resident originally from Texas, is campaigning to serve in 2A08 – which represents District House and Lafayette Hall – with familiar hopes of bridging the gap between students and the neighboring Foggy Bottom and West End community. Nassar is running unopposed in a SMD that also includes Western Market and 2100 Penn, two of the largest ongoing developments in the neighborhood.
Nassar said he plans to control the rat population that makes basic nightly activities uncomfortable. He said he wants to push for more student involvement in the ANC because student activists would be an “asset” to the commission.
“It’s critical for this ANC to find a balance between the residential needs and the community needs and the people who are only here for the spring and the fall semesters in order to build a sense of community where the students will want to stay full time even after they graduate,” Nassar said in an interview in September.
Evelyn Hudson files to represent newly drawn SMD
Commissioner Hudson, who currently represents SMD 2A05, is switching districts and running unopposed for the 2A09 seat that the ANC redistricting created in June. The new SMD spans Amsterdam, Madison, Fulbright and JBKO halls and the GW Hospital.
Since she was elected in 2019, Hudson has praised initiatives like maintaining the GW Hospital helipad for providing vital emergency care and was the sole dissenting vote against Commissioner Yannik Omictin’s April resolution urging the D.C. Council to reform its rapid rehousing voucher program.
“I’d like to be able to improve the services of the community and betterment of the community, and to help solve issues that are important to our residents,” Hudson said in a meeting in 2019.
An Ngo and Shea Carlberg contributed reporting.
This article appeared in the November 7, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.