November 3, 2016 at 11:14 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
At least 30 LGBT candidates seek ANC seats
ANC, gay news, Washington Blade, Advisory Neighborhood Commission

Andy Litsky of ANC 6D, has held his ANC seat in the Southwest D.C. Waterfront neighborhood for 18 years. (Image courtesy YouTube)

At least 30 openly gay or lesbian candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in six of the city’s eight wards will be on the ballot in the Nov. 8 D.C. election.

LGBT activists familiar with ANC races believe there are more than 30 gay, lesbian and possibly transgender ANC candidates running this year but some have chosen not to publicly identify as LGBT.

The city’s Home Rule Charter created by Congress in the 1970s instituted the ANCs as a unique “grassroots” arm of the D.C. government charged with providing advice to city agencies on local neighborhood issues such as parking, trash collection, real estate development, and the licensing of bars and restaurants.

Although city agencies are not required to follow the recommendations of the ANCs the agencies are required to give “great weight” to those recommendations.

Currently there are a total of 296 “single member district” ANC seats, which are unpaid positions that are part of 40 ANCs located throughout the city.

Among those running are longtime gay civic activists Roger Moffatt and Andy Litsky of ANC 6D, who have held their ANC seats in the Southwest D.C. Waterfront neighborhood for 20 years and 18 years respectively.

Litsky is running unopposed in his 6D04 district. Moffatt is being challenged by three opponents in the rapidly changing 6D05 district, which includes the section of Buzzard’s Point where a new soccer stadium is being built.

Two of Moffatt’s opponents, Rebekah Caruthers and Dana Lutenegger, told the Blade they are running because they don’t think Moffatt has been aggressive enough in engaging the neighborhood on real estate development matters and its related pressures that threaten to displace renters from the neighborhood.

Moffatt disputes those assertions, saying he has been a champion for the residents of his district since development related changes began in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood over 10 years ago.

“I welcome new people getting involved but I have the experience needed to make sure all this development is done in a way that the interests of the residents are respected and preserved,” he said.

Also running this year is nationally acclaimed lesbian photographer Sharon Farmer, who worked as a White House staff photographer during the administration of President Bill Clinton. Farmer is running for the ANC 1A07 seat in Ward 1 held by incumbent Darwain Frost.

In ANC 2B, which represents the Dupont Circle neighborhood, gay civic activist Scott Davies is being challenged by neighborhood activist Ed Hanlon for the 2B09 seat being vacated by current ANC 2B Chair Noah Smith in what observers consider a hotly contested race.

Hanlon, who has taken steps in recent years to block residents from building roof decks on their residential townhouses, says in his campaign literature that he will be more aggressive in fighting real estate development that infringes on the residential character of the neighborhood.

Davies, who has been endorsed by Smith and other ANC 2B incumbents, says he will continue ANC 2B’s efforts to strike the appropriate balance between interests of the residents and development projects that are supported by most residents.

In what appears to be a first in the city’s ANC elections, gay candidates are running against each other for two of the seats in ANC 2F, which represents the Logan Circle area. Civic activists Casey Root and Jason Forman are competing for the 2F01 seat, which is being vacated by the current incumbent. Logan Circle resident Alex Graham is challenging incumbent and longtime civic activist Pepin Andrew Tuma for the 2F03 seat.

The Washington Blade assembled the following list of known gay and lesbian ANC candidates from information provided by people familiar with the candidates and their respective ANC districts. The known gay and lesbian candidates this year are running in all parts of the city except Wards 5 and 8.

Sharon Farmer, 1A07

Kent Boese, 1A08 (unopposed)

James Turner, 1B09 (unopposed)

Robb Hudson, 1B11 (unopposed)

Michael Upright, 2B04 (unopposed)

Randy Downs, 2B05

Mike Silverstein, 2B06 (unopposed)

Scott Davies, 2B09

John Tinpe, 2C01 (unopposed)

Casey Root, 2F01

Jason Forman, 2F01

John Guggenmos, 2F02 (unopposed)

Pepin Andrew Tuma, 2F03

Alex Graham, 2F03

John Fanning, 2F04 (unopposed)

Charlie Bengel, 2F06 (unopposed)

Lee Brian Reba, 3C01 (unopposed)

Tom Smith, 3D02

Dan Bradfield, 3G06 (unopposed)

Sean Wieland, 4C01

Michael Halpern, 4C04 (unopposed)

Joseph Martin, 4C09 (unopposed)

Aaron Polkey, 4D03

Ron Collins, 6D03 (write-in candidate)

Andy Litsky, 6D04 (unopposed)

Roger Moffatt, 6D05

Alexander “Alex” Pedro, 6E01

Donovan Anderson, 7D06

Catherine Woods, 7C03

Anthony Lorenzo Green, 7C04

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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