Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interview: ANC 3E05 Commissioner Sam Serebin

Sam Serebin currently serves as 3E05 ANC Commissioner and is running for reelection.  Sam took a few minutes to answer questions from the Van Ness Blog.

What do you see as the role of the ANC in local government?
“Quite simply the ANC is the only democratically elected body that represents the community. As such, the ANC's role is to advise government agencies on matters that are of interest and concern to the neighborhood. The ANC's role is one of advisor, voice, and advocate. The ANC is -- and should be -- given the greatest weight of any neighborhood organization.

“Fortunately, over the past term that I've served our ANC's relationship with various government representatives and agencies has improved so that -- I believe -- we are now afforded a greater degree of respect when it comes to matters that interest this community. Making strides in this regard has not been easy due to what used to be a rather adversarial approach to communicating with other agencies.  I hope we are able to continue to make positive strides in order to more fully realize the potential that the neighborhood possesses for its residents."

Why are you personally running for the ANC?
“Besides it being a wonderful opportunity to learn about the political process and the manner in which government and activism works or doesn't work, I have a very vested interest in the community.  I am a parent of two children -- one is eight weeks old, and one 18 months -- and have completed almost one term as an ANC commissioner.  And so, I would like to continue my work advocating for this neighborhood.

"As a sitting commissioner I've been intimately involved in efforts to improve the area's public schools -- most notably and visibly with Janney Elementary -- pedestrian safety, safety of citizens within their homes and while walking their neighborhood, the area surrounding the metro along Wisconsin, rights of dog owners, our neighborhood parks, and I -- along with others -- see the need to influence positive change in the direction of a dramatic improvement to mass transit options and capacity.

“My family has put down roots here, because we view it as a wonderful place to live and raise children. There are a lot of interesting, intelligent, and talented people living here, with a diversity of opinion that is really healthy.  The residential neighborhoods are lovely, and the parks are wonderful.  The public schools -- Janney in particular -- are among the best in D.C.  Deal Junior High is moving in a very positive direction, and I anticipate Wilson will one day also be an excellent option for high school.

"Additionally, we thought there appeared to be tremendous upside potential for the commercial area and for home valuations.  Being close to the metro is a luxury in this day and age -- and I anticipate will continue to be highly valued.

"I see my involvement on the ANC as an opportunity to help bring about positive change in the area, for everyone -- young, old, and four-legged -- that lives here."

What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the neighborhood?
"Presently the most pressing issue is improving our mass transit system and turning Wisconsin Avenue into a lively and safe pedestrian friendly area."

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
"Hmmm. Please vote for Sam Serebin if you live in 3E05. Thanks!"

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