Meet Your New Commissioner: Lindsey Botts (7B03)

352
Commissioner Lindsey Botts (7B03). Courtesy the Commissioner

Meet your new elected officials! On January 2, 2021, 19 newly-elected representatives were sworn in for the five Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs). The ceremony, like much of the campaign, took place virtually, with Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray (D) administering the oath of office.

Everyday, we’ll introduce you to one of them.

Commissioners serve two-year terms without pay. Each commissioner represents a Single Member District (SMD) of approximately 2,000 residents. The ANCs’ main role in the District is to be their neighborhood’s official voice in advising the District government (and Federal agencies) on things that affect their neighborhoods.

They come to a difficult job in a difficult time, meeting virtually to help residents confront the all-too-real issues raised and, in many cases, exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues of health, public safety, education and housing.

The large incoming class means that many Ward 7 ANCs will meet in January with a majority of their seven seats filled by new commissioners. ANC 7B, serving Southeast Pennsylvania Heights (anc7b.com) will welcome five new elected members to their 7-seat commission.

Lindsey Botts (7B03) said he was excited —and pleasantly surprised— to learn he had been declared the winner in the race to represent 7B03. The election ended in a tie between two write-in candidates, Botts and Walter Leroy Peacock III. Botts won after DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) broke the tie by drawing his name from a pot.

Botts was born and raised in the District. His parents moved from Columbia Heights to Ward 7 when he was in high school. After obtaining degrees in communications at FIT in New York and journalism at the University of the Arts in London, Botts came back to Ward 7, moving into the Twining neighborhood in 2015. He currently works in operations for a media company.

Encouraged by his father, Botts declared himself a candidate after learning that there was nobody on the ballot to represent the interests of neighbors. Botts said that residents have expressed concern with parking and liquor licensing for convenience stores. Development is also a major issue, with many wanting to offer their input on multi-unit projects such as those underway at 27th Street and Minnesota Avenue SE and at L’Enfant Square.

Botts favors some additional commercial development in ANC 7B. “I think it’s absurd that we have to go across the bridge to either the Harris Teeter or the new Safeway there now,” he said. Acknowledging the work of Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray (D) to bring a grocery store to Penn Branch, Botts welcomes the development of a commercial area along the Pennsylvania East Main Street Corridor.

While he knows that he faces a learning curve, Botts said his lack of political experience has some advantages. Instead of coming in with political stances on various matters, he can learn and develop doing the work and through the views of his constituents.

“I’m coming into this with open ears and a willingness to learn about the issues, and to extend my existing roots in the neighborhood,” Botts said. “I’m just looking forward to serving the community.”

Reach Commissioner Botts via email at 7B03@anc.dc.gov