Meet Your New Commissioner: Cydne Smith Nash (7B04)

332
Cydne Smith Nash (7B04). 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.

Cydne Smith Nash (7B04) A native Washingtonian, Nash is no stranger to DC politics and community engagement. As a teenager, she participated in the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute, which trains young people to become community leaders, canvassing city streets to garner support on important issues like education and economic development. Now, she plans to do the same for her neighborhood.

Nash has a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in the Social Foundations of Education. Currently, she works at a national social work education association, where she manages grants and special projects.

 

As commissioner, she plans to focus on public safety, development, housing, and education. As the mother of a recent DC Public Schools (DCPS) graduate, she said she has seen how education and skill development are critical to developing youth into productive citizens and change agents. The resources necessary to give children a good education are all the more critical in a time of COVID-19, she added, and she wants to work together with parents, community, District agencies and government to ensure children are successful.

Similarly, neighbors must work with law enforcement and other city services to use a community-based approach to crime. She envisions public safety solutions that involve many aspects of the community, including healthcare experts, educators, business people, law enforcement and residents.

The new commissioner also wants to work to ensure community needs are met by incoming development, including the new Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street, the Shops at Penn Branch, and Skyland Town Center. The area is already sought after for its leafy streets and small-town vibe, Nash said, but she wants to ensure that existing residents can remain while welcoming new families to the neighborhood.

“My husband and I made a conscious choice to move to our neighborhood because of the bright future we knew was coming to this area,” Nash said, adding that they wanted to be a part of preserving the community’s history and strength. “I will advocate for smart growth without displacing our neighborhood’s pillars.”

Reach Commissioner Cydne Smith Nash: 7B04@anc.dc.gov