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.
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. 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.
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.
Meet your newly elected representatives below. Learn more about ANCs by visiting anc.dc.gov.
ANC 7C Deanwood-East Corner (anc7c.org)
Yolanda Fields (7C02) is not new to the role of ANC Commissioner, although it is her first term serving 7C02. She stepped down as Commissioner for 7E07 in spring 2020, after a move “just across the street,” took her out of that SMD. Later, she entered and won the three-way race to represent 7C02.
Fields was born and raised in Woodland, graduating from Ballou High School. Her roots in community service go deep; for 25 years, Fields’s grandmother was president of the Woodland Terrace Resident Council and young Yolanda would be sent door-to-door on her grandmother’s business. “She was the muscle, with the pen and the paper; I was the foot, with the knocking on the doors,” she explains.
Upon arriving in her new SMD, Fields met with her neighbors to learn about their concerns. She said the biggest issue in her SMD and in the wider area is gun violence. She said she will continue to work with MPD Sixth District and with No More Graves, an organization that discusses the roots and consequences of gun violence with young men, combatting the impact of death and prison on the community.
Fields also wants to focus on education and employment and is planning to connect organizations to the community to help young adults work on skills from reading to resume writing. “I don’t want them to just get jobs, but to get a career going,” she said. “It’s never too late.”
Finally, she wants to ensure that the community is involved with plans for development in the area, bringing developers and residents into conversations about plans before decisions are made.
She said her biggest message to her community is that it is time for a change. “It’s time to get off the porch and take back the community in the way you know it, or the way you want it to be,” Fields said. “I can do this job, but I’m going to need the help of the community.”
Reach Commissioner Fields at 7C02@anc.dc.gov