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 representative below. Learn more about ANCs by visiting anc.dc.gov.
Victoria R. Clark (7C06) came to DC in 2014 after graduating from North Carolina State University and Cornell Law School. She arrived in what is now her SMD in the summer of 2018. An attorney, she worked with small businesses in her own practice and as a provisional member of the Criminal Justice Act panel. In fall, she took a job on the Biden-Harris campaign doing voter protection.
For five years as president of her chapter of the Urban League and a board member for many organizations, Clark was looking for the next way to get involved. She sees ANC commissioners as advocates for the community. That means talking to people, learning what matters to them, conveying those desires and doing something about them. “That’s what I do as a profession,” she said.
Clark said that people have told her that they are concerned with safety, citing car and package thefts and house break-ins. “I think that it’s important to make sure that people are safe and feel secure in their homes,” she said, “but that it doesn’t lead to over-policing an already over-policed population.”
There is also a concern with speed, and residents have asked for speed bumps. She points to a disparity in accessibility to transportation, noting that residents depend on automobiles because of the undependability of public transit.
Improved transit is also important to Clark because her SMD is located in a food desert, with only two supermarkets serving the ward. That means that many residents spend tremendous amounts of time traveling into Ward 6 or to Maryland for fresh food or other necessities, she said.
The new commissioner wants constituents to tell her what matters to them. “A lot of people tend to feel like they have no power, like their views don’t matter, like their needs don’t matter. But I want to reassure everyone that they should bring me their concerns,” she said. “I won’t know unless they tell me.”
Reach Victoria J. Clark via email at 7C06@anc.dc.gov.