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As a member-driven trade association of REALTORS®, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) supports elected officials who represent our mission to protect and promote homeownership. One of our greatest advantages is having members in all eight wards, which gives us the ability to work closely with every Councilmember.

Homeowners have benefited from the Council’s work over the past year, namely securing a first-time homebuyer tax benefit and exempting single-family homes from the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). We are proud to say many of the candidates we have previously endorsed have gone on to champion these vital initiatives.

When DCAR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) interviewed candidates for the 2018 Democratic Primary Election, the conversations were thoughtful and deliberative. Our endorsement decisions were met with strong consensus; you can read about them here.

Ward 1 was complicated. Four years ago, we celebrated when Councilmember Nadeau emerged victorious in her long-shot race over then incumbent, Jim Graham. This year, we strongly deliberated the value of four more years of Councilmember Nadeau at the helm of Ward 1.

We were hopeful she would chart a new course distinctly different from her predecessor, and there have been occasions in which she has shown promise. However, Councilmember Nadeau’s lack of focus on the cost of homeownership and efforts to weaken the TOPA legislation remain difficult issues to reconcile. TOPA rules were onerous, outdated and far too often hand-tied homeowners at excessive time and cost from selling their homes.

DCAR RPAC dutifully vetted the three other candidates in this year’s Ward 1 race, and their enthusiasm to serve Ward 1 was clear. Unfortunately, their goals for the Ward do not align with ours at this time.

Above all, DCAR is committed to affordable housing and homeownership throughout the District. To that end, although we will not be financially endorsing Councilmember Nadeau, we will continue to work with and support her as she strives to meet the homeownership needs of her Ward 1 constituents.

6 Responses to “An Open Letter About the Ward 1 Race”

  1. Bill Panici

    I share your feelings. Unfortunately we do not have strong candidates to challenge some on the Council, including the Mayor. We need to encourage more residents to get involved and run for office.

  2. Matt Zanolli

    It is highly unfortunate that DCAR has chosen to extend their support to Brianne Nadeau. As you stated, Councilmember Nadeau’s lack of focus on the cost of home ownership and efforts to weaken the TOPA legislation have indeed been misguided so why offer an endorsement at all then? Further, her lack of focus has been evident throughout her tenure on a wide variety of important issues. As twenty year resident of Ward 1, I can attest to her ineffective constituent representation on matters including crime, transportation and traffic, rodent control, trash removal…etc. These are equally important issues to all homeowners in our neighborhoods and should have been given deeper consideration as part of your support. I strongly encourage DCAR to seek a more comprehensive evaluation when providing an endorsement to candidates in the future.

    • Ed Wood

      Hi Matt,
      I think you misread the letter. DCAR is definitely NOT endorsing council member Nadeau, but hopes to work with her in the future as there are no better options among her opponents

  3. LocallyDC

    Hey Bryan!

    Wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that you’re using the pre-2012 map of DC wards. In the new map, Ward 1 & 6 touch, as seen on the DC Office of Planning:

    LocallyDC is a printed newsletter for the Northwest DC areas. The community-supported monthly newsletter highlights upcoming events, community news, information on the neighborhood, and more.

  4. Lou Vivas

    Re: An open letter about the Ward 1 race on June 3, 2018

    Dear DCAR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee,

    I am writing in response to your decision to not endorse a candidate for DC Council Ward 1. It is unfortunate that after 4 years in office, the current council member has not provided adequate evidence of protecting and promoting homeownership.

    As you stated, ‘Councilmember Nadeau’s lack of focus on the cost of homeownership and efforts to weaken the TOPA legislation remain a difficult issues to reconcile. TOPA rules were onerous, outdated, and far too often hand-tied homeowners at excessive time and cost from selling their homes.’

    As a realtor of 14 years, a father of a 4th grader, and Ward 1 resident since 2001, I am deeply committed to Ward 1, and in particular, to Columbia Heights & Parkview.

    While the DCAR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee is committed to affordable housing and homeownership throughout the District, I believe that commitment is met through more than the buying and selling of homes. As a realtor, I attribute the longevity and success of my business to one thing: community.

    I would like to challenge your decision to not endorse a candidate. I wholeheartedly believe that Kent Boese exemplifies the hard work it takes to protect and promote homeownership. Not only does he exemplify this, but has demonstrated this through his years of service as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and as the Chair for ANC 1A.

    There is no question that we need more affordable housing in Ward 1. Kent’s evenhandedness in the development of Park Morton shows that we can do both. That’s why the Park Morton complex is a leading example of redevelopment in Washington, DC.

    In my neighborhood of Columbia Heights, there are vacant commercial spaces which have plagued 14th Street for more than a decade. This is a testimony to the inability of the current and past city council members to do their job, which is to enrich our community and bring value by providing opportunities for local residents to prosper. I personally have friends that live in Ward 1 and would love to lease space in DCUSA. The high rents make the cost prohibitive. Kent’s idea is to tax vacant storefronts the same way we tax vacant residential properties. This will incentivize businesses to fill these storefronts and bring an economic boost to Ward 1. This is in contrast to the current council member’s plan to subsidize & encourage artificially high rents with our taxpayer dollars.

    Kent Boese is the only candidate who has a strong track record of neighborhood preservation. Long-term residents and newcomers alike choose to live here because of Ward 1’s beautiful rowhomes. His dedication to historic preservation keeps Ward 1 not only visually attractive but also enticing to homebuyers. Kent cares about architecture and knows both the comprehensive plan and zoning regulations well enough to achieve better outcomes for this community.

    Kent had the vision of preserving and repurposing the long-vacant Hebrew Home for the Aged, and worked collaboratively with neighbors and ANC members in both Wards 1 and 4, to create 187 new units of housing, including 88 apartments for seniors on fixed incomes. He was involved in this project and worked closely with DMPED to achieve it. Please see Mayor Muriel Bowser’s release here:

    He’s also the only candidate who wants to require developments that use public land, or have a public subsidy (tax abatements), to require the inclusion of rent to own options for low and middle-income families.

    Ward 1 needs a leader who is proactive, has a clear vision and is responsive to the community’s needs. Given Kent Boese’s proven record and leadership skills, he is the only candidate that has truly demonstrated his ability to protect and promote homeownership in Ward 1.

    That’s why on June 19th, I am voting Kent Boese for DC Council Ward 1. Please join me by signing up to march with Kent at the Capital Pride Parade (Saturday, June 9), volunteering to canvass the ward, or by making a contribution to the campaign.


    Lou Vivas
    1918 18th St NW
    Washington, DC 20009
    Cell: (240) 479-9124


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