By C.N. Staff Writer
Ward Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) races are rarely discussed in newspapers. Typically there are no debates or forums held for them. However, last month the Capital News highlighted the newcomers to the race under age 35. This month the paper is focusing on the incumbents who have been rooted in the Ward and their community.
Barbara Clark chairs the ANC 8A and this commission presides over Historic Anacostia. Ward 8 Democrat’s President Natalie Williams is the 8A07 chair and currently serves as the Corporate Secretary and Hospital Spokesperson for the United Medical Center. Williams who has run for the Ward 8 Council seat is a breast cancer survivor and has launched the “Test My Breasts” campaign out of the UMC hospital. Williams isn’t facing an opponent in her race, but said “I have done a lot of work in Ward 8.” Greta Fuller is the ANC 8A06 commissioner and she faces competition this year from newcomer Tina Fletcher. Greta has been in the community for some time and has served as the ANC commissioner for over two terms.
Khadijah Watson chairs the ANC8B and presides over neighborhoods like Garfield and Ft. Stanton. Watson has been vocal in the affairs of her commission often galvanizing her fellow commissioners on key decisions that will affect the ward. Darrell Gaston is the ANC 8B02 commissioner and faces competition from Paul Trantum. Gaston says he is “confident” he can win. Trantum said, “we need a change to the seat and I believe I can do it.” Gaston says his record will speak for itself and that his supporters will be out to vote for him on Election Day.
Mary Cuthbert is the ANC8C chair and has been one of the most vocal ANC commissioners in Ward 8. Having served in the position for over 25 years, Cuthbert knows the ins and outs of the ward and is running for reelection unopposed. Most projects that come to the ward get her signature of approval as the community’s approval. Cuthbert has been infamous for being direct with developers who have come into the community without talking to the community first. “I am for the people,” she said speaking passionately about her role as the ANC chair. Additionally, in her commission is Derrick Colbert is the ANC8C04. Marcus Batchelor is challenging Colbert, but Colbert believes the community knows the work he has done since taking the position and will prevail. Colbert currently works with the Fatherhood Initiative at Allen Chapel AME Church helping returning citizens reconnect with their children.
Theresa Jones is the ANC8D commission chair. Mrs. Jones has been in the community for over 40 years and is another vocal voice, like Cuthbert. She has been a activist in her ward and community. A self-described “fighter for the people,” Jones has been a huge proponent of fair housing laws for the District’s poor. She is uncontested in her seat for reelection.
Anthony Muhammad is the ANC8E chair. Muhammad is a long serving chairman of the commission and like Jones and Cuthbert has been vocal with developers and new projects that come into the ward. Known for voicing his concerns and speaking for his constituents, Muhammad has had a steady presence at community meetings across the ward. He is uncontested in his seat for reelection.
To find out more about each of the candidates that are running, visit their respective sites or the anc.dc.gov site to get more information. Additionally, one can attend the public ANC meetings to find out more about what’s happening in their commission.