It’s time for “Better Know a Commissioner!”
This ongoing series is about the ANC 4C and 4D commissioners that serve our Petworth neighborhoods. Hopefully you know your ANC commissioner -- if not, now you can.
I’m pleased to introduce Kathleen Crowley, ANC 4C commissioner for single member district (SMD) 4C10. A newly elected commissioner for 2015, Kathleen took her community activism and made it formal when she won a contested race for the SMD.
Kathleen is married with pets (two Chihuahuas and four cats, quite the busy home). A long time resident of the Petworth neighborhood for the past 14 years, Kathleen still holds her first home in Michigan close to her heart, “I grew up in the Detroit Metro Area, and the Motor City will always be in my blood.”
Professionally, Kathleen is a social science researcher with 20 years of experience in the field. She has worked for Universities and private consulting firms specializing in applied research in the area of social policy, including public health, criminal justice, workforce development, education, and poverty. She recently served as the Director of Organizational Research for a consulting firm in McLean Virginia.
“I'm currently embarking down a different path. I'm a doctoral candidate in Human and Organizational Learning at the George Washington University, finishing up my dissertation study,” Kathleen said. “I also work with and provide research consulting and support to GWU faculty.”
Because school and ANC work apparently isn’t enough to keep her fully busy, Kathleen is starting her own consulting business. “I provide research and evaluation services geared toward developing strategies to help private and non-profit organizations improve their capacity to adapt as well as being more creative and innovative.”
As ANC Commissioner, her SMD of 4C10 runs from the southern boundary of Quincy Street between Rock Creek Church and 5th Street, north along Rock Creek Church to Webster Street, down 4th Street to Upshur and back to 5th Street.
“When I ran for the ANC, my priorities were to build stronger ties among neighbors in 4C10 through establishing initiatives such as a ‘village,’ a volunteer-based program aimed at supporting seniors, enabling them to stay in their homes,” Kathleen said. “However, after just a short time as an ANC Commissioner, I realize my priority for this year needs to be working to mobilize the community to make sure their voices are heard and the city government is working for them / us.”
Kathleen said that the issues that have been brought to her primarily deal with quality of life: wanting to be safe and enjoy your home and community. “These are no small matters,” she said. “I think it is essential that our leaders understand that constituent services matter. As a resident, you want to know that if you have a problem the city is going to be there to help you, not ignore you.”
“I believe 4C is a vibrant and energized community,” she said. “My priority for this year is to work with my other commissioner to bring that sense forward and hopefully be that strong voice for the community that city leaders can not ignore.”
While it’s important that commissioners make time for their constituents, it’s difficult for them to get residents to come out and meet — everyone is busy. “Initially I planned to hold quarterly 4C10 meetings,” Kathleen said. “However, I’m reconsidering whether a meeting is the best way to reach out and connect with the residents. I’m thinking about different ways to keep my residents informed about what is happening in their SMD, including offering a newsletter to each household, connecting with local churches, or holding meetings within my SMD.”
If you're looking to connect with Kathleen, her Facebook page is a good start.
“I do have a Facebook page that residents can access,” she said. “It is a space where I can feature issues and activities happening in 4C10, as well as highlight important information for residents regarding city government and services.”
Kathleen recognizes that not everyone prefers social media or even has access to it. “So my challenge is connecting with residents beyond the computer,” she said.
Kathleen tries to attend other Ward 4 ANC meetings, and attends key public hearings for various Commissions such as Public Utility Commission and Public Zoning Commission, etc. “I regularly post on my Facebook page the key information and notes from those meetings to share with residents.”
“I look forward to hearing from constituents,” she said. Kathleen can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (202) 270-5065. Beyond her Facebook page, you can also connect with and follow Kathleen on Twitter.
ANC 4C meetings occur on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm, in the community meeting room at the Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave NW, at the intersection of Kansas, Upshur, and Georgia Ave NW.)