Cleveland Park Smart Growth is excited to endorse Sauleh Siddiqui for re-election for ANC in district 3C05. In his first two years in office, Siddiqui has demonstrated unmatched neighborhood leadership, community engagement, and data-driven policy analysis. He understands urbanism not just from living it, but the science and public benefits behind it. He excels at making the “why” behind good public policy choices approachable to residents.
His opponent, Nicholas Ide, in his responses to CPSG and on his website, comes from the “all sides should be accommodated” school of public policy. His lodestar is achieving “balance.” Make no mistake, win-win outcomes should be the goal, and something Siddiqui is no stranger to. But balance for the sake of balance is not public policy to which we should aspire. The truth is that some policy decisions are better than others, which is why it benefits the community to have leaders that can take positions and effectively explain them.
For two decades, the only committee of ANC 3C was the one handling the numerous Historic Preservation applications. In his first year, Sauleh created ANC3C’s first transportation committee to do the real work of investigating community concerns about our sidewalks and roads. He invited members of the community to join him. Two of those committee members are now candidates for ANC (Tammy Gordon and Warren Gorlick). Speed cameras are now deployed on Reno Road, and a safety investigation is underway for the intersection of Rodman and Reno. Speed humps are calming traffic on Rodman St and Cortland Pl. All of this is due to Siddiqui’s leadership.
During the community engagement in 2020-2021 over the Connecticut Avenue Reversible Lane Safety and Operations Study, Commissioner Siddiqui, first as chair of the CPCA Transportation Committee, and then as ANC Commissioner, listened to community concerns, studied the volumes of data reported from DDOT’s consultants, and championed the compromise that was DDOT’s modified Concept C. Prioritizing safety, public spaces for people, Siddiqui also made sure a process would be set up to optimize parking and loading at critical points along Connecticut Ave, which began last week.
Siddiqui’s opponent, Nicholas Ide, misguidedly believes “there is opportunity to drastically revise the plan.” Anyone who participated in the planning process that arrived at the selection of Concept C compromise would be befuddled by these statements. After two years of outreach, meetings, revisions and negotiations, the Mayor selected Concept C last December after what was easily the most high profile community engagement project of the past decade. Someone needs to ask, “Where was Nick Ide then?”
Siddiqui’s commitment to equity, sustainability and urban vitality underpins his support for increasing the density for housing in our commercial area. As he noted in his response to CPSG, “I not only believe in racial equity, but racial justice, which means actively working to undo the harms of racism of the past and present. This includes creating more housing and welcoming more people to our neighborhood.” Meanwhile, Ide’s support for more affordable housing is qualified by his “balanced” approach for an infrastructure analysis. Ide implies that an infrastructure claim can be used to oppose new housing, instead of committing to new housing and supporting the infrastructure necessary to make it happen.
As the most active and effective Commissioner on ANC 3C, Siddiqui deserves re-election so Cleveland Park can continue on the path of transitioning toward better urbanism. His commitment to more sustainable and safer transportation, to vibrant retail and to more housing for future residents of all incomes and family types is exactly what Cleveland Park needs.
Check out his great campaign video here where Siddiqui recounts the promises he made running for office two years ago and his accomplishments over his first term.