Alex Baca, Grtr Grtr Washington

Alex Baca

Grtr Grtr Washington

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Past articles by Alex:

Want to know what’s going on with urbanist issues where you live? Update your address with us.

Having accurate, up-to-date address information for our readers and supporters is important to understanding who’s involved with us, but it’s even more critical to connecting you to what sorts of housing- and transportation-related things are happening in your neighborhood, so that you can support them (or make them better!). Please help us help you know about what’s going on where you live and… → Read More

GGWash recently held our 2020 ANC commissioner training. Here’s what happened.

On Thursday, July 16, Greater Greater Washington hosted our 2020 ANC training. Many thanks to the eighty-something attendees for their smart questions, thoughtful replies, and knowledge-sharing. → Read More

Why’s everyone talking about upzoning? It’s the foundation of green, equitable cities.

Though we write about zoning plenty on GGWash, it’s a topic that’s been regarded by the wider public as too wonky, too insider, and too jargon-like to figure into everyday life. But zoning literally is everyday life, because it governs what goes where. And it’s circumstantial to affordability, equality, equity, and the distribution of goods, services, and wealth. → Read More

Have you ever thought of becoming an ANC commissioner? We have a training for that.

On Thursday, July 16, at 6 pm, join GGWash for a training on how to run, and how to be, an ANC Commissioner. → Read More

Here’s our questionnaire for candidates in DC’s 2020 at-large general elections

The November 3 general elections are approaching fast, and the field for the at-large DC Council seat is extremely crowded: Over a dozen candidates are vying for Councilmember David Grosso’s soon-to-be former position. Recently, GGWash’s elections committee circulated questionnaires to candidates on the ballot. → Read More

Hear it from a commissioner: Why you should run for ANC

Have you ever thought about being an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner? You should run. But, don’t just take our word for it. We reached out to several ANC commissioners who we endorsed in 2018, and who we’ve worked with since then, to ask them to share their experience. → Read More

Gentrification in DC isn’t just a black and white issue

Most conventional debates over gentrification in DC position the process as one that replaces long-time black residents with newer, wealthier white residents. Given the context, this framing makes sense: DC has a well-established black middle class and a wealth of black history. However, the reality is a bit more complex — and diverse. → Read More

Elections are right around the corner. If you’re in DC or Virginia, have you requested your ballot?

It’s primary season! There are elections in DC on June 2 (and 16), Maryland on June 2, and Virginia on June 23. Because voting in person risks spreading coronavirus further, many jurisdictions are shifting to voting by mail. Here’s what you need to know. → Read More

Can DC build a better Comp Plan process? An Office of Planning report hints at “yes.”

Within the Comp Plan package that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser recently sent to the DC council is a report from Office of Planning staff. It contains some interesting tidbits about what’s come out of OP’s outreach efforts over the past year, as well as some remarks on how our comprehensive planning process, and documents, could work better. → Read More

See what the candidates for Ward 8 DC Council have to say about these urbanist issues

As part of GGWash’s endorsement process for the 2020 DC Council elections, we’re running responses to our questionnaire, which was answered by four candites for the Ward 8 seat. → Read More

See what the candidates for Ward 7 DC Council have to say about these important issues

In March, we introduced the candidates in the Ward 7 council race: incumbent councilmember and former mayor Vince Gray, and his challengers, ANC commissioners Kelvin Brown and Anthony Lorenzo Green, attorney Veda Rasheed, James Jennings, and Rebecca Morris. → Read More

Meet the Ward 7 Democratic primary candidates

Incumbent Ward 7 councilmember, and former mayor, Vince Gray has a crowd of challengers vying for his seat. Here is your opportunity to meet all of the candidates in the Ward 7 Democratic primaries. → Read More

Here’s our questionnaire for candidates in the 2020 DC Council Democratic primaries

Recently, GGWash’s elections committee circulated questionnaires to candidates on the ballot for the June 2 Democratic primary. That includes races in Ward 4, Ward 7, and Ward 8, and the at-large seat currently held by Councilmember Robert White. → Read More

We’re joining DC’s Reclaim Rent Control coalition. Here’s why.

DC will soon renew its rent stabilization policy, which limits the amount rent can increase in older apartment buildings of a certain size. Last year, in anticipation of this, a coalition called the Reclaim Rent Control was formed to push for a more expansive policy. → Read More

We’re reading amendments to the Comp Plan. Here’s our critique of how the FLUM works.

The Future Land Use Map—as stated on the map itself—is defined as “part of the Comprehensive Plan of the District of Columbia. Its color-coded categories express public policy on future land uses across the city. Preparation of this map is required by DC Law to ‘represent the land use policies set forth in the proposed Land Use Element,’ using ‘standardized colors for planning review.’” → Read More

Tell DC what you think of its Comp Plan

The DC Office of Planning is making proposed amendments to the District’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan, a robust document which is basically a long term road map for how we interact with the city, from housing to transportation, and land use. You, as residents of the District, now have until Friday, Jan.10, to provide public comment. → Read More

The comp plan, which charts the path for DC’s growth, is being amended. What’s taking so long?

DC’s Comprehensive Plan sets the course for how the city will grow, and the Framework element sets the tone for the rest of this important planning document. Right now the DC Council is in the process of updating the Comp Plan, starting with the Framework. Getting the amendments passed has been a slog. → Read More

A COG vote adds clarity to housing production goals for the region

The Washington region now has three measurable targets for housing production which will help clarify the amount of housing needed, how accessible it will be, and how affordable for residents. → Read More

How DC can build more homes in exclusive neighborhoods around Rock Creek Park

It’s hard to build nearly anything other than a single-family house in DC’s wealthiest and most exclusive neighborhoods. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s stated goal to build 36,000 units of new housing in DC by 2025 is likely to run up against the fact that neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park, which are zoned nearly entirely for single-family homes, don’t allow denser types of homes by default. → Read More

The Comp Plan is about to be baaaack. Here’s what’s happening.

On Tuesday, July 9, the DC Council will take the first of two votes on the Framework Element of the Comprehensive Plan. This is the first chapter of DC’s massive Comp Plan and the subject of the epic 13-hour hearing all the way back in March… of 2018. The Comprehensive Plan is a 600-page document that supposedly guides all of DC’s growth and change, from housing to education to trash pickup.… → Read More