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Term: Jan. 2, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2019
Time on Council: 2012 to present
Political Affiliation: Democratic Party
Office: 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (202) 724-8064 | Fax: (202) 724-8099
Chair of: Committee on Housing and Community Development
Committee on Housing and Community Development
Committee of the Whole
Committee on the Judiciary
Committee on Education
Committee Deputy for Policy
Chief of Staff / Communications Director
Constituent Services Specialist
Community Outreach Director
Director of Public Affairs
Anita grew up in Ward 7, where her mother still resides. While a student at John Philip Sousa Junior High School, she was nationally recognized in the Westinghouse Science Fair competition, then attended McKinley Technology High School, and then University of California, Berkeley, during the nation’s free speech movement. It was at Berkeley that Anita developed a passion for progressive politics and advancing social justice and equality. Following college, Anita returned to the District, married, and raised her three children in neighborhoods in Wards 2, 5, and 8. As a young mother, Anita became a politically active leader in the city’s struggle for equality and justice with the Young Democrats of America, Women’s Strike for Peace, National Women’s Political Caucus, and as a DC Statehood Commissioner.
Dedicated Civil Servant, Trusted Mayoral Advisor, and Progressive Advocate Anita’s detail to organizing and reputation as an effective facilitator led her to become a trusted advisor and cabinet member in the administrations of Mayors Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt, and Anthony Williams. Her stellar leadership as Director of the Office of Constituent Services is remembered by many throughout the District. She retains indepth legislative experience from serving as a Chief of Staff to a councilmember and as the ranking staffer of the Committee on Economic Development. While in government service, her thorough attention and response to constituent concerns, and her innovative problem solving helped to lift residents out of poverty, improved public safety, increased opportunities for small businesses, and put good government policies into action.
Anita served several terms as President of the Perry School Community Services Center, a nonprofit that helps members of disadvantaged communities eradicate poverty, and served as an officer of the Bates Civic Association and the DC Federation of Civic Associations. During her four term chairmanship of the 5C Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which at the time included the Bloomingdale, Eckington, Stronghold, Pleasant Hill, and Truxton CircleEast Shaw communities, she spearheaded neighborhood beautification projects including the renovation of the Florida Avenue Park. She developed coalitions between the faith community, neighborhood businesses, residents, and service providers. She deliberated on complex zoning issues and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permits, and supported the awarding of numerous community based grants devoted to various community improvements. Anita also served several terms as president of the Ward 5 Democratic Committee.
Anita believes in the promise of residents and especially our students to learn, grow, and succeed in the competitive job market, and supports policies that give District youth and others greater educational opportunities and improved outcomes. Anita is a recognized mentor to many youth who have become District and national leaders. She founded a neighborhood teen mentoring program benefiting the Truxton Circle and the Sursum Corda communities that tutored youth in life skills through tutoring in academic studies and computer literacy. This successful program led Georgetown University to employ Anita to duplicate the program. At Georgetown, Anita became a leader in the neighborhood participatory research project that led to the creation of the Center for Social Justice, Research, Teaching, and Service, where she served as a program director.
Anita has been recognized by the Metropolitan Police Department for her outstanding community service, and believes that public safety is a right of neighborhoods throughout the District. She supports maintaining a fully staffed police force and fire and emergency medical service department, and the training and hiring of District residents in public safety jobs.
Anita is a longstanding supporter of social justice initiatives, including the WIN campaign of the DC area faith community. Anita supports an overall District housing policy to reduce homelessness, finding permanent solutions to the shared housing needs of low income families and children, and increasing the number of affordable housing units across the District. She supports the training and hiring of District residents for medical technology and the District’s expansive hospitality industries, and supports the hiring of more District residents for District government jobs.
Anita listens to the concerns and opinions of community when voting on issues. As a councilmember, Anita supports policies that expand on her experiences to bring changes for greater government efficiency, giving attention to the needs of residents and businesses while cutting waste and duplication.