Newly Elected SMD 6A08 Commissioner Kelvin Robinson

RCA would like to welcome SMD (Single Member District) 6A08 Commissioner-elect, Mr. Kelvin J. Robinson. RCA looks forward to meeting our newly elected commissioner and working together with him on important Rosedale Community issues.

Click HERE to view ANC6A's map

Below is an article in the December 2008 Hill Rag publication about the Commissioner-elect and SMD election.

ANC 6A - Second Chances

Williams’ Former Chief of Staff is New ANC 6A Commissioner
by: Tanya Snyder

Filling the Void
ANC 6A will soon have a new face – though one that is well known to many in the city. Stephanie Nixon’s replacement is taking a first foray back into city politics after a less-than-honorable discharge from a high post four years ago.

Nixon (6A-08) resigned from the ANC over the summer when she got engaged and moved out of the district. ANC Chair Joe Fengler praises Nixon’s service to the residents of her district and her special focus on public safety.

Her seat has been vacant for the last few meetings. Since she resigned less than six months before the election, no one could campaign for her seat. So there were no candidates for the seat in the Nov. 4 election.

But DC election law says that any write-in candidate can declare his or her candidacy up to seven days after the election. That means even if someone tells you the day after Election Day that they wrote you in for a position which had no candidates, you can submit an affidavit of candidacy the next day. If no one else does so, you win.

In this case, 104 people were written in for ANC commissioner for 6A-08. Only one has submitted his affidavit, and the deadline has now passed. As of press time, that person had not yet been notified that he had won the position. But ANC Chair Joe Fengler and Executive Director for the office of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Gottlieb Simon have confirmed that Kelvin J. Robinson has won the election.

“We’re excited to have someone back to fill the position,” says Fengler. “It’ll be great to have someone back to represent the interests of the residents of 6A-08.”

Robinson will be a new face on the ANC, but he’s no newcomer to DC politics. He served as chief of staff under Mayor Anthony Williams for three years. He’s lived in Capitol Hill since moving to Washington in 2000 – first at Third and A streets and now in the house he owns at 16th and A streets. Before coming to Washington, he served as the Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the Florida League of Cities for seven years.

He also has experience with something Washingtonians are all too familiar with: car pollution. Robinson served as the Bureau Chief for Emissions Control within the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

ANC commissioners don’t often bring such a high level of government experience. ANCs are the lowest level of city government. Commissioners are elected volunteers with other, usually unrelated, day jobs.

Perhaps he’s starting over. Robinson resigned from Williams’ office in July 2004 just before being charged with “illegally urging city staff members to contribute money to the mayor's 2002 reelection campaign,” according to the Washington Post. During a campaign rally in August 2002, Robinson allegedly asked DC employees, including his subordinates, to volunteer to work on the mayor’s reelection campaign. Earlier that same year, Robinson allegedly asked city employees to buy tickets to the Kennedy-King dinner, a political fundraiser for the DC Democratic State Committee. He was charged with violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits most DC employees from soliciting political contributions or engaging in political activity while on duty.

In a statement following the settlement of the case, Robinson asserted his innocence. “As I have stated from the beginning,” his statement reads, “no such violations of any federal or District laws or rules ever took place, and … my record of leadership and service to District residents remains unblemished.”

Within a month of resigning, Robinson worked as a consultant for Wal-Mart as the giant big-box chain looked for inroads in the Washington area.

One condition of the settlement was that he could not seek or accept employment with the District of Columbia for two years. That term ended two years ago. So it stands to reason that his entrée into neighborhood politics is a way of testing the waters for a full reentry down the line.

Whatever his alleged indiscretions, Robinson has dedicated many years of his life to public service and plans to take his service to the ANC seriously. “Quite frankly,” he says, “all issues are issues at a neighborhood level first, and then they bubble up to a District-wide level.”

He says he’s been disturbed by the “lack of leadership” he’s witnessed around issues that affect the community, from the spike in crime to cleanliness of the streets to economic development. “There’s a lot of economic development occurring in other areas,” he says. “There are plans for it to grow out eastward. Someone with my background might have a little more to say about that.”

Robinson says he’s always been involved with his neighborhood, even if it’s just working with his neighborhood to make sure it’s clean and the garbage is collected.

In Robinson’s current day job, he works as a consultant, helping build capacity for small and midsize companies.

Gottlieb Simon says new ANC members will be sworn in Jan. 2. They will receive a daylong training session in December.

The exact number of remaining ANC vacancies is unknown since officials are still counting absentee ballots and write-ins. Simon anticipates at least a dozen vacancies when all is said and done. People can then petition to fill the vacancy. If more than two people petition to fill the same seat, a special election will be held in February or March.

The ANC class that will be sworn in this January will be about two-thirds returning incumbents and about one-third new members. Robinson will be the only new member of ANC 6A. All of the commission members ran unopposed except for Chair Joe Fengler and Bill Schultheiss (6A-06), both of whom easily defeated their opponents. Fengler’s opponent, Jabriel Ballentine, was approved to serve on the Economic Development and Zoning Committee at the post-election

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