Blog: Farewell Letter from Former Commissioner Justine Underhill (2B07)

Former Commissioner Justine Underhill, who resigned from representing 2B07 earlier this year to pursue her career in New York asked that we publish an open letter from her to the neighborhood. On behalf of ANC2B, we cannot thank Justine enough for the incredible effort she put into improving our community.


 

It’s been nearly one year since I made the unlikely decision to become a politician.  Before I became the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) representative for my district, I knew few of my neighbors and had little interest in the typical Commission fare of liquor licenses and zoning minutiae.  But, a bizarre set of circumstances drew me deeply into Dupont Circle political affairs.  An historic church, once frequented by the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt and ravaged by arson in the 1970’s, was to finally be rebuilt – but with the controversial addition of a condominium project.

When I was elected as commissioner last November, my highest priority was to build a consensus on the new construction project that had divided the community. Over the next eight months, I worked with my ANC colleagues to find a middle ground.  Most neighbors supported the consensus, despite strong opposition to the overall project.  At our Mach meeting, we achieved something unexpected: the ANC voted unanimously on a resolution backed by neighbors, and facilitated a civil and calm discourse on the project.

During this time, I started a new job and recently received the exciting news that my work would take me to New York City. This tremendous opportunity unfortunately meant that I had to step down as ANC representative.  Currently, my number one priority is to make sure my district is continuously represented before the ANC, and that there is a smooth transition to the next commissioner.

It has been extremely fulfilling to be able to work with all the neighbors of Dupont Circle, and I have never felt more a part of the community. I will be keeping my place in Dupont and will continue to be involved in neighborhood projects.  I can only express my sincere gratitude to the neighbors, businesses, organizations and fellow ANC representatives of Dupont for the amazing opportunity this has afforded me.

– Justine