Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Charles Allen announces outstanding inaugural Council staff team

Ward 6 Councilmember-Elect Charles Allen Announces Council Staff Appointments
Ward 6 Councilmember-Elect Charles Allen takes office on January 2, 2015, and has announced the appointment of his inaugural Council staff.  We know most of the team he's hired and are thrilled to have such a terrific group contributing to the well-being of Ward 6 and the District. 
Laura Marks, who served with distinction as Chair of Allen’s Council campaign, will be his Chief of Staff.  Marks previously worked for Democratic political media consulting firm Struble Eichenbaum and Democratic polling firm The Mellman Group.  A graduate of Smith College, she lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and two children.  Marks has long been active in neighborhood activities including the local DC public schools, parks, and pedestrian safety issues.  She was an inspired choice to serve as the campaign's chair and is an outstanding hire to help lead the office.  Look for her to be especially involved in Allen's activities on the Council's Committee on Education among others related to schools, parks, and government facilities.
Anne Phelps will serve as Legislative Director. Phelps is an alum of Tommy Wells office and recently served as Committee Director for the Council's Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, Committee Director for the Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning, and General Counsel for the Transportation and Public Works Committee.  Her prior service on the Transportation Committee will be especially helpful to Allen and all of us as he joins the Committee this year.  She holds a JD from Cornell Law School and lives in Ward 6 with her husband and daughter.  She previously served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner on ANC6C.  She's held is great regard inside the Wilson building and around Ward 6, including here on H Street.  No doubt, she had a number of opportunities available to her and her decision to stay at the Wilson building and to run Allen's legislative operation will help him effect policy far beyond that which might typically be expected of a first term member of the body.  
Nichole Opkins was appointed General Counsel.  She most recently served with great effect as a an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner on ANC6B, and was a key player on Allen’s Council campaign where she held the title of Volunteer Coordinator.  Opkins was born in the District and lives in Hill East with her husband and daughter.
Jamaal Jordan will serve as the Director of Constituent Services.  He previously served in a similar capacity for At-large Councilmember David A. Catania.  We haven't worked with him previously, but hear great things and his prior experience addressing constituent needs on the Council positions him well to be a great asset to Allen and to Ward 6. 
Naomi Mitchell will continuing in her role as Ward 6 Community Liaison following eight years on Councilmember Wells staff.  Mitchell brings an extensive knowledge of various Ward 6 neighborhoods and initiatives.  She is a longtime Ward 6 resident and has been a fixture at community meetings throughout the Ward. 
Myisha Atchison will also continue on from Councilmember Wells’ office as Allen’s Scheduler and Administrative Assistant.  Atchison is a thirteen-year veteran of the Council and Allen will be the third Ward 6 Councilmember for whom she has worked.  

“I know first-hand the importance of a strong Council staff and I’m excited to welcome aboard this outstanding team.  They bring a wealth of experience and relationships, both at the Council and in our Ward 6 neighborhoods.  I know this team is as ready as I am to get to work improving our public schools, building age-friendly neighborhoods, helping create and preserve family-based affordable housing, and supporting our small businesses,” said Allen.
Allen and his staff will host an Inaugural Open House on Friday, January 2, 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm, at his new Council office, Suite 406 in the John A. Wilson Building.  More information can be found at http://www.charlesallenward6.com/openhouse

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