Shaw advisory neighborhood commissioner Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy Joseph Thorpe Jr. may have lost the Nov. 7 election, but he’s not gone yet. At his last meeting as the official leader of ANC 2C, Thorpe and his allies made sure he will remain a force on the commission well after his departure.
Well over an hour into the meeting, Thorpe recognized a grant request from East Central Civic Association, a neighborhood group active within Thorpe’s single-member district. Not mentioned was that the ECCA is now run by Thorpe, who was named the organization’s president on Monday night.
Eloise Wahab, secretary of the ECCA, walked the grant proposal up to Thorpe, who read over the proposal briefly before informing all present that the requested $3,000 was for two laptop computers, accessories, and a digital camera to do a documentary.
Charles Walker, a Shaw resident, asked for the floor. “There’s been an election,” Walker started, “and looking at how the recount result is probably going to go, I think this commission doesn’t have any democratic mandate to be giving out money like this. I think it should be left to the new commission.”
“Thank you,” Thorpe responded, dismissing Walker.
Thorpe won’t be retiring his gavel anytime soon, either. After he resigned as chairperson, the new chair, Barbara Curtis, appointed Thorpe to be parliamentarian, as well as her unpaid executive assistant—marking the first time the ANC has had an executive assistant or a parliamentarian.
As parliamentarian, Thorpe will be responsible for conducting the meetings and maintaining order. In his new post as “executive assistant,” Thorpe’s phone number will remain the official phone number for the ANC.
One resident was confused. “I think you are my representative,” she said to Curtis. “So does that make him my representative?” pointing to Thorpe.
Thorpe, who routinely answers questions for the oft-confused Commissioners Brooks and Curtis, clarified.
“If you want to do any ANC business,” he said, “you’ll be calling [me].”