1D03 - Jack McKay


First, a little bit of biography. Born in California (1942), spent formative years in Hawaii (attended Barack Obama's school, Punahou), back to California, Stanford University (physics and electrical engineering), then to Carnegie-Mellon U. in Pittsburgh (Ph.D., physics). Moved to Mount Pleasant in 1974, back when Mount Pleasant was a depressed area, being too close to the "riot corridor" of 1968. Paid no attention to neighborhood matters, being wholly occupied with my physics career. In 1999, the ANC did me and my neighbors harm, without a word of consultation with any of us, causing me to discover the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and become involved in neighborhood issues. Determined to change that ANC, I ran successfully for 1D03 Commissioner in 2002, and I've been doing this stuff ever since, my physics career now being merely a memory.

Why did we choose Mount Pleasant, back in 1972? We had good advice from a Park Road resident, that this neighborhood was going to recover from the post-riot depression. And we wanted a place east of Rock Creek Park, not over in "safe" Ward Three, and we wanted a neighborhood that would be racially mixed. In 1972, that was a bit radical. The folks who helped us move from Pittsburgh (black, inner-city folks) thought we were crazy to choose this shabby neighborhood. "Do you know what you're doing?" Bill Ely asked, observing the Mount Pleasant residents on the street at that time. Well, maybe not, but we've never once regretted that decision.

We've been here 42 years, more than half my life. Emily and I aren't about to leave, and we'll stay here just as long as we're physically able to manage in our big old house on 19th Street.

I do a monthly newsletter, hand-delivered to 700-plus residences in my single-member district, a sort of paper blog. Those newsletters, going back to 2002, can be found at dcjack.org