When she isn’t running around City Hall as a public information officer and policy analyst for the administration of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, Stephanie Maltz, 35, serves as vice chair of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
The Sharon, Mass. native has lived in the Dupont Circle area since moving to Washington a decade ago after graduating from the Emory University School of Law.
Maltz, who is married and expecting, spoke with us about her relationship with the mayor, her passion for education and her excitement about an upcoming trip to Israel with her husband on a program called Honeymoon Israel.
Tell us about your current position in the Bowser administration.
One of the big things is when the mayor came into office, she had 100-day, first-year, first-term goals, and so we are making sure that we are meeting those goals, keeping on track. We have monthly meetings with all the directors. We have interactions with the public information officers of various agencies. We also work directly with Executive Office of the Mayor’s communications staff just to make sure we are all on the same page, all working together. And making sure we get to highlight some of the great things that are happening in D.C. on public safety and justice issues.
Tell us about getting elected to the Dupont Circle Advisory Commission. What is your involvement in the neighborhood there?
I started going to the ANC meetings and went to the monthly meetings, and I saw what the ANC looked like at the time prior to the first time I ran for election. It was all male-dominated. I actually won my first election in November of 2012. I was one of three women in Ward 2, so of the 38 commissioners in Ward 2 there were only three of us who were women.
I love where we live, it’s a great neighborhood. But I felt like there were opinions and voices that were missing from the discussions of the items that were coming before the ANC, so I decided to get involved because I felt like my voice wasn’t necessarily being represented. It’s been a really great experience. I served as the treasurer and I’m now the vice chair. It’s just a great way to support your neighborhood and be able to know what’s going on. Folks are able to come to you with issues that they have.
Sometimes when you live in a city like D.C. it doesn’t necessarily feel like a community. I feel like I know my neighbors, I know the people at the coffee shop. So it made it more of a community feel and it was a way for me to give back to the community.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Washington and where do you see the city headed?
I think the District is in a good place. I know that financially we’re not in the place we expect to be, but I do think there are some great programs being put in place to focus on some of the areas that need help the most. The mayor is working on a path to the middle class and making [D.C.] a place where people can live regardless of their income spectrum. And I think that’s really important. You don’t want people who’ve lived here for years to feel like they can’t afford to live here, but at the same time you want to welcome new people. You want a good combination of all sorts of different folks who live here, but also make sure things are accessible and affordable.
Are you involved in the local Jewish community?
We do live near the DCJCC. My husband and I are very excited that we just recently got accepted to be part of Honeymoon Israel, a program similar to Birthright but focusing on couples who are either married or in committed partnerships. We are going on the March trip and we’re super-excited. My husband’s not Jewish but we do have friends who are mixed faiths, and part of why we applied to the program was to get more involved with the Jewish community; we do intend to join a synagogue at some point in the near future. I went to Hebrew school. I grew up in a very Jewish area. We want our kid to have those experiences, and I think that it will be great for my husband to go to Israel and be educated and perhaps participate in some other classes so he can understand it just as much as I do.