Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen recently announced the appointment of his inaugural Council staff. Allen took office on Jan. 2 and will serve on the Committees on Education, Transportation and the Environment, and Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs.
Serving as Chief of Staff will be Laura Marks, who was Chair of Allen’s Council campaign. Marks previously worked for Democratic political media consulting firm Struble Eichenbaum Communications and Democratic polling firm The Mellman Group. A graduate of Smith College, she lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and two children.
Allen named Anne Phelps his Legislative Director. Phelps most 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. She holds a JD from Cornell Law School and lives in Ward 6 with her husband and daughter.
Nichole Opkins was appointed General Counsel. She most recently served as a Ward 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, and was the Volunteer Coordinator for Allen’s Council campaign. She is an alumna of the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and former Assistant General Counsel for The Association of Corporate Counsel. 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 as Director of Constituent Services and Community Engagement for At-large Councilmember David A. Catania and the Council Education Committee. Jordan is a graduate of Hampton University.
Continuing in her role as Ward 6 Community Liaison will be Naomi Mitchell. Mitchell brings an extensive knowledge of Ward 6 neighborhoods and initiatives from her past eight years in this position. She has previously served in a variety of senior federal government roles related to intergovernmental coordination as well as non-profit community organizing. She has lived in Ward 6 since 1986.
Myisha Atchison will also continue on from Councilmember Wells’ office as Allen’s Scheduler and Administrative Assistant. Atchison is a 13-year veteran of the Council and Allen will be the third Ward 6 Councilmember for whom she has worked. She is a native Washingtonian and lives in the District with her husband.
“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.