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Advisory Neighborhood Commission

ANCs, are non-partisan, neighborhood bodies made up of locally elected representatives. These "Commissioners" host monthly meetings open to their communities to hear the community concerns and share the changes that are being made. 

Ward 4 is uniquely positioned to seek change because DC's Mayor, Muriel Bowser is from Ward 4 and formerly served as  councilmember of the DC Council. However, the commissioners and residents I spoke to were only increasingly frustrated by this, noting that the part of the Ward where the Mayor resides does not see the same issues (like trash and rats in the alleys) they do.

The ANCs have a strong desire, and put in great effort, to make living better for their residents. Having the insight but not the ability to implement change makes it slow and frustrating work. You have to really want to solve problems and make the city work to keep the good fight alive.

Bike lanes, speed bumps, and dog parks seem to be things that are getting done. They don’t require anyone to make a hoop-di-do

"We've got to have a city or ward where things work, where there is a spirit to want to resolve the thing."

ANC 4B Commissioner, Jocelyn Johnson (JJ), spoke on the challenges of making change in her position. A long time attendee of ANC meetings, JJ found herself getting frustrated with the lack of action resulting from the meetings and decided to get herself elected to the role to oversee the change she was seeking. Once in the role, however, she found endless barriers to addressing the systemic problems she saw across the city, and received frustrating responses from the council and mayor's offices.  Her time in office has been full of disappointments and she finds herself wondering if her time might be better spent as the resident "hollering at them" again instead.

Engage human capabilities and democracy to increase livability.

It's clear that it takes many active voices to create the change residents seek. Getting involved, learning what's happening, and showing up for progress towards livability is the first  step. Find your ANC here.

Each ANC is further broken down into blocks, with each few blocks having a representative. Fin your representative and their contact information on the "DC site" for your ANC below. Each ANC also makes their meetings and minutes publicly available, find those on the "Commission Site" below.

What's next?

How might we capitalize on the energy and determination to make neighborhoods more livable outside of the traditional government avenues?

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