GW student runs for ANC position

GW senior Jeff Marootian announced Friday that he will run for a position on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

Marootian, a 21-year old Munson Hall community facilitator who is running unopposed, would replace GW graduate Steven Mandlebaum as District 2A commissioner in January. Elections are Nov. 7.

The ANC makes policy recommendations to the D.C. government, voicing neighborhood concerns. Commission members serve two-year terms.

Marootian served two years as the SA’s vice president for community affairs and created United Foggy Bottom, a student service program aimed at cleaning Foggy Bottom streets. Marootian, who lost a bid for the SA presidency last spring, is vice president of GW’s College Democrats.

Marootian said his top priorities are bridging the gap between the University and the general community and working to ensure that the Historic Foggy Bottom District is preserved.

Marootian said he would work to redirect the ANC’s current focus on GW if he were elected.

One of the problems I’ve noticed is that all the dialogue between the University, between the leadership of the ANC and between the leadership of other community organizations, is about the University, Marootian said. A lot of things sort of fall by the wayside – those are the issues I outline.

Marootian said he hopes to use his ANC position to help push issues that affect the homeless and seniors with disabilities.

Marootian said he would address the possibility of a tighter enrollment cap to prevent GW encroachment on its surrounding community, but said more research needs to be done to determine the best action.

I don’t think there’s one side that’s 100 percent right or 100 percent wrong, Marootian said. My priority as an ANC commissioner is ensuring that the quality of historic Foggy Bottom is preserved, and I think that this also needs to be a priority for the campus plan.

Marootian said he does not expect his candidacy to change people’s perception of him on campus.

I’ve been very objective in the way that I view issues, Marootian said. I consider GW home, and I consider Foggy Bottom home. I just want to see what is in the best interest of the community happen, and if that means disagreeing with the GW proposal or disagreeing with a community or an ANC proposal, then I’ll do that. I don’t think any administrators or any students here would look down upon me for taking a stand on something I believe in.

Jane Lingo, assistant director of University Relations, who serves as GW’s liaison with the Foggy Bottom/West End community, commended Marootian for his interest in the position, but declined to comment further on the University’s response to Marootian’s candidacy.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, Lingo said.

Although no one had filed in opposition to Marootian with the D.C. Election Commission by the Sept. 8 deadline, Marootian said that he would not rule out the possibility of write-in candidates. Mandlebaum won the position with write-in votes in 1998.

Marootian said he will rely on votes from GW students and Foggy Bottom residents.

I know my support comes from not only students, but other residents as well, he said.

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