The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission is accepting applications to fill an empty seat previously held by a GW student. The ANC is split into more than 35 separate panels representing District neighborhoods and discusses issues that affect D.C. residents and makes recommendations to the city council and mayor.
The local ANC 2A seat has been vacant since the resignation of Josh Singer, who graduated in May. The district covers the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods, including most of the GW campus. Statistics regarding the percentage of students living in the ANC district could not be obtained from city officials.
In order to run for the open seat, a person must be a registered voter in D.C., live within the boundaries of the seat for the past six months and collect 25 signatures from other registered residents of the area. Commission applications are available at the Board of Elections, located at 441 4th Street N.W., off Judiciary Square.
Singer, who said he enjoyed his time on the ANC, urges students to run.
“Without that voice, the students’ concerns can’t be spoken, and the University’s concerns can’t be spoken,” Singer said.
“We’re such a politically active campus that it would be a shame not to be involved with the ANC,” said Michael Akin, a government relations assistant in the University’s government, international and corporate affairs office.
Richard Price, who has served on the commission since 1996, said student-commissioners usually take a pro-University stance on issues that involve GW.
GW graduate Jeff Marootian, Singer’s predecessor, said being a commissioner allowed him to present students’ perspectives on issues such as security and GW zoning disputes.
“While residents may be comfortable at one level of security, students may want a greater presence,” Marootian said. “When I considered an issue, I took students’ interests in mind, which is something that many commissioners didn’t want to think about.”
Marootian resigned the seat after one and a half years.
“The students have one agenda, the University has another and the residents have a third,” Singer said. “It’s very important that the residents realize that we’re here, we’re not going away, and ignoring us is not only unconstitutional but morally wrong.”
–Michael Barnett contributed to this report