The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is best known on campus for being that group that slows down construction on campus by introducing endless layers of extra red-tape. Of course the Ward 3D commission is a bit more than that.
Made of small sub-districts within D.C., there are multiple commissions throughout the city - each responsible for giving residents a more direct say in their government. Too bad AU students have no representative in our local commission.
It isn’t like the commission doesn’t provide for student representation - it does. With one sub-district almost exclusively composed of AU students, there is a spot waiting for a student to fill. Instead, the seat has sat empty for years. Even a push by the Student Government in 2006 to fill the seat was unsuccessful after no one stepped forward to run.
There are a host of reasons why the seat has remained empty. One requirement - that any candidate must be registered to vote in D.C. - is particularly onerous. AU’s politically active student body would be remiss to trade in their home state voting rights for the stunted and incomplete D.C. ballot. Unfortunately, it is these same politically active students who would be most likely to run for the commission.
Therefore, two things need to happen:
1. The U.S. government needs to quit tweeting and posting videos on YouTube and finally pass this D.C. voting rights bill. By expanding D.C. voting rights, it would encourage students to switch their voter registration. This would make it easier for students across the city to have their voices heard in their neighborhood commissions.
Furthermore, it would encourage students to become more civic minded in general. Right now, it is all too easy for students to come to D.C., go to school, get drunk and then split for the summer. It is important that students give back to this great city. Giving D.C. the representation it deserves will help this happen.
2. An AU student needs to step up. This is ridiculous. Is no one at AU willing to represent this university in our neighborhood commission? We find that hard to believe. This is a perfect opportunity to cut your political chops, test out your oratory, learn how to take bribes and so on. At an institution teaming with demagogues-in-training, someone must want this job.
So step up to the plate someone. We’re looking at you Congress, and at you too, AU student body. The days of the Ward 3D Advisory Neighborhood Commission unabashedly complaining about drunken students wandering down Massachusetts Avenue need to end. An AU student representative needs to be elected to the commission if we hope to further our relationship with our neighbors. We may drunkenly wander on weekends but on weekdays we do more. The neighborhood should know.
If you would like more information on how to run for the commission, check out their Web site at anc.dc.gov.