I hear constantly from ANC Commissioners that they need more resources to do their increasingly difficult jobs. Therefore, I’m proposing a master strategic plan to assess the resources and needs of the ANCs.
Over the past two years I have:
- Increased funding for Commissions by $122,000 – the first increase in years
- Tripled the funding for communications access for those who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have disabilities
- Fully funded language translation services
- Provided more than $160,000 annually to support Commissions with audio-visual technology, printing, website support, and remote meeting support
- Funded implicit bias training for Commissioners
- Added staff to the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (OANC)
Unfortunately, the OANC has been slow to implement these investments. I anticipate more requests from Commissioners this year. Rather than take a patchwork approach of reforms that get stuck in the OANC budget, I want to take a comprehensive look at the modern demands of the ANC position.
ANCs are the official voice for their neighborhoods, representing approximately 2,000 constituents each. ANCs advise the DC government about issues that affect their community, such as parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, restaurants, the police, sanitation, and the District’s annual budget.
Despite their great responsibilities and the diverse demands from their constituents, ANC Commissioners are volunteers with day-jobs, and many do not have any staff. The OANC is meant to provide the technical, administrative and other support ANCs need to make the work of the Commissioners possible.
I hope to fund a strategic plan for the OANC to create a more formal way to funnel the many and, I think, valuable requests for support that I get from Commissioners. This strategic plan would be led by Commissioners and would help the city address the evolving role of ANCs and the tools they need to carry out their duties.
My goal is to get the OANC Strategic Plan funded in the fiscal year 2021 budget. Look for more information on this effort. If you have thoughts on this effort, please contact Shawn Hilgendorf at SHilgendorf@dccouncil.us, or at (202) 741-8593