One day shortly after I moved to Ward 7 I decided to ride my bike to Anacostia Park. I was shocked to see that there were paved paths for pedestrian traffic. For years there had only been the vehicle lanes to facilitate all types of traffic. Now that's what a call a park! A place where you can walk, jog, bike, and enjoy the park safely without worrying about dodging cars. I thought "boy I wish Fort Dupont Park had this!" So I decided to look into it!
The next day I emailed my ward representative, Councilmember Yvette Alexandria. I was quite surprised I received a response that same day! Ms. Alexandria thanked me for my email, explained some budgetary issues that might come in to play and asked the Director of Constituent Services for Ward 7, Amin Muslim, to provide contact information for my civic association and ANC rep! She also requested that he follow up with me, and he did!
It turns out that since the park is under the National Park Service there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get things done, but I was amazed at how responsive the councilwoman was.
This experience showed me how accessible local government can be. Many issues that shape and change communities are first addressed at civic association meetings and ANC meetings. And guess what? They are open to the public.
You may not be able to change the world at a civic association meeting, but you will gain insight about the happenings in your neighborhood and possibly change your little corner of the world!