The Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are the lowest level of elected government official in the District of Columbia. They are also its most direct link to the citizenry. Commissioners are unpaid, and range it quality from the harmful obstructionist, to the apathetic, to the committed individual working hard to make his/her community the best it can be. One thing's for sure, we need more of the latter group. When you get a commission composed mostly of the latter sort it really can make all the difference.
So, if you have an interest in helping out your neighbors and neighborhood, consider running for ANC. Most ANC seats are uncontested, and that's a shame because competition can bring us more, and better candidates. It can also force us to step up our game. If you want to run, here's what you've go to do:
1. Head down to the Board of Elections and Ethics and pick up a nominating petition;
2. Get it signed by 25 registered voters who live in your SMD (you get extras in case some turn out to be invalid);
3. Turn in your petition by September 3rd.
You should probably also spread the news, and get feedback on which issues are important to your neighbors. Attend community meetings (hopefully you already do this). Talk to people in your community about their concerns. You should probably make up some flyers outlining your platform, and introducing yourself. You can distribute them door to door, and outside of polling places on election day.