By Paul Holston
Over 30 people, including members of the Howard University community and residents of the D.C., attended the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B monthly meeting Wednesday, Sept. 3. Being that 1B’s jurisdiction includes Howard’s campus, the meeting was held in Founder’s Hall of the Founder’s Library and also served as a farewell to ANC1B10 Commissioner Allyson Carpenter, a Howard university junior and political science major, who is heading to the University of Oxford to study for an academic year.
ANC1B local officials discussed a variety of topics, including new developments and businesses around the area, discussions of both D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s “Safer, Stronger D.C.” agenda and plans to end homelessness in the city by 2020. ANC1B local officials also discussed safety on Howard University’s campus, noise and the upcoming Homecoming festivities.
“This year I have implemented and added to our line-up community service-based events, as well as different drives to give back to the community. That’s something the university stands on,” said Shaniece Pyles, chair of the 2015 Howard University Homecoming Steering Committee.
Pyles further announced that there would be changes being implemented to both the Homecoming Parade and 5K-race routes. She also provided some clarification on how the Homecoming Steering Committee intended to structure this year’s “Yardfest” event.
“[Like last year], we are bringing back the family-oriented, community-based activities for this year’s ‘Yardfest,’” she said.
Newly appointed ANC1B04 Commissioner Lakisha Brown expressed that she wanted to encourage more of the Howard community, specifically students, to participate in ANC meetings in order to getting involved with the neighborhood that many of them reside in. As an ANC commissioner, Brown believes the commissioners to be the link between the neighborhood, government officials and specifically, the Executive Office of the Mayor.
“It’s very important because a lot of issues are discussed [about the community] and their voices can be heard,” Brown said.
Since May 2014, Carpenter has held the ANC1B10 Commissioner position. Due to her upcoming departure, Carpenter hopes for another Howard student to take her place as a local official.
“I was proud of my time as ANC as I think we got a lot of good work done. But when I ran, it was my goal to reconnect Howard University and the community…and I don’t think that goal is accomplished [yet],” said Carpenter. “I am eager to see another Howard University student to fill the seat….It will be a process of course and won’t happen overnight, but I think that Howard is taking the right steps to make it happen.”
Before the meeting closed, Carpenter left attendees with final thoughts about her upcoming, vacant position.
“For the next 10, 15 years, I hope that pretty soon we have about 3 [or more] Howard students to keep this seat,” Carpenter said. “The challenge is finding people who are [selfless], genuinely passionate about the community and passionate about serving.”
[Story was Published in Howard University’s “The Hilltop” Student Newspaper 10Sept2015]