By Dual Paul Murphy
On November 18th, 2015, freshman Politics major and Vice Chairman of CUA Students for Marco Rubio, Isaiah Burroughs, was sworn by D.C. Councilman, Kenyan McDuffie, as one of the youngest public officials in the District of Columbia.
Burroughs is now a commissioner within the city’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). The ANC for the District of Columbia are bodies of the local government that deal with specific public policies as well as programs that affect local city neighborhoods. Topics that are covered include sanitation, public transportation, infrastructure, local economic development, public safety, and the city’s annual budget.
The D.C. ANC was established in 1974 through a city referendum in correspondence with the District of Columbia Home Rule Act. Enacted by the 93rd United States Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1973, the law created a city council for D.C. and devolved certain powers from federal government to the city itself. Before the ANC was established and the passage of the D.C. Home Rule Act, the federal government had appointed commissioners and had an increase in centralized power.
Burroughs represents ANC 5A04, which encompasses the Catholic University of America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and Capuchin College within the city’s 5th Ward. When asked about why he wanted to become part of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Burroughs said, “I noticed that the seat was vacant for five years and I wanted an opportunity to serve my school.”
As for the policy or legislative agenda next year and beyond, Burroughs is looking into two main ideas for his constituents. The first idea in which he is discussing with commissioners that represent D.C. colleges, is a discounted Metro fare for students. According to his online petition via change.org, Burroughs states, “The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which runs Metro bus and rail services, released a report on Oct. 8th that concluded the organization would benefit from offering college students a special transportation rate for Metrorail. Following the lead of Commissioner Zhurbinskiy at The George Washington University, as well as major cities in America including Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis-St.Paul, Commissioner Isaiah Burroughs (SMD 5A04) of The Catholic University of America will propose a resolution to WMATA to encourage the enactment of this program at the next regularly scheduled ANC 5A meeting. Sign this petition to show your support to push Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A, Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie, and Chairman Mendelson to support a resolution pushing the Metro board to approve unlimited $1 daily rides for college students.”
Another idea Burroughs is looking into as an ANC commissioner is university police accountability. He stated that there is a proposal within the city council in which the jurisdiction of campus police would be expanded in local neighborhood areas such as Monroe Street Market. Burroughs also wants to improve communications between his constituents and the city’s public agencies.