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The District of Columbia is divided into eight wards and 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) within these wards. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are bodies of local government in Washington, DC. They consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and the District's annual budget.
In each of these areas, the intent of the ANC legislation is to ensure input from an advisory board that is made up of the residents of the neighborhoods that are directly affected by government action. The ANCs are the body of government with the closest official ties to the people in a neighborhood.
The ANCs present their positions and recommendations on issues to various District government agencies, the Executive Branch, and the Council. They also present testimony to independent agencies, boards, and commissions, usually under the rules of procedure specific to those entities. By law, the ANCs may also present their positions to Federal agencies.
Commissioners serve two-year terms and receive no salary. Each Commissioner represents approximately 2,000 residents in his or her Single Member District (SMD) area.