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Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) are locally elected bodies which 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 -- "advice" -- 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. Under certain conditions, ANC advice must be given "great weight" by those agencies, meaning that they must acknowledge the advice and explain why they do or do not accept it.