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The city is finally giving advisory neighborhood commissioners the respect they deserve: As of Feb. 4, the grass-roots pols will be able to whip out city-subsidized business cards thanks to ANC 3F Treasurer Carl Kessler. In late 2001, Kessler, who serves North Cleveland Park, got tired of paying for his own cards out of pocket and approached the District’s ANC chief, Gottlieb Simon. Federal law had long prohibited city funding for business cards, categorizing them as personal items akin to “a pair of shoes or a parasol.” But at Kessler’s urging, Simon argued that “sharing their contact information is an integral and continuing part of commissioners’ advisory responsibilities.” A little over three years later, the D.C. Office of the Attorney General now agrees. Kessler hopes that the new cards will give the commissioners credibility—or at least proof of identity. “When we walk into a meeting…we have no indicator that we actually are ANC commissioners,” he says.

—Constantine Caloudas