It sometimes seems as if locals have to snake around an ever-larger phalanx of automated messages and citywide call centers to reach out and touch the District government. So last Friday, At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson left his One Judiciary Square perch to hold office hours at the Brookland-Catholic University Metro station. Wearing linen pants and a straw hat, Mendelson didn’t let the sweltering heat slow him down. He darted around the platform, hand outstretched, ready to greet those who came to and from the trains. His staff, meanwhile, assembled around a folding desk topped with tablecloth and handouts, ready to take down citizens’ complaints. “The idea is to get out in the community instead of just sitting in the office and letting people call you,” Mendelson says. “I’m going out and saying, ‘Here’s your government.’” Most residents seemed content to let Mendelson hang on to it. A couple of passers-by complained about quality-of-life issues, like low water pressure or unwanted tree stumps. But many offered the councilmember only a friendly nod and then rushed off to their air-conditioned cars and homes. “I try not to be too aggressive,” shrugged Mendelson.