Jean A. Davis, a community activist and former City Council aide, has been named city coordinator for the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Executive Secretary Martin Schaller is expected to announce her appointment today.
Davis is the first coordinator of the 18-month-old system of neighborhood government.
As an aide to Council member Willie Hardy, Davis was involved in setting up the ANC system in Ward 7 in January 1975.
"Mrs. Hardy appointed 21 people to serve on a task force in Ward 7; their job was to determine the duties and responsibilities of the ANC and to inform the electroate about hwo the process was to work.
"My primary responsibility was to explain the legislation that made the ANCs possible," Davis said.
Since then, Davis said, she had been an active participant in ANC 7C in far Northeast.
Her primary job now is to develop "a timely and orderly flow of information between the District government agencies, the City Council and the ANCs," she said.
There has been a temporary information office in Room 218 of the District Building, headed by Janet Wilson. Wilson is expected to become administrative officer under Davis.
"I think the ANCs are exactly what we need here. I think the sstem will help remove the mystique of government.
"For such a long time here, citizens have seen government as manipulative. But now that we have elective government, including the ANCs, that is beginning to change.
"This new system gives people a feeling that they have a stake in government and that they are not being manipulated," Davis said.
Davis and her staff - including an administrative officer, secretary and clerk-typist - will have offices in room 116 of the District Building.
And, she say, she is just feeling her way.
"Everybody is so new to this process; my duties are being developed as the needs arise.
"I see this as an information job. We will have to know here to tell the ANCs to go for help with a particular problem when they call us for a constituent," Davis said.
"The one thing people don't want to hear when they ask for help is a vague response and a lot of bureaucratic red tape. We're here to try to cut through the red tape," she said.
Davis said that her office isn't set up to tell ANC representatives who call her what the various District government agencies can and can't do.
"We can tell the specific person in the Department of Human Resources, for example, who can tell them what the rules are," she said.
A priority item on her list of things to do is to make sure that the ANCs know through the D.C. Register what the government agencies are doing that may affect their neighborhoods.
"We have to make sure that system works so that the ANCs can make sure that nothing in their neighborhood is done without their being appraised," she said.
Another priority item on her list conce=ns office hours. Now, the office is open weekdays from 8:15 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
"We are considering going on flex-time. So many of the ANC commissioners work during the day that we have to consider changing our hours to serve them better," she said.
"We can't anticipate what all of their needs are. We need to hear from them," Davis said.
Phone numbers for the new office in room 116 of the District Building are 629-5185 and 629-5186.
In addition to having served as committee clerk to Hardy, Davis was press secretary for Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) for three years.