Friday afternoons are always especially busy at the Near Northeast Community Improvement Corp.
Last Friday, when the phone system was jammed with calls from people looking for help - emergency food, money or shelter - Fred Wilson came in and helped answer the phones.
Wilson is a member of the non-profit organization's board of directors, a volunteer. A retired government worker, Wilson said that he believes in CIC and since he has the time, he helps out whenever he can.
"I have always believed that I should have a say wherever I put my money - whether it is in church or anything else," Wilson said. CIC is supported by federal tax dollars as an anti-poverty agency for the Northeast section of the city.
"There was a young man in my neighborhood who grew up with my son. When he got out of high school, CIC got him his first job," Wilson said. "I was always impressed with that."
Once a year, members of the board of directors of CIC are elected from the community, according to Idus Homes, executive director of CIC.
Thirteen members of the 29-member board of directors will be elected June 25 form noon until 6 p.m., Holmes said. Candidates who live in the area must file petitions by tomorrow. The area is bordered by East Capitol Street, the Anacostia River, Eastern Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and Second Street NE.
"The board sets policy for the agency," Holmes said. "CIC is responsible for providing human and social services for 84,000 people in the near Northeast."
Since the agency was formed in 1965, it has been the policy to elect rather than appoint the board of directors, Holmes said.
"Since 1964, antipoverty program agencies have been required to have maximum feasible participation of the people they serve.
"CIC uses the democratic process of elections because the process is in the letter as well as the spirit of maximum feasible participation," he said.
Members of the board of directors serve two-year terms. Candidates must live in the CIC service area 90 days before the election.
To be placed on the ballot, each candidate must file a nominating petition with signatures of 25 persons 18 years or older who live in the election district from which he is seeking to be elected. The area contains six election districts.
Petitions are due at the CIC offices 1125 H St. NE by 5:30 p. m. Friday. Further information on the election may be obtained from the CIC office. 397-4200.