Freshman Becomes Youngest D.C. Official
Located in the nation’s capital, The Catholic University of America offers numerous opportunities for students to enter the world of politics. And for one student at CUA, his career in politics has already begun.
On Nov. 18, Isaiah Burroughs, a freshman politics major, became one of the youngest public officials in the District of Columbia. That day Burroughs was sworn into office by D.C. Councilman Kenyan McDuffie as a commissioner within the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
The ANC consists of wards of local government in Washington, D.C., that determine the policies and programs for each neighborhood regarding issues such as traffic and street improvements, parks and recreation, and zoning and police protection.
Burroughs represents ANC Ward 5A04, which includes “representing the University community, as well as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and Capuchin College,” says Burroughs. “I also work between my constituents and D.C. agencies.”
Burroughs was encouraged to look into the ANC and run for it in 2016 by Patrick Mara, executive director of the D.C. Republican Party, whom he met and discussed his political interests with. He says that after attending a few ANC meetings to hear the concerns of the community, he decided that it was a position he was qualified for, and one that he would do his very best at, if elected.
The position requires monthly meetings, which Burroughs balances with his involvement in other organizations, including Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society, working in the Office of Campus Activities, and being in the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.
“I am glad that Isaiah took the initiative to seek the ANC 5A04 seat and have every belief that he will serve the University and his constituents proudly,” says Jon Sawyer, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
One of Burroughs’s first plans of action involves working with other commissioners at D.C. schools to create a student Metro discount program that imitates the programs other major cities use. In the future, Burroughs hopes to involve the community more by holding meetings to discuss local issues.
Burroughs plans to attend law school after graduation and hopes to have a career in criminal prosecution. Working as an ANC commissioner will have a positive impact on his future career, he says.
Not only will he be gaining valuable work experience, but he will also be able to, he says, “make connections with government agencies and officials, many of whom I would be working with as a prosecutor.”
Favorite teacher: Associate Professor James O'Leary
The person who inspired him to go into politics: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Favorite monument in D.C.: Boy Scout Memorial at the Ellipse
Favorite place to study on campus: Flather Hall Lobby