ANC6A Fights Redistricting Plan in Order to Keep AN6A Together

ANC6A met Thursday night to push back on redistricting in the ANC.

ANC6A Fights Redistricting Plan in Order to Keep AN6A Together

by Larry Janezich

Posted December 2, 2021

ANC6A is pushing back hard against the redistricting plan to bring Ward 7 into the north end of Hill East.

The Commission held a special virtual meeting on Thursday night to consider a letter to the city council, stating that the redistricting map proposed by the Subcommittee on Redistricting’s fails ANC6A, single member district ANC6A08, and Capitol Hill as a whole.  Commissioner Brian Alcorn, whose ANC6A08 single member district would be most affected, sponsored the 14 page letter. The redistricting proposal would bisect his constituency, leaving 1178 in Ward 6 and moving 1181 to Ward 7.

Last November, the ANC agreed that all of ANC6B should remain together, and Kingman Park should be returned to Ward 6.  The response of the Redistricting Subcommittee was a redistricting map returning Kingman Park to Ward 6, but trimming the edge of ANC6A closest to RFK Stadium – Alcorn’s single member district. 

Council Chair Mendelsohn has said that the map may be fine-tuned but not revamped.  Alcorn’s letter urged the council to make minor adjustments which would result in keeping ANC6A together. 

The letter proposes adjusting ANC6A borders to accomplish this and offers several alternatives based on using a more natural boundary instead of using 15th Street as an arbitrary boundary to define a concept of nebulous Hill East which is targeted for annexation to Ward 7. 

  1. Use East Capitol Street or Independence Avenue as a more natural boundary.

And:

  1. Return Kingman Park to Ward 7

A copy of the letter which discusses boundary alternatives in detail and provides maps of the proposals can be found here:  https://anc6a.org/wp-content/uploads/ANCA120221.pdf

Debate on the proposed letter was brief, reflecting the consensus of the Commission.  Commissioners Sondra Phillips-Gilbert, Phil Toomajian, and Mike Soderman were all strongly in favor of the letter, which passed on a unanimous 7 – vote. 

Here’s the schedule for redistricting:

  • December 7, 2021: First vote by the full Council on the ward redistricting bill
  • December 21, 2021: Second vote on the ward redistricting bill
  • December 2021: Ward Task Forces (which provide recommendations on ANC redistricting) start meeting
  • February 2022: Ward Task Forces report out recommendations
  • May 2022: Subcommittee mark-up of the ANC redistricting bill
  • June 2022: Council votes on the ANC redistricting bill

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ANC6B Debate on Response to Redistricting Hill East Turns Heated

Wednesday night’s ANC6B Special Call Meeting on Redistricting

ANC6B Debate on Response to Redistricting Hill East Turns Heated

By Larry Janezich

Posted December 2, 2021

In a contentious four hour meeting, ANC6B backed away from a proposal saying it had no opposition to moving Hill East into Ward 7, and ended up supporting sending a letter to the City Council listing the issues it has with the proposed redistricting map approved by the Redistricting Subcommittee.

More than 100 residents joined the virtual meeting and heard from CM Charles Allen, CM at Large Silverman, Council Chair Phil Mendelsohn, and CM at Large Henderson. 

The special meeting of the ANC was called by three Hill East Commissioners who would see their single member districts moved from Ward 6 to Ward 7 under the proposed redistricting map.  The three commissioners – Corey Holman, Alissa Horn, and Edward Ryder – supported a letter to the City Council saying that ANC6B does not oppose the move to Ward 7, but recommended several issues the council should consider to remedy deficiencies in the proposed map.  A fourth affected commissioner, Denise Krepp, vehemently opposed the letter saying that voting for it was a vote to move Hill East into Ward 7. 

During the meeting, numerous commissioners and residents commented on the proposed redistricting map, the redistricting process, and their personal feelings about moving Hill East to Ward 7.  Comments were varied, with many seemingly resigned to making the best of a situation they regarded as inevitable, some opposed to the move, and some who supported it. 

CM Charles Allen said, “I don’t like this…losing any part of Ward 6.  To say that neighbors, people, leaders will now be in a different ward is not something I enjoy…but I know it will happen.”  He said communities will not be separated by Ward lines – parking, school districts and police districts will stay the same.  And he shared concerns of residents – “some,” he said, “are happy, some are fired up and unhappy…some support moving the Ward 7 boundary further west, which is not something I support….I have worked with you and made a hell of a lot of progress and these relationships and work don’t just disappear.” 

Council Chair Mendelsohn noted the council is well along in the process and cautioned residents not to expect radical changes to the map between now the first council vote on the map next Tuesday; “For us to make changes to boundaries between 7 and 8 is not likely – that would open things up again.  The council looks at all the wards and how they will be affected and I’m not hearing that as part of the discussion tonight.  It’s not the end of the world to split neighborhoods between wards or ANCs.  There are advantages and disadvantages.  It’s inevitable to split communities – a multiplicity of representation can be advantageous.” 

The meeting was into the fourth hour when commissioners began a debate on the proposed letter to the council, and procedures went far astray from Roberts Rules of Order.  Acting ANC6B Chair Steve Holtzman had to caution commissioners about the use of inappropriate language.  The debate became heated as voices were raised and accusations made regarding motives of commissioners.   

The commission appeared to be at an impasse, and given the lateness of the hour there seemed to be no appetite for word-smithing the proposal.  Standing in the way of a vote were references concerning 6B’s lack of opposition to losing residents to Ward 7.  Long-serving commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg proposed stripping out all the controversial language including the declaration that “ANC6B is not opposed” to the move of Hill East into Ward 7.  After considerable tinkering, the letter took a form that a majority of commissioners could support, and it passed on at 6 – 3, as follows:  Those vote aye:  Sroufe, Holtzman, Holman, Ryder, Wright, Horn.  Those voting nay:  Samolyk, Oldenburg, Krepp

A slightly edited version of the main points of the letter is as follows:

ANC 6B has thoroughly reviewed the Subcommittee Map and has the following comments:

  • Ward 7’s population is simply too small, 114 residents above the legal minimum, while not using natural features or census tracts as the boundaries. Ward 7’s population should be roughly equal to Ward 6 and 8.
  • The approved map splits a coherent commercial corridor in Eastern Ward 6, focused on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue Se, and 14th Street SE.
  • Census Tract 71, the triangle bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue SE, 11th Street SE, and the Anacostia River, should remain intact and not be split down Potomac Avenue SE as this small, isolated portion of Ward 6 forms a coherent community of interest.
  • The approved map likely means the end of the SMD solely comprised of residents of the DC Jail as the west of the river portion in Ward 7 would only be able to constitute a 5-person ANC. The DC Jail SMD has always been in an ANC of at least 6 commissioners to allow for regular vacancies as residents return or are sent out of state.
  • Less than 100 residents would live in buildings contributing to the Capitol Hill Historic District in Ward 7 along Potomac Ave SE and K Street SE. These residents would be represented in an ANC where over 99% of the residents will be in non-designated buildings and have no interaction with historic building regulations.
  • The 1,565 residents in Census Tracts 69 and 71 were not included in any of the draft discussion maps (despite many submitted map proposals including this area). Residents feel blindsided and voiceless in these decisions as most did not participate in the Ward 6 or citywide hearings as they noted they were unaffected by the discussion maps.

Thursday, December 2, ANC6A will hold a virtual Special Meeting on Redistricting at 7:00pm. To join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/3p95vNI     

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Redistricting Plan Would Move 10 Ward 6 ANC Commissioners to other Wards

Redistricting Plan Would Move 10 Ward 6 ANC Commissioners to other Wards

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 29, 2021

The proposed redrawing of Ward 6 boundaries will move six ANC commissioners on or near Capitol Hill to Wards 7 and 8.  It will also move four Ward 6 ANC6E commissioners in Shaw and Mt. Vernon Square into Ward 2. 

Capitol Hill Corner regularly covers ANC6A, 6B, and 6D.  Here are the commissioners in those ANCs who would be affected:

  • 6A08 – Brian Alcorn – to Ward 7 (the new boundaries splits Alcorn’s single member district and he lives in the half that will go to Ward 7)
  • 6B10 – Denise Krepp – to Ward 7 – (the whole of her single member district would go to Ward 7)
  • 6B09 – Alison Horn – to Ward 7 – (the whole of her single member district would to Ward 7)
  • 6B07 – Edward Ryder – to Ward 7 (the new boundaries bisect Ryder’s single member district and he lives in the half that will go to Ward 7)
  • 6B06 – Corey Holman – to Ward 7 (the new boundaries narrowly puts Holman’s residence in Ward 7, leaving the most of the residents in his single member district in Ward 6)
  • 6D07 – Edward Daniels – to Ward 8 – (the whole of his single member district moves to Ward 8)

Both ANC6A and ANC6B are holding special meetings on the City Council’s Redistricting Subcommittee plan to move parts of those ANCs into Ward 7.

On Wednesday, December 1, ANC6B will hold a virtual Special Call Meeting on Ward Redistricting at 7:30pm.  CM Charles Allen will attend.  To join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/2ZAqocB 

Thursday, December 2, ANC6A will hold a virtual Special Meeting on Redistricting at 7:00pm. To join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/3p95vNI   

CHC asked commissioners to comment on the special meetings and the proposed redistricting map.

Commissioner Corey Holman:  When the three discussionmaps did not include changes south of Pennsylvania Avenue, many of those residents disengaged from the process and their voices deserve to be heard.  Moving Ward 7 west of the river must serve those residents best and the current map fails to do that…the area west of the river would be too small for a functional ANC.  The three discussion maps were the product of an apolitical process.   Once politics got involved we ended up with a bad map. 

Commissioner Denise Krepp:  The proposed DC Council redistricting plan is shocking for two reasons. First, the plan deliberately divides a 100 year old community, violating the Council’s mandate in preserving neighborhoods.  Second, Councilmember Allen supports it, leading neighbors to question why Allen isn’t fighting to keep Hilleast in Ward 6. Why is he willing to lose Hilleast instead of Eastern Market?”  [Editor’s Note: CM Allen said that he was surprised to learn that someone was trying to speak for him and attributing to him a position which he has publicly stated the opposite of numerous times.] 

Commissioner Edward Ryder:  I was disappointed to see portions of my SMD moved to Ward 7 in the “final” redistricting map …when those areas had not been included in the draft discussion maps…many residents felt blindsided…..  While I do not oppose our area becoming part of Ward 7, I think there can be improvements made to the current map…the portion of Ward 7 west of the river is not big enough and I worry about it becoming a forgotten corner without sufficient representation at an ANC level.  Speaking for my SMD, I do not want to see our area split along Potomac Avenue.  There are several issues with using Potomac Avenue as the dividing line…it splits Potomac Gardens and Hopkins between two wards.  While both are separate and have different needs and issues, having both…in the same ward, and ideally same SMD (as they are now), can help ensure that common needs …can be jointly addressed….

Commissioner Alison Horn:  At this point, it appears highly likely that the DC Council will pass a map that redistricts 6B09 to Ward 7. Councilmember Silverman said often in the public hearings that change is difficult, but change we must.  My position continues to be that the Council should either leave current 6B09 in Ward 6, which it seems they’re not inclined to do, or move the line far enough West to make a viable full ANC commission of west of the River Ward 7 to continue to work on traffic safety, zoning, etc.  The map passed by the committee isn’t great, in my opinion, because the Ward 7 population is nearly the bare minimum allowable & the West of the River Ward 7 population is barely large enough for an ANC.  If they must move the line they should move it even further West to encompass more of the institutions 6B09 residents frequent.

Here’s the schedule for redistricting:

  • December 7, 2021: First vote by the full Council on the ward redistricting bill
  • December 21, 2021: Second vote on the ward redistricting bill
  • December 2021: Ward Task Forces (which provide recommendations on ANC redistricting) start meeting
  • February 2022: Ward Task Forces report out recommendations
  • May 2022: Subcommittee mark-up of the ANC redistricting bill
  • June 2022: Council votes on the ANC redistricting bill

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The Week Ahead…Special Meetings on Redistricting & Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…Special Meetings on Redistricting & Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Highlights:

Both ANC6A and ANC6B are holding special meetings on the City Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting plan to move parts of those ANCs into Ward 7. 

Monday, November 29

ANC 6A Community Outreach will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Christ City Church Grant, Rev, Dr. Matthew Watson, Pastor of Teaching and Outreach; Sarah Bell, Elder.
  • ANC6A Bylaws Review.

Tuesday, November 30

ANC6B will hold a virtual Executive Committee meeting to set the agenda for the next meeting of the full ANC on December 14. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/event/executive-committee-meeting-11/?instance_id=118

Wednesday, December 1

ANC6B will hold a virtual Special Call Meeting on Ward Redistricting at 7:30pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/event/anc-6b-special-call-meeting-on-ward-redistricting-wednesday-december-1-2021/?instance_id=165

Agenda:

  • ANC feedback and comments – Ward Redistricting and the proposal to move parts of ANC6B into Ward 7.
  • Invited:
  • CM Charles Allen (confirmed)
  • CM Elissa Silverman
  • CM Phil Mendelson
  • CM Vince Gray

Thursday, December 2

ANC6A will hold a virtual Special Meeting on Redistricting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Agenda:

  • Suggested Motion: ANC6A send a letter to all DC in response to the Redistricting Subcommittee’s map proposal and report.
  • Community Comment

Saturday, December 4

H St Movemberfest is back in person this year on Saturday December 4 @ 3pm at Little Miss Whiskeys.  The Queen Vic is providing the food and DC Brau is providing the beverages. Tickets are $65 https://movemberfestpigroast21.eventbrite.com/  which buys you all you can eat and drink and entrance to the event with 100% of proceeds going to The Movember Foundation to raise awareness of men’s health issues. www.movember.com  Proof of Covid vaccination at check in will be required.

The event features a cash raffle with hundreds of dollars in prizes from:

  • Maryland Terrapins Basketball Tickets
  • Streetcar 82
  • Pizzeria Paradiso
  • 2 Fifty Texas BBQ
  • Game Kastle
  • Toki Underground
  • Catalyst Hot Dogs

Event producers have partnered with Lance Macon of Metro Home Managers for two exciting promotions.   Macon will be matching dollar for dollar every prize we give away in the raffle with a donation to The Movember Foundation.  For the second promotion, for any client referral mentioning the Movemberfest Pig Roast that buys, sells, or rents a home Macon will donate 5% of his commission to the charity of that customer’s choice as well as 5% to The Movember Foundation.

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Capitol Hill Art League: New Members’ Art at Frame of Mine on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Capitol Hill Art League: New Members’ Art at Frame of Mine on Barracks Row

The Capitol Hill Art League is sponsoring an exhibit of the art of new members to the Art League, on-going through January 7.  Frame of Mine is at 545 8th Street, SE – Barracks Row.

The work of the following artists is featured:  Donna Amedeo, Tammy Barnes, Martin de Alterlis, Mimi Guernica, Bennett Lowenthal, Rifat Taher, Sharon Thomas-Parks, Anne Thompson, Marcie Wolf-Hubbard.

The works can also be viewed online at the Capitol Hill Art League website:  https://www.caphillartleague.org/2021-new-members-show/ or at https://www.frameofminetoo.com/

The Capitol Hill Art League is a visual arts program of The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW). For more information about the Art League, visit the website at www.caphillartleague.org

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The Week Ahead and Updates on New Bike Lanes, New Restaurants & H Street Auto Zone

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 21, 2021

The Week Ahead…

It’s a pretty quiet week ahead, with only one ANC committee meeting:

ANC6A’s Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here: https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Discussion of application of Milk & Honey at 1116 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Restaurant License.

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Crowd Celebrates Arrival of Holidays at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Last Night – Photo Essay

Crowd Celebrates Arrival of Holidays at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Last Night

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 20, 2021

Some 800 Capitol Hill residents turned out on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Saturday night for the annual lighting of the Capitol Hill Holiday Tree.  The gathering far exceeded numbers seen in         previous years and included Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Council Member Charles Allen, and Council Member at Large Elissa Silverman. 

Kathy Didden, representing the family of George Didden, III – the community benefactor and founding president of the Capitol Hill BID in whose honor the tree was planted in 2007 – threw the switch which lit the tree as darkness fell across the Plaza at 6:00pm. 

In 2007, days before the tree’s dedication ceremony, Didden fell ill and in light of his precarious position, the BID decided to install a larger tree (nick-named “Big George”) in his honor on the NE Quadrant near what is now the children’s playground.  On December 7 of that year, the tree was illuminated for the first time to welcome the holidays.  That tree succumbed to disease in 2019.  There are plans to replace it as part of the redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza; in the meantime, this year the return of the holiday season was marked by lighting of the original tree (known as “Little George”) – now 30 feet tall – near the entrance to the Metro on the NW Quadrant.  This year’s ceremony included the re-naming of “Little George” which will hence forth be known by Didden’s nickname, “Sonny.”

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LBGTQ Dance Bar and Café Coming to Barracks Row in the former District Soul Food

LBGTQ Dance Bar and Café Coming to Barracks Row in the former District Soul Food

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 16, 2021

The City Paper’s Laura Hayes reported yesterday that the As You Are Bar will open sometime next year on Barracks Row in the space formerly occupied by District Soul Food and before that  Banana Café, at 500 8th Street, SE.    

Last July, co-owners Rachel Pike and Jo McDaniel introduced their concept for a new bar/café with a dance floor, catering to the LGBTQ community intending to open at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, the former site of Stanton and Greene.  The idea met with support and approval from those attending a virtual community meeting but the landlord decided to rent the space to another party.

At an early October community meeting, Pike and McDaniel unveiled a new plan to lease the former District Soul Food space which closed last May for the As You Are Bar and Café.  Yesterday, City Paper reported that the duo has signed a lease for the new location on Barracks Row.  The concept anticipates a daytime café’ and an evening bar on the first floor and an upstairs dance floor for those 18 and older. 

At the October meeting, nearby neighbors raised concerns about noise from the venue and from late night departing patrons.  The hybrid community meeting took place in the Community Church’s Barracks Row Miracle Theater and was attended by 13 residents in person and 9 on line.  The noise issues had been problematic for the previous occupant of the space, District Soul Food, though less so for the Banana Café. 

According to City Paper, McDaniel and Pike expect ANC6B to protest their liquor license application, but that may not necessarily be the case.  The owners are pursuing soundproofing the building and it might be hard for the ANC to protest a license given good faith efforts to address neighbors’ concerns and the current tendency of the ANC to support new retail on Barracks Row which is struggling to recover from Covid-driven closures. 

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The Week Ahead…Pinseria Opens…and Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…

By Larry Janezich

Posted November 14, 2021

Monday, November 15

Special joint virtual meeting of ANC6A and ANC6B Transportation and Public Space Committees at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Discussion of DDOT proposed changes to 17th Street from Benning Road, NE to Barney Circle, SE; 19th Street from C Street, NE, to Potomac Avenue, SE; and Potomac Avenue, SE, from 17th to 19th Streets, SE.

Wednesday, November 17

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among the items on the draft agenda:

  • 905 L Street, NE.  Zoning Adjustment for a special exception from the rear yard requirements and for an area variance from the lot occupancy requirements to construct a rear deck to an existing, attached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit.
  • 1207 H Street, NE.  (Zoning Application.)  Informational session about the request for a map amendment to change the property from its current NC-14 zoning (Mixed Use: Medium Density Residential and Medium Density Commercial)to NC-15 (medium density mixed use) which permits a height of 70 feet and an FAR of 4.8, and will be subject to the enhanced affordability requirements under the Inclusionary Zoning program.
  • 820 Constitution Ave, NE.  Historic Preservation Application.   Historic review of the proposed construction of a two-story accessory building at the rear of the property that will not increase the number of dwelling units.
  • 628 9th Street, NE.  Zoning Adjustment Application.  Request for special exception zoning relief from the rear setback requirements to construct a 2-story rear deck on the rear of an existing single-family rowhome in the RF-1 Zone.
  • 647 16th Street, NE.  (Zoning Adjustment Application.) Informational Presentation for a project to add one floor and extend out the back of the building to create two flats.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society will present “The New Deal in Washington DC”, a free, virtual Preservation Cafe, on Wednesday, November 17, 6:30 pm.

For additional details and to join the meeting, go here: https://chrs.org/new-deal-in-washington/

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Photo Essay – American Legion Post 8 Remembers Veterans Day

Photo Essay:  Day – American Legion Post 8 Remembers Veterans Day

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 11, 2021

Veterans Day honors military veterans who served in the US Armed Forces.  It is always on November 11 – and marks the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.   American Legion Post 8, at 3rd and D Streets, SE, commemorates the day with a ceremony in Folger Park on Capitol Hill.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen paid tribute to those who served and who pass their morals and values on to the community and instill in young people – like the Boy Scouts who help with the ceremony – the knowledge of what service means.

C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of the Servicemenbers Legal Defense Network delivered the Veterans Day Address and asked the audience to reflect on the meaning of inclusion in the Armed Forces on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Osburn said, “When barriers drop, extraordinary individuals emerge to make our nation a better place…that’s what it means to be an American.”

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