Restoration Society Weighs in on Redistricting

Restoration Society Weighs in on Redistricting

by Larry Janezich

On May 31st, Elizabeth Purcell, President of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, sent the following letter detailing reasons for keeping Ward six intact, to members of the Redistricting Subcommittee and copied all members of the City Council.

PO Box 15264

Washington, DC 20003-0264

Councilmember Michael Brown

Councilmember Jack Evans

Councilmember Phil Mendelson

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

May __, 2011

Subject: Redistricting

Dear Councilmember Brown, Councilmember Evans and Councilmember Mendelson:

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) is a community organization of some 1,000 members.  For more than 50 years CHRS has worked to promote and protect all aspects of the well-being of greater Capitol Hill.

The statute on redistricting, DC Code § 1-1011.01, refers to equal Ward populations within a plus or minus 5% deviation range.  The current population of Ward 6 is within 5% of one-eighth of the DC’s 2010 population of 610,723 and no adjustment of the Ward 6 boundaries is required.  The redistricting statute also requires “the promotion of a rational public policy, including but not limited to respect for the political geography of the District, the natural geography of the District, neighborhood cohesiveness, or the development of compact and contiguous districts.” That public policy is expressed in the statutory provision that allows a greater than 5% deviation in Ward populations and is a controlling guideline in any redistricting decision.  In making decisions on redistricting CHRS urges the Council to be guided by neighborhood cohesiveness.

Our community, which includes Hill East and Rosedale, share common concerns and common problems on transportation, public safety, and economic development.  These concerns are best addressed by having the entire area within one Ward, with one councilmember, one Ward DDOT planner, one Ward city planner, etc.  Our community already has one major development project east of 17th Street, SE: Reservation 13.  The entire Capitol Hill community wants a successful development there, one that will be an asset to greater Capitol Hill.  The future of RFK Stadium, also east of 17th Street, SE, will also affect everyone on Capitol Hill.  As someone involved in community affairs who has lived one block from 17th Street, SE for over 20 years, I know that the best way for us to make progress is to remain as one Ward.

Thank you for your consideration of this letter as the redistricting process moves forward.


Elizabeth Purcell

President, Capitol Hill Restoration Society


Chairman Kwame R. Brown                

Councilmember Michael A. Brown      

Councilmember Jack Evans                  

Councilmember Phil Mendelson           

Councilmember David A. Catania                  dcatania@

Councilmember Vincent Orange                    vorange@

Councilmember Jim Graham                           jgraham@

Councilmember Mary M. Cheh                      mcheh@

Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.                 hthomas@

Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander            Yalexander@

Councilmember Muriel Bowser                      mbowser@

Councilmember Tommy Wells                        Twells@

Councilmember Marion Barry                        mbarry@

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