Plans Emerge for Downsizing ANC6B – ANC6C’s Push to Expand Would Absorb 1275 Residents Near US Capitol

Plans Emerge for Downsizing ANC6B – ANC6C’s Push to Expand Would Absorb 1275 Residents Near US Capitol

by Larry Janezich

ANC 6C’s Special Call meeting of August 29th, which called for an expansion of its territory into the historical Capitol Hill neighborhood south of East Capitol Street, has prompted the creation of six new maps from Ward 6 Redistricting Taskforce members.  All of the Taskforce maps ratify a proposed change that would shift some 1200 Capitol Hill residents currently in 6B to ANC 6C.  The commissioner most affected would be former ANC 6B Chair, Dave Garrison, who would be a resident of ANC 6C if the change is ultimately approved.  Commissioner Ivan Frishberg would also lose some of his constituents to ANC 6C.

ANC 6C commissioners suggested the expansion south of East Capitol following the loss of 3 of its current single member districts to the proposed new ANC 6E.  The new ANC 6E will be comprised of the current ANC 2C (DC’s historic Shaw neighborhood) and the three districts from the current ANC 6C.  To justify the request to expand into 6B, ANC 6C chair Karen Wirt cited in a memo to the Task Force both the loss of three of its districts as well as the remaining undesirable even number (6) of SMDs, setting the stage for potential voting deadlock.

While the addition of Shaw to Ward 6 could have been accomplished by simply adding one single member district from 6C, which was the preference of ANC 2C, ANC 2C chair Alexander Padro noted the Redistricting Taskforce’s goal of achieving parity between and among ANCs as the reason for the more dramatic move of the three single member districts from 6C to the new 6E.

It is unclear why the Redistricting Taskforce approved a consensus map at the end of its public meeting process that did not achieve this goal – leaving them with the job of redrawing single member districts within 6B and 6C without the benefit of public comment – and it is also unclear how the newest versions resolve disparities among the ANCs to any great extent, even with these changes.  ANC 6C, for example, will be left with roughly 13,000 residents, while ANC 6B will still measure close to 19,000.

Nevertheless, the Taskforce has been quick to respond to ANC 6C’s Special Call meeting recommending the addition of one single member district to its domain.  As of this past weekend, the Redistricting Taskforce has put forward two maps proposing expanded boundaries south of East Capitol for 6C, and four additional maps that propose new single member districts within 6B, taking 6C’s expanded territory as a given.  The maps can be found here: http://w6tf.blogspot.com/

ANC 6B will react to these plans at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 13th, held at St. Coletta’s (1901 Independence Ave SE) at 7:00 p.m.  ANC 6C will vote again on redistricting at its regular Thursday night meeting, scheduled for 7:00 and held at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, essentially giving them the opportunity to influence the Redistricting Taskforce two times, as opposed to ANC 6B’s single opportunity to comment Tuesday night.

After these ANC meetings, the Redistricting Taskforce will meet twice more:  first on September 19th  at 6:30pm at the Sherwood Recreation Center located at 640 10th Street, NE, and second on September 22, also scheduled for 6:30, held at 100 Fourth Street, SW, DCRA Hearing Room 2nd floor, E200. The final Taskforce plan will then go to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who appointed the Taskforce.  He will have the final say in boundary changes before the map goes to the full city council for a vote.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Plans Emerge for Downsizing ANC6B – ANC6C’s Push to Expand Would Absorb 1275 Residents Near US Capitol

  1. Joe Fengler

    Larry, I would like to add some clarifying remarks to your post.
    As stated on the W6TF website, these maps were accompanied with a few important disclaimers:

    1. The maps have not been approved by the W6TF.
    2. There is absolutely no presumptive weight given to any of these alternatives.
    3. The maps are provided for discussion purposes.
    4. The posting of these maps should not imply a W6TF outcome for either 6C or 6B.

    The W6TF initially approved ANC/SMD boundary maps are in the process of review by the individual ANCs as well as the entire Ward Six community. To the extent an ANC proposes recommendations to significantly alter the initially approved W6TF boundary maps; alternative map variations have been developed to show the potential impacts of individual ANC recommendations on the other ANCs. As stated in the W6TF September 19 meeting instructions, every ANC recommendation will be considered and voted upon by the W6TF at this public meeting. The goal of posting these alternative map scenarios for public review is to foster discussion and transparency in the process. Let me be very clear, these maps are hypothetical, not approved by the W6TF and represent only a few of the dozen potential permutations. No decision has been made regarding any ANC recommendation. As you can see on the website, we have posted alternative maps from Ward 6 residents as well. All W6TF decisions have been made, and will continue to be done, at public meetings.

    Regards, Joe Fengler

  2. Kathleen

    I find Redistricting Chair Fengler’s comments helpful, but my read of them still leaves me wondering 1) why the Taskforce signed off on a map at the end of the public meetings that it seems, based on later events, its members knew would have to change; and 2) why ANC 6C is being afforded two bites at the apple, as it were. If point number 1 is incorrect, why not just give one SMD to the new 6E? On point number 2, why should 6B be penalized for not having a special call meeting prior to the ANC votes–i.e., why aren’t 6B maps in play? Should 6B hold a special call meeting after the 6C vote? At a certain point, it gets silly. ANC 6C has already voted on and communicated its priorities to the Taskforce. Just out of a sense a fairness, that should be the end of it.

  3. Jeff H

    Excellent Points Kathleen. Also thank you Joe for your pointers. The way people have been viewing this is that this is a done deal, to include myself, due to a large amount of miscommunications and missunderstanding going on, even out of Tommy Wells and his office.