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.