CM Charles Allen joined ANC6D, ANC6B, ANC6C, and ANC6A virtual meetings last week to brief on Redistricting, Part II.
CM Allen Briefs ANCs on Redistricting, Part II: ANC and SMD Boundaries
Posted January 16, 2022
by Larry Janezich
Last week, Ward Six Councilmember Charles Allen briefed the four ANCs on or bordering Capitol Hill on the process for redrawing boundaries for ANCs and their Single Member Districts (SMDs). The ward is currently divided into 5 ANCs made up of varying numbers of SMDs of 2000 plus residents, each represented by an elected commissioner.
Because the ward boundaries have been redrawn and population density has changed, ANC and SMD boundaries must also change.
The new ward boundaries are already in effect but changes to the ANC and SMD boundaries will not take place until next January. Allen said this will be an awkward year, because some current commissioners and residents of Ward Six will actually be in another ward.
Allen will appoint a task force this week to recommend ANC and SMD boundary changes and announce dates for task force meetings. Sitting ANC Commissioners and potential candidates for ANC are not eligible to serve on the task force, but former commissioners are welcome. Also, any resident can contact Allan and request to be considered for task force membership. Email him here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The task force will hold open virtual meetings and make recommendations to Allen by the end of March. He said he welcomes input from the ANCs. Allen will forward the task force recommendations to the city council and the Subcommittee on Redistricting. The Subcommittee will hold a hearing and produce legislation proposing boundary changes which will go to the city council for two votes and then to the Mayor for her signature. The process will be complete by the end of April, giving the Board of Elections time to input the changes into their system which will allow ANC candidates to pull petitions in June to get on the ballot for the fall election.
In discussions during his briefings, Allen made the following points:
- The optimum size for an ANC is 4 – 11 SMDs, preferably an odd number.
- “If it makes sense,” he is open to having cross ward ANCs. Both councilmembers would have to support. He has discussed cross boundary ANCs with the Ward 7 councilmember and though “it was not my impression he embraced the idea, he did not close the door.” Hill East and Navy Yard would be most affected.
- A Ward 7 ANC west of the river made up of Kingman Park and the ANCs east of 15th Street formerly in Ward 6 “might make sense.”
- ANC6C06 has 6000 residents which will become 3 SMDs. Two of the SMDs could become part of ANC6E in NOMA while the third remains in ANC6C.
“The changes to Ward 6 constitute the largest single ward shift in the history of DC,” Allen said, adding, “I hate it. I still feel like I have scar tissue from it.” Allen reiterated the commitment he made during the ward redistricting process to residents and commissioners who would end up in other wards. He said he doesn’t care where boundaries end up – that just because we have new boundaries doesn’t change the relationships developed over years of working together.