Ward 6 Task Force Launches Redrawing of ANC/SMD Boundaries
by Larry Janezich
The Ward 6 Task Force on redrawing ANC and Single Member District (SMD) lines met for the first time last night. CM Charles Allen told the 12 members who were present that he hoped they would each bring their neighborhoods to the Task Force but would “think with their Ward 6 hats on,” calling their efforts an opportunity to bring the Ward together. Allen downplayed the possibility of ANCs that cross Ward boundaries – an idea he had said he was open to – saying he had not gotten positive feedback from his fellow councilmembers for the idea.
Here is the list – so far – of Task Force Members:
- Ivan Frishberg, former 6B02 commissioner – Task Force Chair
- Marge Maceda, former 6E05 commissioner
- Iris Bond Gill, 6A01 resident
- Sheila White, 6C06 – veteran of redistricting task force
- Ken Jarboe, former 6B05 commissioner
- Brian Pate, former 6B05 commissioner
- Gottlieb Simon, former Director of Office of ANC
- Scott Price, former 6C03 commissioner
- Matthew Oberstaedt, 6B06 resident
- Anna Forgie, former 6D02 commisioner
- Gary Peterson, Capitol Hill Restoration Society
- Georgine Wallace, 6D04 resident
- Christine Spencer (absent)
- Two potential members pending
Allen said that he had followed the practice that no sitting ANC commissioner would be named to the Task Force and added the restriction that no potential ANC candidate would be appointed. He said his role in the Task Force operations would be limited to that of an observer.
Frishberg said that the reasons for change were to two – first to ensure voting rights and equal representation, and second to stitch together neighborhoods and communities and deliver that package for Ward 6 and the city.
The Task Force heard a presentation by Joy Phillips from the Office of Planning (OP), outlining the role OP will play in the process, offering technical and analytical support. It is OP that provides the data upon which boundary decisions will be based.
The Task Force assigned teams of two to three members to focus on each of Ward 6’s five ANCs. Each team will consider a “starter map” created by Frischberg, outlining the obvious things that need to happen.
Frishbeg announced the following schedule for the Ward 6 Task Force
- Feb. 15: Presentation of 1st draft map to the public
- Feb. 22: Public hearing on 1st draft map
- Mar. 1: Task Force amends initial draft map, based on public input
- Mar. 15: final approval of the map and report
The Task Force map and report then go to CM Charles Allen, who can make adjustments in the recommendations on the map before it goes to CM Silverman by April 1 (possible extension to April 5) and the City Council’s Redistricting Committee and then to the full council for a public hearing. That will be followed by two city council votes: first in the Committee of the Whole and then by the City Council. The map goes to the Mayor for signature and then to the Board of Elections for implementation.
Task Force member Gary Peterson noted that ANC6B and ANC6D are “about the right size. ANC6A is too small. ANC6C and ANC6E need to be divided up” into more SMDs, focusing on the huge population increase in ANC6C.
Frishberg said that there seemed to be general agreement to do the least change possible on ANC boundaries – but pushing against that is commission size (desire for fewer than ten members) and an the preference for an odd number of seats on a commission. In addition, he noted, the consensus seemed to be that the Task Force is not the best vehicle to pursue cross ward boundaries for ANCs, and to leave those questions to the ANCs and the councilmember.
Here are the opportunities for public input.