Ward 7 Redistricting Task Force Splits Hill East into Two Cross River ANCs
by Larry Janezich
Posted March 21, 2022
Monday night, the Ward 7 Redistricting Task Force expressed a strong preference for absorbing the former Ward 6 ANCs east of the Anacostia into two ANCs lying east of the river. The decision came as the Task Force voted on the three outstanding maps which had not been yet considered. Task Force members were asked to vote to accept a whole map for advancement, or to accept a map in part for further advancement, or to decline to advance a map.
The comprehensive map which was advanced for further consideration was named “Ward 7 Strongly Together,” (above) offered by Keith Hasan-Towery of ANC7E. The proposal received 11 votes to advance it vs. 7 to accept it in part. The concept is to have two ANCs – A and F – each with single member districts on each side of the river. (Ed. Note. Update. Originally this post reported that the intent was to have four SMDs on each side of the river for 7A and 7F. While this was true for 7A (7D02 is mislabled and should be 7A01), 7F has only two SMDs on the east side of the river. One of those, 7F07 has too many residents for one SMD and not enough for two. If 7F can form three SMDs on the west side of the river and everything else remains the same, 7F would have a total of six single member districts on the east side of the river in a very irregularly shaped ANC7F. The Task Force will consider this map again on March 23.)
A partial map (above) by Ebony Payne of Kingman Park named “West of the River,” received 11 votes to decline vs. 5 to accept in part. She told the Task Force that the city would like a cross river ANC and made a case for keeping Hill East, Kingman Park and River Terrace together as sister communities with the same environmental impact interests.
Rob Coomber of Kingman Park’s comprehensive map named “Minimum Change” received 14 votes to decline vs. 3 votes to accept in part. The map would keep Hill East together and like Payne’s map, include Kingman Park and River Terrace in one ANC. Coomber said that community familiarity was critical, people without cars will have trouble attending cross river ANC meetings, and that cross river ANCs “sounds like it might be a good idea but one which we have seen doesn’t work.”
Prior to the votes, Task-Force co-chair Tamara Blair advised the Task Force that none of the proposals were perfect and that any maps which were advanced were subject to further modification.
Also prior to the vote, Task Force member Dr. Marla Dean said that the redistricting had been a process of adjusting to community feedback. She added, that “many people are upset in many parts of the Ward – that means we did a good job, because every part of the ward has sacrificed.”
The Task Force will continue its work of tweaking the map when it meets at 5:00pm on Wednesday.