Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Redistricting

It has been known for quite a while that the DC Council would be deciding this spring how the eight wards would be redistributed once Census 2010 numbers were released for the District.  Those numbers were released last month and showed the population of the District increased to 601,723 residents - the first time in decades the city's population has increased. By District law, the population of each of the eight wards must be split evenly (in this case 75,215) with a 5% variance in either direction. According to the 2010 Census, Ward 2 has too many residents and Wards 7 & 8 each have too few residents. As a result, Council members are lobbying to add neighborhoods to their wards, including CM Marion Barry, who wants the Southwest Waterfront added to Ward 8.  Moving the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood to Ward 8 would pad the statistics for that Ward, which currently has one of the highest unemployment and crime rates in the city.  However, Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells has stated he will fight to keep Ward 6 intact.

The DC Council has been holding hearings this week regarding ward redistricting. The Greater Greater Washington blog developed a Redistricting Game where readers could redraw the ward boundaries and the results will be presented at today's Council hearing. The results of that survey shows the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood staying in Ward 6.  The next Council hearing will take place today from 10am-2pm at the Wilson Building downtown.

What are your thoughts on redistricting?  Vote in this month's poll on the top left corner of the blog and/or leave a comment. Stay tuned for more on the 2010 Census and how Southwest has changed during the past 10 years.

Update: The Ward 6 Democrats will hold a public hearing on May 5 from 7pm-8:30pm where residents can express their opinions about ward redistricting.  The three co-chairs of the Council's Special Committee, as well as Council member Wells will attend.  The meeting will be held at Friendship Public Charter School/Chamberlain Elementary (gymnasium) at 1345 Potomac Avenue, SE (across from Harris Teeter).

4 comments:

DC Food and Rent said...

http://redistricting.greatergreaterwashington.org/#9814-pkh5n499

That is my redistricting map. It is kind of drastic, though I like it. Any others?

Stay in Ward 6!!!!!

Bob Craycraft, ANC6D01 Commissioner said...

Interested readers might like this article from today's Post on Marion Barry's interest in Southwest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/politics/marion-barrys-vision-for-redrawing-the-boundaries-of-ward-8/2011/04/28/AFZld29E_allComments.html?ctab=all_&

Carol said...

I understand Barry's desire to improve his ward's profile, but it seems from the post article today that the way he wants to go about it is to use our area to inflate ward 8's demographic data. Ginning up better numbers doesn't seem to me to be a serious way to address Ward 8's problems. I also think that St E's is enough of a development project to keep any single cm busy -- let him focus on that, and Tommy Wells can continue to do a fabulous job for us and shepherd waterfront development. Also, i want to be able to park on capitol hill!

rcmorgan said...

The issue I have is with Marion Barry himself. I don't buy that he's trying to improve Ward 8. He just wants to benefit from the redevelopment in Ward 6. Moreover, I don't want to get stuck with someone I didn't vote for.