Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ward 6 ANC Redistricting Listening Tour

The Ward 6 ANC redistricting listening tour made its way to ANC 6D this evening. After each Census, the city must go through the redistricting process to balance out the population - first the new Ward boundaries are determined, which was done this past spring, and now the process of determining the new ANC & Single Member District (SMD) borders is underway. The Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force (#W6TF) put together by Council member Wells met with the community tonight to hear what ideas there are regarding the borders of ANC 6D. While there aren't many rules regarding ANC boundaries, each SMD within an ANC must contain approximately 2,000 residents (plus or minus 5%). For most of the meeting, the topic du jour was whether SMD 07 (Near SE) should remain in ANC 6D, gain territory from ANC 6B, and/or be split partially into two SMDs. Four ANC commissioners (all representing Southwest SMD's) argued for keeping Near SE in the ANC since both Near SE and the Southwest Waterfront neighborhoods have similar qualities (maritime uses, paucity of retail, housing types, increased connectivity, parking issues surrounding Nationals Park, and a common interest in a complete street strategy for M Street SW/SE). However, Near SE commissioner Garber is remaining neutral on the subject until he gets more input from residents. Most SW residents at the meeting were in favor of keeping the two sides in the same ANC, while Near SE residents were mixed. On the Southwest side of the ANC, the borders probably won't change much, although SMD 2 may need to get bigger since its population falls below the 5% threshold under 2,000 residents. 

The next step in the process is there will be two public meetings on August 3 and August 8 to discuss the first draft of the ANC/SMD boundaries. The August 3 meeting will take place at 6:30pm at Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library (lower level) - 1630 7th Street, NW and the August 8 meeting will take place at 6:30pm at Theater Church - 525 8th Street, SE.  After that, the Redistricting Task Force will send each ANC the first draft of the new boundaries and at that point, the community will have a chance to look at the proposed changes. The task force will attend the September 12 ANC 6D meeting to answer questions on the first draft. Then, there will be public meetings on September 19 and 22 to propose a second draft and approve the final draft, respectively. The final draft will be forwarded to Council member Wells on September 26 in time for the Council member to submit to the Council on September 30.

The Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force has a great blog with more information than you may want to know about the redistricting process, and JDLand has a tool that can be used to propose new ANC maps using Census tract data. Those maps created using JDLand's tool can be submitted to the #W6TF.

No comments: