Monday, May 23, 2011

Here's how I'd redraw DC's wards to reflect existing neighborhoods & statutory guidance

This seems like the most reasonable solution to the need to redraw DC's ward boundaries to increase the populations in Ward 8 and Ward 7 and decrease the population in Ward 2. 

It's very difficult to understand why anyone on the redistricting committee would consider placing Eastern High School -- "The Pride of Capitol Hill" which is the only high school in Ward 6 and is fed by most Ward 6 middle schools -- or the Rosedale Recreation Center, which is also undergoing a substantial renovation, outside of Ward 6.  Both are important parts of the community and both have received substantial attention from their immediate neighborhoods and the Office of Councilmember Wells in recent years.  If the proposal to draw an arbitrary line across 17th Street comes to fruition, thus severing Capitol Hill and Rosedale between two Wards, you can expect a lot of angry current and former Ward 6 residents will make their voices heard when Michael Brown & Yvette Alexander are on the ballot next fall and you have to wonder if Ward 6 will find one of its own to fill one of DC's citywide elected seats, as NW and East of the River seems to have done with great success.

In an ideal world, I'd add Kingman Park back to Ward 6 and shed far western edge as well, but Ward 7 needs to grow, not shrink, and there are too many other reasons to avoid more changes than are necessary at this time.

Support keeping Capitol Hill and Ward 6 whole?  Signs these two petitions and attend tomorrow's rally at Lincoln Park.


  1. Again, thanks for the nod to Kingman Park.

    I do recall that you'd included us in Ward 6 in your first map. It's disappointing that now, perhaps for the sake of political expediency, you've ditched us.

    That's OK. Everybody does.

    Whether Ward 7 needs to grow now or not does not change the fact that my closest "neighbor" in Ward 7 lives more than a half mile from me (and I'm as far East as you can get). And we are not only separated by the Anacostia River, but also by large swaths of National Park Service land that are not under the District's control. This is far more than a psychological barrier.

    It's not about not wanting to be in one Ward, or preferring to be in another. It's about the need to be included with my neighborhood; the need to be represented with people who have shared concerns about transportation, traffic, crime trends, environmental issues and schools.

    Like the "Rosedale" community you now claim as an integral extension of Capitol Hill? I appreciate your defense of it. Guess what? That's actually Kingman Park. The Rosedale Community Center you celebrate? It's my community center, too. And, despite existing arbitrary ward boundaries, neighbors like me have been working for years to put it on the map. The Rosedale Community Garden? I was a founding member. And I must say I find it hilarious that only after extensive renovation has the Twitterverse lauded Eastern High School—though I'm thrilled to see everyone come around.

    Feeling powerless in the District's machine is incredibly frustrating. But it's nothing new for my neighbors and me. For nearly the past decade, we haven't had a home. And its all the more infuriating now that we've been promised for years that this would be the year that a wrong would be righted.

    For some reason, despite a precedent that allows for deviation in ward boundaries to respect natural geography, neighborhood cohesiveness, compact and contiguous districts, you feel including Kingman Park in Ward 6 again isn't a "real possibility."

    Wouldn't it be refreshing if common sense were a "real possibility"?

    I'm not here to fill a population deficit any more than you are.
    I'm a neighbor, not a number.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Don't sign the Chuck Burger petition.

    It seeks only to save the area south of C Street NE as part of Ward 6 which means that this petition abandons Rosedale and Rosedale Recreation Center to Ward 7.

    We can do better. Let's save Rosedale for Ward 6 as well. It's only fair.

    David Holmes

  3. I don't understand why Rosedale or any other neighborhood in the current Ward 6 is in need of being "saved". Please explain.

  4. The problem is that as we have seen in the past, there is little guarantee that Alexander would have any interest in making sure resources are placed in the new Rec Center. We may have a big empty building. While this may seem ridiculous, we all know that we are still waiting for funding on the trolley carts. You may or may not know, that the Rosedale community had to go back and fight to make sure the construction on the new Rec Center was actually going to occur even AFTER they had a groundbreaking (because of political issues with Fenty) and put a hole in the side of the old center making in unusable. These are just two minor examples..