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Thomas adopts fair community proposal for ANC map

DC Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. and his colleagues have replaced the controversial and potentially illegal proposals for ANC redistricting in Ward 5 with a map almost identical to the one we proposed last month.

Left: Map to be voted on by the Council. Right: The map we posted.

Thomas' office released this map, prepared by the Office of Planning, yesterday in an email. The council will vote on ANC and SMD redistricting December 20.

There are only minor changes from the map we proposed. The ANC and SMD designations come from the Office of Planning map.

  • Catholic University has moved from ANC 5B to ANC 5A.
  • A census block with a population of 19 has been shifted from 5C04 (which includes the Arboretum) to 5D03 (the northwestern part of Carver Langston).
  • Two SMDs in Bloomingdale have a population shift of 53. The houses on the eastern edge of Crispus Attucks Park, which is north of the unit block of U Street NW had been included with the census block south of the unit block of U Street NW. Those houses have now been added to the rest of the block bounded by U, V, First, and North Capitol Streets NW.
  • The Washington Gateway project, at the corner of Florida and New York Avenues, has been moved from Eckington's 5E03 to 5D01, which includes the Florida Avenue Market, Gallaudet University, and Ivy City.
Thanks are due to Councilmembers Harry Thomas, Jr., Michael A. Brown, Jack Evans, Phil Mendelson, and their staffs for working diligently on the redistricting process in our ward and others around the city.

The Office of Planning's Associate Director and Chief Information Officer, Charlie Richman, and his staff deserve credit for producing easy-to-read maps that allow DC residents to make sense out of the legalese that the Council will be voting on.

If you support these changes, I'd encourage you to send a note to the councilmembers letting them know you approve of this map. Their emails are available on the DC Council website.

Geoff Hatchard lived in DC's Trinidad neighborhood. The opinions and views expressed in Geoff's writing on this blog are his, and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer. 


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Why *did* you have that weird jut near Crispus Attucks Park?

I didn't realize part of Shaw was in ward 5. Poor Shaw. One neighborhood, so many wards!

by Tom A. on Dec 16, 2011 1:03 pm • linkreport

Tom: That anomaly on the east side of Crispus Attucks is part of the census block, as can be seen in this screen capture from the Census' mapping website, American Fact Finder.

It was on our original map because we made it a point to not split any census blocks whatsoever, which made calculating SMD populations simple and replicable for others who wanted to check our work.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Dec 16, 2011 1:17 pm • linkreport

Good to see that HTJ being praised for not breaking the law.

by Cassidy on Dec 16, 2011 3:07 pm • linkreport

your minor change #1 is pretty significant. It would be good to have CUA in 5B, since it's part of the Brookland neighborhood, and what happens there shapes the east side of the railroad tracks too.

by Richard Layman on Dec 16, 2011 3:42 pm • linkreport

I have asked CM Thomas and others to move the NY Ave Gateway site back in the commission with the other NoMa properties as it currently stands. This change was originally agreed to but never made it to the maps.

by Tim Clark on Dec 16, 2011 7:05 pm • linkreport

This one puts me in 5D07. I guess I'm okay with that. My vote is less diluted than on the other map anyway. That's definitely a good thing.

by Doug on Dec 17, 2011 11:08 am • linkreport

It's clear that ANC boundaries matter -- and "neighborhood cohesiveness" should be the rule in deciding ANC boundaries, rather than being the exception, an argument to be used to defend deviations from the 1900-2100 SMD population required by the OP. The process ought to be one of determining logical ANC boundaries, then dividing those ANCs into SMDs of "approximately 2000" population, instead of deciding the SMDs first, then patching them together into potentially unsatisfactory ANCs.

Unfortunately, the District Council has not been receptive to this argument, though it is, I believe, the original intent of the legislation. ANCs first, SMDs follow, rather than the other way around.

by Jack on Dec 17, 2011 12:20 pm • linkreport

Doug: We're neighbors, then! I'm in 5D07 as well.

Jack: I heard your testimony before the council, and while I agree that neighborhood cohesiveness should be a very high-held goal, if that would mean that there would be SMDs that are wildly divergent from the "approximately 2000" number, I would have to stand in opposition to them. That was what I found particularly offensive of some of the numbers in the previously proposed Ward 5 map, especially in places like Fort Lincoln, the AFRH, and Carver-Langston.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Dec 17, 2011 4:34 pm • linkreport

with regard to Jack's point, my interpretation of various voting decisions that derive from the 14th Amendment is that the equal protection clause is possessed by the individual in terms of voting representation, not the community. It's why SMDs can't really be divergent from the 2000 number, to satisfy preferred ANC boundaries, because citizens would have differential weight, some would be overrepresented and others underrepresented.

by Richard Layman on Dec 19, 2011 7:23 am • linkreport

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