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On Monday night there was another residents' meeting on the subject of redistricting, this time with two members of the city council's redistricting committee: Phil Mendelson, for whom this was a third public session in Ward 6 on the subject, and Jack Evans, making his first appearance at a Ward 6 assembly.
As with the other meetings, neither council member tipped a hand as to which sections of the city will be moved to different wards as part of the constitutionally mandated need to standardize the population sizes of the city's eight wards. And as with the other meetings, residents made clear that they very much want to remain in Ward 6. (Has our message gotten through? one resident asked toward the end of the session. Yes, Jack Evans assured him, it certainly has.) But Phil Mendelson stressed once again that no neighborhood wants to move, and that residents in areas other than Ward 6 are equally as vocal about their dissatisfaction--but the boundaries must be redrawn.
Mendelson laid out the upcoming schedule, with the committee's map of proposed changes being made public probably on May 25 for their vote on May 26. A public hearing on the committee's map is expected to be held June 1 at 6 pm, with the full council having its first vote ("first reading") on the bill enacting the new boundaries on June 7. A final vote could come on June 21, or perhaps in early July. UPDATE: Here's a post on Tommy Wells's blog with more information on the schedule and how the public can participate; this post was updated on May 20 changing the public hearing date to June 1.
I was told tonight by an audience member that there is apparently another Ward 6 public meeting on redistricting being held on Wednesday, May 17, in ANC 6B; I don't have any further information on it. (UPDATE: EMMCA has the details.) But having now attended four of these, I think I'm declaring myself #redc'ed out until the council committee's map is made public next week.
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MJM says: (5/17/11 9:15 AM)
Is there a law that says DC can't have more than eight wards like 10? Would increasing the numbers of wards help solve this Etch-a-sketch game every ten years or at least for a few more decades? The city will (probably) see population increases so in 10 years will be at it again.


JD says: (5/17/11 9:19 AM)
Eight wards and five at-large reps is just the design the city came up with, and it could certainly be changed.

But if you think this battle is loud and heated over just shifting a couple of boundaries, imagine what redrawing the entire city would be like. (And there's certainly no way all of Ward 6 would stay together in a 10-ward set up.)


SBS says: (5/17/11 10:09 AM)
The longer this plays out, the more this all seems much ado about nothing. Frankly, there aren't enough people living in Near SE yet for ANYONE in the city to pay too much attention to (ahem, Tommy Wells, I'm looking at you), so it is the easiest piece on the chess board to move at this moment. The more I think about it, the more the idea of the Lerners and other developers around the stadium having to deal with Marion Barry, the more I like the idea. At least he knows how to make developers pay up, these other clowns just roll over.


shipsa01 says: (5/17/11 10:26 AM)
There will be a redistricting meeting tonight of the Mt. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association, which happens to fall in Wards 2, 5 and 6 (the most NW corner of 6).


jenniferp says: (5/17/11 10:56 AM)
I'm curious as to what you mean by "pay up". From my knowledge most of what Marion Barry managed to get "paid" went directly to his cronies and indirectly him - mostly in the form of way above market sweetheart lease deals and other associated contract awards. You'll have to give me an example where a neighborhood specifically benefited from his largesse or previous abilities to shake down developers.


Jason says: (5/17/11 11:12 AM)
SBS, I'm not sure if you are trolling, or just misinformed, or both. Near SE has grown to become one of the largest SMD's in the ANC system. As such, there is talk about possibly splitting it into two SMDs.

I couldn't disagree more with your contention about Tommy Wells. If you think that Near SE's represenation would increase with Barry as its CM, or another CM representing a distant ward, you are wrong.


Will says: (5/17/11 12:46 PM)
Please ignore SBS. And thanks for covering this story, JD. With every post you write, it becomes more difficult for folks to say Near SE doesn't matter. We are mobilized now, and we can mobilize again come election time.


MJM says: (5/17/11 2:16 PM)
Really as JD put it kinda -- how many meetings can there be with the same talking points, same answers from the council (it is a boundary, not political, no difference in services, etc)? Are these meetings now just to have meetings and rabble rabble about the same things?

If they add more Wards who cares if we aren't part of Ward 6 I don't. I think most people don't care if we are Ward 1-6 as long as we aren't 8 and to a lesser degree 7. If we became a part of a new ward 9 that included all areas south of the freeway and north of the river I think people would be just as happy??


MJM says: (5/17/11 2:19 PM)
Oh then those at-largers could have a home ward all to themselves for the 20 years

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