Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

On Wednesday night, the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force approved new boundaries for five ANCs in Ward 6, with a map that keeps Near Southeast together, and keeps it in ANC 6D. However, it also included, as an "option for additional research," preparing Single Member District options that both keep Near Southeast as part of 6D (the Southwest ANC) or move it to 6B (the Capitol Hill ANC).
The committee will have a meeting on Aug. 8 at 6:30 pm to discuss this option along with two other options they are mulling elsewhere in the ward, and have posted on their blog polls for residents to vote on the options under consideration.
Before Wednesday's vote, Near Southeast's current ANC commissioner David Garber sent an open letter to the task force, indicating that his consituents have made clear that their interests lie with the areas north of the freeway where so many of them eat and shop: "As much as we are similarly scaled and share interests with the Southwest community, residents of Near Southeast simply do not associate with that community in the same way they do with Capitol Hill." And, along with this, he says that residents have made very clear that Near Southeast should not get split between the two ANCs. Garber has also started imploring his constituents (on his mailing list and Facebook page) to make their feelings known to the task force.
The numbers portion of this discussion is worth looking at--right now, ANC 6D07's 2,737 census-counted residents make up 18.8 percent of ANC 6D's population of 14,359. if you move all of those 2,737 residents out of 6D, that leaves the Southwest ANC with 11,622 residents, which will give it only six commissioners, and the layout of the neighborhood would make for a tough set-up to have all the single-member districts reflect the desired 2,000-count population, or even the 1,900 low-end-of-the-range target.
If you move those 2,737 residents to 6B, it ends up with 22,954 residents, which again will make for some interesting decisions on SMD population counts, and would also make 6B at least an 11-SMD ANC, compared to the other Ward 6 ANCs having as few as five or up to nine commissioners. It would also mean that Near Southeast would make up 11.9 percent of 6B's population.
It's also possible the task force could still decide to divvy up Near Southeast between the two ANCs, with the Capitol Quarter area being split off to join an SMD north of the freeway. This decision would keep ANC 6D at seven commissioners and would make the numbers easier to manage in creating new SMDs 6B. (And would then give 16 commissioners from other neighborhoods in two ANCs a whole lot of power over the future of Near Southeast!)
And even if the task force keeps the "status quo," with 6D's boundaries remaining unchanged (which would seem to have been their initial inclination, given Wednesday night's vote), there's still the question of whether an SMD will span South Capitol Street to include portions of both Near Southeast and Southwest, or if the task force will decide to allow for SMDs with fewer than 1,900 residents, which could possibly give Near Southeast two commissioners and raise 6D's total to eight.
Lots of decisions coming down the pike. But, judging by the utter lack of reader interest in my posts on this subject (looking at the dismal traffic numbers and lack of comments compared to other topics I write about, and in comparison to the outcry that erupted when the possibility of moving Near Southeast to Ward 8 was floated), perhaps most residents don't see ANC boundaries and SMD locations as an issue that effects them one way or the other.
UPDATE: The task force has a new post up as a place to specifically take comments on where Near Southeast should be placed.
Comments (9)
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Southwest_EA says: (8/5/11 11:52 AM)
If CQ residents associate with Capitol Hill more than Southwest (which I tend to agree with them) why not consider splitting Near SE at M St, such that the residential areas north of M St that associate more with Capitol Hill are represented by 6B, and the more commercial area associated with the Ballpark district remains in 6D (since it has a large impact on SW residents as well)? Maybe even carve out Stadium district south of M St. SE and west of New Jersey Ave SE to remain in 6D. It seems a little like a case of having your cake and eating it, too, if all of Near SE goes to a separate ANC (6B), and those of us just across the Berlin Wall (i.e., South Capitol Street) have a diminished input in Stadium-area developments that directly impact us (I dare say, even more so than they impact CQ residents). I made a comment on the Ward 6 Task Force blog as well that I don't hold out much hope for ANC 6B and ANC 6D working well together with regards to Stadium-area developments, and it may be overly optimistic to rely upon the Ward 6 Councilmember and his staff to resolve any future disagreements.
That all said, there's never a solution that will make everyone 100% happy, so in the end the solution will just mean residents (no matter what SMD they end up in) need to take an active role in community meetings that affect their livelihood, even if it means attending ANC meetings outside of their bounded SMD.

MJM says: (8/5/11 12:31 PM)
Its more about Capitol Hill ANCs having control/say into the Canal Park, Yards Park and The Yards than the residents who actually live there. I'm assuming they don't care about the stadium and empty holes/slabs along Half Street - assuming they could be tossed to SW ANC as a token of their appreciation for community bridging. Cap Riverfront / Near-SE needs to say as one - don't care where it goes as one but to be split is to make us a pawn piece. Would they be more concerned about issues facing our area or would they more concerned about the going-ons around the Yards?

Andrew in DC says: (8/5/11 1:01 PM)

Regarding your first solution: Thanks, but no thanks. Priority 1 is making sure we have a voice in the community we moved into. To that end, cutting out the whole rest of Near SE to put it in the trustworthy hands of the SW ANC Comissioners is not an option.

The SW Waterfront will also have significant development challenges to be faced in the next 10 years, too. It's not like that whole SW Waterfront redevelopment plan is going away. I'd think the SW folk will have their hands full.

Andrew in DC says: (8/5/11 1:10 PM)
"perhaps most residents don't see ANC boundaries and SMD locations as an issue that effects them one way or the other"

I've tried to puzzle this out, too. I wonder if everyone burned themselves out with the Ward-phase and is now content with wherever the chips fall on this one. Another theory is that everyone's off on summer vacation. A third is that many of the residents, having not interacted with the ANC in a meaningful way, don't know enough to know _why_ it matters. Finally - and this is closest to your point - I wonder if most of the residents in this area sort of see themselves as their own little island anyway; it doesnt matter which ANC we attach ourselves to, because we're going to have to look after our own interests anyway. Which would be great, in theory, if both ANCs were equally neglectful but otherwise benign.

Then again, I've always been particularly drawn to maps ever since I played Risk as a kid...

Southwest_EA says: (8/5/11 3:15 PM)
Too clarify, I was suggesting the opposite. I was suggesting only having the Baseball District (an area conceptually bounded by M St. SE on the north and New Jersey Ave SE or First St. SE on the east) retained in ANC 6D, while the whole rest of Near SE could go to ANC 6B. I in no way suggest putting the rest of Near SE in to 6D.

I restate that no solution is perfect and no one solution will make everyone happy. I just envision that ANC 6B commissioners are going to care even less about solving the problems that Stadium patrons and area developers can cause just across South Capitol than our already moderately ineffectual ANC 6D commissioners do. And I don't see the ANCs working together on any problems that arise. If it were even in the realm of possibility, believe me, I'd love to politically secede my block from 6D and join ANC 6B.

Andrew in DC says: (8/5/11 4:33 PM)
Southwest_EA - your first comment reads:
"...consider splitting Near SE at M St, such that the residential areas north of M St that associate more with Capitol Hill are represented by 6B, and the more commercial area associated with the Ballpark district remains in 6D"

This is the "first suggestion", which could also be read as: "Hey, sure, you CQ folks go to 6B; we'll take all of the riverfront" which matches the way Fengler oddly drew his suggested (and rejected) map, and to which I replied was a complete non-starter.

You go on to "split the baby", in your second suggestion - which is also undesirable from our POV, as we prefer unity of Near SE foremost, regardless of our ANC.

You don't need to 'clarify' - you were perfectly clear the first time.

loonlaugh says: (8/6/11 9:09 PM)
As I am saying in as many of these forums as I possibly can, since there seems to be little weighing in from neighbors on this topic (compared to the Ward redistricting)...

I live and work on Capitol Hill, my daily commute buses me down Barracks Row from the ballpark area, and walks me home through Folger or Marion Park and Garfield Park, Fragers is my neighborhood hardware store, Eastern Market and Yes! Organic are my grocers, Pound the Hill feeds my nutella cravings, Southeast Public Library keeps me in sync with my book club, Jimmy T's keeps my weekend mornings starting right, Lincoln Park and the Congressional Cemetery provide pups when I need a little fur therapy, the entire Hill residential neighborhood becomes my marathon training track, and Capitol Hill Classic 10K gives me the sanity check mid year. I live just beyond the highway in the Near Southeast part of Capitol Hill, I am a Ward 6 resident, a Capitol Hill resident.

Near Southeast is a continuation of Capitol Hill, this can be seen in where we grocery shop, where we go out for drinks and dinner, where our Sunday strolls for coffee and brunch take us, what parks we gather in with friends, children and dogs, how our home development extends the Hill rowhouse feel under the highway, and how we identify ourselves and neighborhood. Our values and expectations for a livable, walkable city align with our elected official. It is critical that this redistricting effort does not divide us as a Near Southeast neighborhood or from our larger neighborhood Capitol Hill - both are our amenity base and our social base. Doing so would be the antithesis of the "contiguous" goal of redistricting and the "neighborhood" goal of ANCs. It would be holding us on the outside looking in on our neighborhood that we live, work, and play in and keeping us in one that has little connection to our neighborhood, other than an occasional waterfront Safeway run.

IF the two choices are narrowed down to our little area being in 6D or 6B...well, Near Southeast is the riverfront neighborhood of Capitol Hill. I strongly oppose any efforts to split the Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard area into multiple ANCs or keep us lumped with the Southwest Waterfront, a fine neighborhood - just not OUR neighborhood.


Local1 says: (8/7/11 6:33 PM)
Ahhhhh,,,,so many theories.. That's it, everyone is burned out from the Ward phase...

JD says: (8/7/11 6:43 PM)
Note: People caught registering multiple JDLand commenting accounts will get all of them suspended. I won't call out the person who just did it, since this is the first time I'm saying this publicly, but anyone else I catch doing it from here out will be named.

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