Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

The pushback by Near Southeast residents against the idea of moving the neighborhood out of Ward 6 and into Ward 8 continues, with some evidence that their calls, e-mails, and petitions are having an effect:
At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, two of the three council members that make up the redistricting committee came to speak to residents. Phil Mendelson (who said that he invited himself to the meeting) and committee chair Michael A. Brown gave a short presentation on how redistricting works, and then spent about 45 minutes answering audience questions. Neither of them took a position on whether Near Southeast or Southwest should be moved, and both also took pains to note that there is no official proposal yet, and that it is Marion Barry who is floating the idea. (They also indicated that Marion Barry's argument about how the move would improve the economic standing of Ward 8 wasn't quite resonating with either of them.) The initial map of the redrawn ward boundary lines should be released by the committee later this month, either on or after May 25 (when the FY12 budget stuff is wrapped up).
After the council members finished, the ANC quickly voted unanimously to support the resolution to keep all of 6D in Ward 6. Near Southeast commissioner David Garber has been tweeting his visit to the Wilson Building today to deliver the resolution and a 200-plus-signature petition, saying that Jim Graham told him that Near Southeast is "not in play" and that Mary Cheh's office assured him that "she supports keeping Near Southeast in Ward 6." (Cheh had made this known last week, when she told Tommy Wells to make the calls from concerned Near Southeast residents stop.)
Residents are continuing to press the council, with reports on the Near Southeast mailing list of multiple visits to council members' offices. And another meeting for residents on the subject has now been scheduled by Capitol Quarter resident and meeting-organizer-dynamo Bruce DarConte, this time with Phil Mendelson, on Monday, May 16, at 6:30 pm at the Capper Seniors building at 900 5th St. SE.
(People interested in this battle might also want to read Lydia DePillis's rumination on the optics of the fight, "So Much for One City.")
UPDATE, 5/12: Bruce DarConte has passed along that Jack Evans, the third member of the redistricting committee, has confirmed his attendance at the May 16 meeting at Capper Seniors.
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Mark says: (5/10/11 2:57 PM)
LOL: "meeting-organizer-dynamo Bruce DarConte" Go Bruce!! Keeping making CQ proud!


Bruce says: (5/10/11 5:01 PM)
Mark/JD... thanks for the kind words. :)
Thanks to all of the residents who are calling, emailing and attending the meetings. It's purely a team effort.
Although I have heard all of the chatter, until this is a done deal, the pressure needs to be applied consistently until there are absolute assurances that Ward 6 (our area) will remain untouched.
See everyone at the meeting!


Admitted Outside says: (5/11/11 10:02 AM)
What are the actual problems with being part of Ward 8? I'm not sure I've seen that listed other than complaints that people simply don't want to be be associated with that Ward.


Kitty Loyd says: (5/11/11 5:35 PM)
admitted outside, this is my own opinion and may not be the opinion of others, but i have less of a beef with going to ward 8 and having barry be my council member than i am with not having tommy wells as my council member. wells has obviously done something (very) right over the past few years to get these projects up and running: nats stadium, all the apartments/condos, capitol quarter, yards park, etc. these developers need to be able to work with the council member in order to get things done. additionally, wells knows the budgets, deadlines, details, timelines, etc of the remaining projects better than any other council member (obviously) and i would hate to see someone else come in, have to catch up on everything, maybe not have such a great relationship with the developers and/or neighbors, not know the neighbors needs/wants, and take a few years to figure it all out. additionally, what if they dont like whats going on and want to change some plans?

for me, this has less to do with marion barry or being associated with ward 8. it has everything to do with keeping us on track and consistent, and not having any other member represent us. with wells as our council member, there are going to be a lot less bumps in the road over the next few (or many) years. i would just prefer not to hit pause at such a pivotal point, especially when there are other options out there.

(i know council member wells advised we focus on the continuity issues and stay away from arguments regarding personal council members...so, sorry if im getting off talking points!)


Bruce says: (5/11/11 7:48 PM)
Please keep personalities out of this..


Mark says: (5/12/11 8:52 AM)
Outside,

To me it is simple matter of keeping Capitol Hill whole. Ever since L'Enfant laid out the city Capitol Hill (and yes, in L'Enfant's original plan the Hill goes down to the river) has been one contiguous community - other parts of the District were even considered to be separate cities for the first 100+/- years after DC was founded including Georgetown and Annacostia. (Back then, you would write letters to "Georgetown, District of Columbia" etc.) However, Capitol Hill was always one community. We are always talking about honoring L'Enfant's vision for the city, splitting Capitol Hill would violate that principle.

As a secondary issue, it just doesn't make logical sense for a part of a ward to be attached to a ward that it doesn't touch. This part of Ward 6 does not touch any other ward - our border is the river and we are surrounded by Ward 6. In order to have this process make sense the wards need to be contiguous, there is no way to make a ward contiguous across a river.


Bruce says: (5/12/11 5:11 PM)
It is now the Councilman Evans-Mendelson meeting (or vice-versa)..
Evans' office just confirmed that he will attending as well.
See everyone Monday.



Dee909 says: (5/13/11 12:07 AM)
I'm with Kitty Loyd on this one. I also don't get why someone would be taming valid points for 'talking points' on the comment section of a local blog (Not that it matters, but I also don't think she was talking to anyone's personality. She even had said she was off these 'talking points'???).
So Admitted Outside, chalk me up for "keeping us on track and consistent":
"Do you think that when Michelangelo was painting the Sixteenth Chapel, he said, “Hey, guys, you know, I did pretty good on the first 15 chapels, but why don't you help me design this one?"


JD says: (5/13/11 1:07 AM)
This might be a good time for me to mention that Bruce is not actually an authorized moderator of the comment threads here. :-) Personal attacks are not allowed in comment threads, but otherwise a civilized discussion of all sides of an issue is welcomed and encouraged. It's not the role of JDLand to force readers to adhere to any "talking points," and I see nothing here that's even remotely concerning.


Bruce says: (5/13/11 7:35 AM)
Not moderating at all, merely voicing an opinion like any other jdland reader. :)


Bruce says: (5/13/11 8:38 AM)
I Agree with you Mark..


jenniferp says: (5/13/11 5:03 PM)
I plan on attending the meeting on Monday, and have already sent an e-mail voicing my opposition to the proposed redistricting into Ward 8. I do know there is a committee called East of the River Neighborhood Development group. I was reminded of this as I just recieved an invitation to a seminar they are holding on June 9th through DCBIA (it's a real estate industry association I belong to). This one is specifically about St. Elizabeths, but I have attached an article that was part of a series discussing some issues surrounding development in Ward 8. I'm curious is anyone has heard if this group has any opinions about the redistricting proposed by our friend Mr. Barry? From my limited knowledge of the group, they seem more interested in trying to solve the problems that exist within that community than artificially improving some paper statistics. I know David Garber is active in Anacostia, maybe he might know some of the members and what their thoughts are?

link


Bruce says: (5/13/11 5:24 PM)
I'm glad u will be at the meeting!

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