Ward 1 ANC/SMD Redistricting Process Gets Started
Last night the Ward One Task Force for ANC/SMD Redistricting began the process with their first public meeting to get the ball rolling. The Task Force consists of the following members:
- Alan Roth (Resident, Ward 1), Chair
- Wilson Reynolds (Chair, ANC 1C/SMD 1C07), Vice-Chair
- Gregg Edwards (Chair, ANC 1D/SMD 1D04), Secretary
- Bill Brown (Chair, ANC 1A/SMD 1A06)
- Juan Lopez (Chair, ANC 1B/SMD 1B07)
- Thomas Boisvert (ANC1A/SMD 1A07)
- Shelore Williams (Resident, Ward 1)
- Beverly Wheeler (Resident, Ward 1)
- Janie Boyd (Resident, Ward 1) — absent from meeting
The kick off meeting was very general and laid out the big picture of the process that would be taken. It was noted that one thing that makes this redistricting process easier than the process 10 years ago is that the boundaries of Ward 1 didn’t change much this time.
Representatives of the Office of Planning were present to answer questions and share maps, statistic data, and explain some of the pitfalls that they hope to avoid this time around. One example they cited was how difficult it can be to redraw the maps based on legislated language if that language isn’t clear. They also expressed that while census blocks can be split it is a tricky road to go down. Chairman Roth expressed a desire to avoid splitting census blocks if at all possible.
As was expected there was a discussion on how large an ANC should be. Based on the population, with the goal being that each SMD will have a population of 2,000 plus or minus 5%, ANC 1D would shrink to 5 SMDs whereas ANC 1B could grow to 13 SMDs if the current ANC borders are maintained. This isn’t unusual since there is one ANC (2D) that currently has two SMDs and several have 12 SMDs.
That said, finding a way to equitably distribute the population and balance out the ANCs can get tricky. One suggestion was to move the boundary of 1D to 14th Street and then adjust the 1A/1B border accordingly to bring some balance to all of the Ward 1 ANCs. Another idea that seems to have some traction is to keep the borders of ANC 1C and 1D as they are and create a fifth Ward 1 ANC uniting Park View, Pleasant Plains, LeDroit Park, and Howard University. Such an ANC would likely focus on issues related to Georgia Avenue and Howard University which is an interesting idea. Below is one possibility of how that could look.
Chairman Roth noted that there is enough interest in having an additional ANC created that it is worth exploring. While he will be on vacation for the month of August and return after Labor Day, to keep things moving he will continue to work with the Task Force members via email and phone while he takes a first crack at redrawing the maps himself. He will then bring those maps back to the Task Force to include additional changes based on Task Force members’ comments and input from the general public.
Former ANC 1B05 Commissioner Brianne K. Nadeau was also in attendance. You can read her report of the meeting on her blog here.Government comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.