Posted tagged ‘Advisory Neighborhood Commissions’

Election Season Opens for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners

July 10, 2012

Ward 1 map showing 2013 ANC and SMD boundaries

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are a uniquely D.C. component of local government. For those currently serving as commissioners — or deciding to toss their hat into the ring for the first time — yesterday began the biennial election cycle.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., the Board of Elections and Ethics began handing out ANC nomination petitions. The petitions are due by the close of business on Wednesday, August 8th. In order to qualify to be on the November 6th ballot, a minimum of 25 registered voters from a given Single Member District need to sign the petition for an ANC candidate. The map above shows the new ANC and SMD boundaries that will be in effect beginning on January 1, 2013.

As in past elections, some races tend to be hotly contended, others are unopposed, and still others have no one running at all.

Cecilia Jones, President of the  Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association, sent out (in part) the following in a call for candidates on the Columbia Heights Listserv:

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a political structure in DC where one Commissioner represents a Single Member District (SMD) [of] about 2,000 residents. Each of DC’s 8 Wards have at least 4 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (e.g., 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D). Each Commission has about 8 to 10 Commissioners. On November 6th, nearly 300 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners will be elected to represent DC’s neighborhoods.

Have you ever considered running for public office? Would you like to become your neighborhood’s ANC? Or would you like to support a candidate who is already running, or encourage someone you know to run? What we must NOT do is refuse to act now and complain later.

Important 2012 Dates:

July 9th  – Nominating Petitions are available.
August 8th – Nominating Petitions are due. Petition Requirements: 25 signatures of registered voters from the candidate’s Single Member District.
November 6th – General Election for ANC Commissioners and other races

**Note: ANCs are non-partisan so there is no primary, just the General Election on November 6th. The position of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is unpaid, and can be very demanding.

Please talk about the upcoming ANC election among your neighbors and friends. Please go to the next ANC Meeting in your area: http://anc.dc.gov/anc/site/default.asp

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Ward 1 ANC/SMD Task Force Recommends Four ANC Map as Primay Proposal

October 4, 2011

At the final Ward One Task Force for ANC/SMD Redistricting meeting held last night (10/3), the Task Force voted — with ten members for and one abstention —  to move forward with a 4 ANC Ward as the primary recommendation and a 5 ANC Ward as the alternative recommendation.

In the primary recommendation, the boundaries of ANC 1C and ANC 1D will remain unchanged. ANC 1D would change from 6 Single Member Districts (SMDs) to 5 SMDs. The primary change in the 4 ANC map is between ANC 1A and 1B, where four census blocks in the northwest corner of 1B would be transferred to 1A. The movement of these blocks unites Columbia Heights Village within a single ANC. This adjustment also makes both 1A and 1B twelve SMD commissions. See the map below:

The recommended 4 ANC map (1A section) showing the proposed SMDs

ANC 1C and 1D also remain stable in the 5 ANC map the Task Force ultimately put forward as the alternate proposal. In that map everything east of New Hampshire and Sherman Avenues is separated from 1A and 1B to create a new, Georgia Avenue focused ANC. The border between 1A and 1B is additionally readjusted with the new border between them moved south to Girard Street.

All in all, the Task Force meeting was fairly straight forward with few twists and turns. All that is left if for the Task Force chair, Alan Roth, to write up the report and send it to the Council by next week.

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Ward 1 ANC Redistricting Inches Forward

September 23, 2011

Ward 1 Map with census numbers on census blocks and Single Member Districts. Click on Map for large version

Last night (9/22), Ward 1 ANC/SMD Redistricting Task Force Chairman Alan Roth officially opened the additional meeting on the subject at 6:46 p.m. to a sparsely attended room. At that time, only six of the eleven task force members were present, but eventually that number rose to eight.

At the start of the meeting, each community member that had proposed a version of a redistricted map was given an opportunity to present that map. This gave the floor in turn to Commissioner Kent Boese (1A08), Commissioner Tony Norman (1B10), and a proposal for Adams Morgan (1C) by residents Ted Guthrie, Denis James, and Peter Lyden.

Not surprisingly, Boese emphasized the importance of keeping the Park View community in 1A, or at least associated with Columbia Heights, citing natural community affinities. Norman showed the other Task Force members a map of a redistricted 1B (although copies of the map were never mad available to the assembly) in which three census blocks in northwestern 1B were removed with no clear reassignment. Later in the evening, Boese pressed Norman on if members of 1B had actually gone through the exercise of redistricting the entire Ward to see if their map would work. Norman replied that they had done all of the ANCs but were still working on 1A where the were having problems.

The Adams Morgan proposal essentially kept Adams Morgan as is with very minor changes. Community members there feel that 16th Street is a very real border. This view was not shared with resident Steve Mudd who expressed the fluidity of 16th Street between Fuller Street and Spring Road, with the community moving back and forth across the thoroughfare.

At this point, and to keep the Task Force moving forward, Chairman Roth set down some objectives that he referred to as Redistricting Reality. He gave direction that the Task Force should move forward with them in mind. There are as follows:

  • The primary plan should be a four (4) ANC plan and the focus should be there;
  • He does not believe there is overwhelming support for 1B to grow to 13 SMDs;
  • It would not be possible to keep the overall ANC borders exactly as they are, there would have to be some changes;
  • He did not believe that a majority of the Task Force would support ANC 1D growing to 9 SMDs, or possibly even 7 SMDs;
  • After reviewing the many laws governing redistricting, while some of them may not seem logical, the Task Force was going to abide by the law; and,
  • That the notion of neighborhood boundaries being fixed is absurd.

Roth continued that it was time for the Task Force to get real. In his judgement, there were areas that could go either way with which ANC an SMD belong to … which not surprisingly are located along the edges of  our current ANCs. Roth also stated that it was not legal to redistrict with the intent of putting a segment of the population in a single SMD — such as drawing lines with the goal of putting local military personnel or university students in one SMD.

Following this, Task Force member Commissioner Thomas Boisvert (1A07) distributed his roadmap for moving forward. In it he argued that the Task Force needed to establish overall boundaries for the ANCs and then break out into smaller groups to come up with the SMDs. Boisvert expressed that his method would work for both a four or five ANC solution.

Task Force member Shelore Williams, while agreeing with Boisvert and supporting a four ANC solution, wanted a five ANC plan in the mix when the recommendation is submitted to Councilmember Graham. Williams justification for this approach is based in the support that exists for the five ANC plan in some communities, and that she contends that the Councilmember should be given the opportunity to review both approaches.

What was most encouraging to observers is that from this point the Task Force members actually got down to brass tacks and appeared to make some progress. Using the maps shared at previous meetings, the Task Force began to work together to come up with the general ANC borders. From their notes (for both a four and five ANC solution) they will attempt to create new general maps by their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday September 27 6:30 pm at the Columbia Heights Youth Club, 1480 Girard Street, NW. At that meeting the public will have another opportunity to review the Task Force’s progress, proposals, and comment.

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Ward 1 ANC Redistricting Task Force Issues First Drafts

September 6, 2011

Over the Labor Day weekend, Ward One ANC Redistricting Task Force Chairperson Alan Roth distributed the first broadcast email over various Ward One listserves showing the initial map  proposals from which the task force will work. Roth issued both a four ANC version and a five ANC version. Below are the two overview maps. All maps, and more information can be found at the Task Force’s Web site located at www.ward1ancredistricting.shutterfly.com

As you review these maps (or the additional ones online), I’d be interested in hearing your comments. Is one of these options better than the other? How can they be improved?

(Proposed 4 ANC/SMD Boundaries with populations)

(Potential SMD boundaries in 5 ANC Ward with populations)

Chairperson Roth’s full email is after the jump (more…)

ANC/SMD Redistricting for Ward 1 — The Four ANC/Status Quo Scenario

September 1, 2011

I was at a meeting recently where the Ward 1 ANC redistricting was discussed. In the course of those conversations there was something that struck me.  While redistricting is basically a numbers game (trying to get each single member district as close to 2,000 as possible within a 5% deviation), it is also about communities and their representation. Or, as one person said to me more poignantly, the “N” in ANC stands for neighborhood.

In this context where the emphasis is placed primarily on providing neighborhood’s and their communities representation, I have to say that in my opinion a Georgia Avenue focused ANC does not make sense to me. While dividing Ward 1 into five ANCs is an elegant plan on paper (and works as I’ve shown), in practice it would de-emphasis neighborhood representation and sever communities that have long-standing and natural affinities to each other. While development along Lower Georgia Avenue is an important issue, it would likely be the only real issue the neighborhoods along it would have in common … and I don’t think one common interest is enough to cobble together a new ANC.

So, taking all of that into consideration, I decided to see what the Ward could look like if the Ward 1 ANC/SMD Task Force recommends keeping our current ANC boundaries as close to the old borders as possible. Again, this is just guess-work and one of many ways this could be accomplished.

ANC 1A

  • Commission of 11 members (currently 11).
  • Possible changes: East of Georgia Avenue the block north of Hobart Place could be moved from 1B to 1A. Similarly, the block bordered by Columbia Road, Sherman Avenue, Harvard Street, and 11th Street could be moved from 1A to 1B.
  • Problems: In this version, ANC 1A11 is above the 2,100 limit with 2,136 residents.
  • Keeps Park View and northern Columbia Heights together. While the two neighborhoods do have different needs, many of the issues they are facing are similar and residents of Park View do tend to embrace Columbia Heights (and Petworth to the north) as part of their immediate community.

Possible ANC 1A (click to enlarge)

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ANC/SMD Redistricting for Ward 1 — The Five ANC Scenario

August 23, 2011

If Ward 1 were divided into 5 ANCs, this map shows one possible way to do it. Blue lines are current borders and red lines would be new borders (Click to enlarge)

People active in the community or on area listervs are sure to be aware that the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) — and the Single Member Districts (SMD) within them — are in the process of redistricting based on the 2010 census. Ideally, each SMD should have a population of approximately 2,000 residents ±5% (creating an ideal range of 1,900 to 2,100).

The Ward One Task Force for ANC/SMD Restricting first convened on August 2, 2011, to meet with the public and begin exploring how to balance ANC representation of the Ward equitably. The next task force meeting will be on September 13th (time and place TBD) and the entire process needs to be completed by October 12th. With the short amount of time for the process to be completed, public comment and discussion has begun on some listservs and at community meetings.

One of the loudest voices commenting on the redistricting process has been Mt. Pleasant Commissioner Jack McKay (1D03). Prior to the first task force meeting, McKay suggested that ANC 1D expand east to 14th Street to address his concerns of 1D being too small and 1B being too large. His initial map can be seen here.  In response to McKay’s map, Park View Commissioner Kent Boese (1A08) suggested that a five ANC Ward be considered as an alternative for the task force to consider. A rough map of his initial idea can be seen here. McKay has adopted this idea within a four ANC framework and has proposed this map using 11th Street as the eastern border of a combined 1A/1D.

While reception of the creation of a Georgia Avenue focused eastern ANC has been mixed (ANC 1B unanimously voted to keep their current borders and a commission of 13 SMDs on August 4th), the idea has taken hold among some spheres prompting me to explore its feasibility here. The task force similarly is in the process of drafting solutions for both four and five ANC scenarios to present to the public for comment.

I’m sharing the outcome of my work here to see how others feel about the possibility of an ANC 1E vs. maintaining the Wards current structure. (more…)

Ward 1 ANC/SMD Redistricting Process Gets Started

August 3, 2011

Ward 1 Map with new census numbers on census blocks and Single Member Districts. Click on Map for large version

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.

A new ANC 1E could be created largely from ANC 1A08, 1A09, 1A10, 1B01, 1B10, and 1B11

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.

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