Dear PoPville – Don’t Let Bloomingdale Be Split by Redistricting


Photo by PoPville flickr user nairdaecartal

“Dear PoPville,

Ward 5 is currently being redistricted and Bloomingdale is “chopped up” under this new plan. This plan splits Bloomingdale into two ANCs and leaves the majority out and it drastically reduces any influence on how the McMillan develops. It also creates an “artificial seat” for a new ANC commissioner which is highly believed to be a political reward for Councilmember Thomas’s longtime supporters, Robert Brannum and Berry Daneker. During several Meetings with the Councilmember we were told that our concerns would be properly addressed, however we just found out that he had already submitted the current plan to the DC council way before we were told that he would address/and fix any issues. Many believe that this is a political move to weaken the voice of Bloomingdale, but all the majority wants is to keep Bloomingdale united. At this point we are desperate and asking for help from residents. Please take action, otherwise we will pay the consequences until the new redistricting takes place, 10 years from now.

Issues: Redistricting takes places every ten years after the census data is collected. Bloomingdale currently is contained within one ANC commission and contains three single member districts (SMDs). John Salatti, Hugh Youngblood and James Fournier are the ANC commissioners that represent these SMDs in the larger ANC. Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr has proposed redistricting plans that will divide Bloomingdale. In addition, he has not developed these plans in a transparent way or adequately responded to citizens’ concerns. Some believe his goal is to weaken Bloomingdale — a sliver of NW that is in his largely NE ward.

Impacts on Bloomingdale: The Thomas plan would split Bloomingdale into two Commissions and make it more difficult for Bloomingdale to speak with one voice about issues of concern, particularly the future development of the McMillan Sand Filtration site. Issues related to the site include traffic through Bloomingdale (Imagine DCUSA without metro access and a handful of roads in and out.), flooding, types of businesses that go in, and access to green space. If McMillan shifts to an ANC that divides Bloomingdale and includes the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Catholic University and gated communities on Michigan Avenue, Bloomingdale’s ability to influence how development unfolds at McMillan (which most residents support) will be drastically reduced.

Actions Needed:

First Action: Email your concerns to Councilpersons Harry Thomas Jr, Michael Brown, Jack Evans, Phil Mendelson, David Catania and Vincent Orange at hthomas@dccouncil.us, mbrown@dccouncil.us, jevans@dccouncil.us, pmendelson@dccouncil.us, dcatania@dccouncil.us, vorange@dccouncil.us.

Second Action: Attend the Redistricting Task Force meeting on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 pm at 185 Bladensburg Road, NE, 5D Headquarters and register your concerns in person.

Third Action: ( MOST IMPORTANT) Attend the City Council meeting on redistricting on Tuesday, November 29 at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, and register your concerns.

Want to know more? Email commissioner John Salatti at John.Salatti@gmail.com”

41 Comment

  • if you are remotely interested you NEED to see this map of the proposed division to understand the absurdity of it. remember when people in brookland were saying that big bear can’t serve alcohol? this would make it worse.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=214530494161355155235.0004aeaceda6c2952b833&msa=0

  • Yup- under this new plan, woodbridge has a vote on what goes on in bloomingdale. Absurd.

    • though it gives bloomingdale a chance to squash ny ave walmart related stuff. vote against their curbcuts!

      • my mistake. it doesn’t. those boundaries are whacked out!

        • Unfortunately, the Thomas plan isn’t a “map” it is mapped out in directions. The map you linked to shows what the Task Force “approved” but still shows Bloomingdale being split – this time at a different point…

    • Woodridge? Speaking of Big Bear didn’t they recently host a ‘club like’ event with a DJ. How did that go over w/ neighbors? If it generated money won’t they want to do it again? Isn’t that what some of the actual neighbors of the establishment were concerned about? (Note: The residents of Woodridge don’t care about Big Bear. No plan will make everyone happy )

  • andy

    yeah, that really does look like someone deliberately tried to divide Big Bear from its primary community of interest to the north and west.

    Do the boundaries have to be population-proportionate?

    • The whole Big Bear controversy is no longer an issue in the neighborhood ( and quite frankly, should have never escalated to the point that it did). What’s at issue here is the serious gerrymandering by a councilmember (who, may I remind everyone, has allegedly stolen and agreed to pay back over $300K of city money) who is both trying to get reelected and more importantly, to develop McMillan once and for all.

      Not going to happen that way. And come Jan 5, is when the gloves come off! ;)

      • I cannot wait for Jan 5!! While I am not in ward 5 and will not be able to recall Harry “Hooters” Thomas, I will be signing a petition to recall Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown!

    • If that’s really Thomas’s map then I don’t understand what the uproar is about. It has all of Bloomingdale in one purple ANC. What are they mad about?

      • The point is that the big empty space directly above the purple ANC is going to be developed in the next ten years which will majorly affect the people in the purple ANC, but Thomas is trying to keep these pesky residents from interfering in the process.

      • Part of the Green above the Purple is still part of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood – including the McMillin Filtration Site.

        Bloomingdale goes from Michigan Ave at the North to Florida Ave to the South – N. Cap to the East and 2nd to the West.

        With this development, and the seperation of ANCs, the citizens of Bloomingdale will not have a voice in what happens – because everything will go through an ANC that isn’t theirs.

        • OK, now I see it. You’re right, the other map David T linked makes more sense, at least in this area. I don’t know enough about the ward to judge the rest of it.

  • As seen on Scott’s latest email, Ward 5 Resident Geoff Hatchard proposed this map. I like it. http://is.gd/N4CFIf

  • Yes, the redistricting plan was designed to specifically screw over big bear.

    No, if it was specifically planned at all, with bloomingdale/truxton/eckington in mind, it was to dilute the influence of white newcomers in the political process. This would not surprise me. It would make having white ANC reps more difficult, and the few that actually made it on, would be split between 2 different ANCs.

    This assumes that the creator of this map believes that both blacks and whites are monolithic populations and is extremely cynical.

    If thats not what they meant to do, then this is just a really poorly drawn map.

    I tend to believe that this was a bad idea, with little nefarious racial politicking in play. Still, its dumb and should be changed.

  • Sorry, but I live in Eckington south of RIA and I just don’t see how south Bloomingdale residents can say with a straight face that they should be districted with Stronghold and McMillan. I don’t get it at all.

    • ell – this has nothing to do with wanting a “piece of the pie” and everything to do with stopping the ridiculous machine from wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of TAXPAYER money for infrastructure (water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, ddot surveys, etc) to entice developers.

      There’s something VERY wrong with that and redistricting the site to a new neighborhood which has never been affiliated with the site presents a big problem.

  • Eli,
    A few reasons.
    1. Bloomingdale both north and south has developed a very strong neighborhood identity and sense of community.
    2 first street is a major hub of Bloomingdale and development of mcmillan will greatly impact quality of life issues for residents both n and s of ria.
    3 water issues. Flooding is not uncommon in Bloomingdale even south of ria. And dev. at the site will affect water issues on both sides of the hood.

  • First let me state that I have been promised nothing from the CM Thomas nor do I need to ask for any favors. This remark from Mr. Geoffery Hatchard who has spent more of his time on twitter, GGW, etc than he does doing his job at the US Census, is just another feeble attempt by Commissioner Salatti to get influence in the community. Mr. Salatti should recall some of those morality and ethics classes he took at the Theology school he attended. Shame on you Commissioner Salatti! Furthermore if you’re going to invoke my name for goodness sake spell it right!
    @ Anonymous—So BBC get’s it’s license and now you want them to have a voice in McMillan…you can’t have your cake and eat it too!
    @joeesq74- Yes you are correct….wonder how that’s working for those R St residents
    @Bloomingdalian- I agree about BBC…if only Stu Davenport would have been open and honest instead of getting Salatti and that crew involved it could have been easily been done. But once you get Mr. Salatti involved in anything, there is always some shit he has sparked up for no reason other than his own self serving interests.
    @Devoe- What the hell would you know you don’t even live here anymore and frankly you didn’t when you were the ANC Commisioner. Devoe=Devoid of any ethics.
    @JBloomDC—you’re right the residents who live in the new ANC… who are really the neighbors of McMillan will have a voice, not Mr. Salatti his clan that has been trying to stop the development since day one…they want 18 acres of farmland for $60 million….now that’s how you get attention for DC…Dc spends $60 million dollars for 18 acres of urban farmland….most expensive farmland in the World…
    @Anon—you so wacked out of your head. Trust me if the CM wanted to screw BBC he would have stopped their zoning map amendment. So please don’t be so dumb! And the black/white thing is only in your small little mind! Typical!
    @eli—OMG thank you for having common sense and voicing your opinion because your right!
    @A First Street is not a hub but more like a cut through N. Capital Street. Are there any commercial interests on First St? NO! Hence theory is crap!

    • If you really had a sense of this community you would understand why bloomingdale would feel impacted by mcmillan. you would understand bloomingdales support of john salatti. and you would know that there is commercial interest on first street. you responses illustrate that you do not know this community.

    • Wow. I’m not familiar with this whole ANC situation or with any of the personalities involved, but “DCCommish” — apparently Barry Daneker? — makes himself look really bad with the above post.

      All of the mudslinging and “you so wacked out of your head” is not the kind of thing we should be hearing from elected officials.

      If you have an argument to make, make it clearly and without insulting/belittling people who might differ with you.

    • honestly i am surprised at how hateful your post is

  • @dccomish not that it matters, but FYI , John salatti did not send nor write this post. We used his email address at the bottom for any one that would have questions. Sorry we misspelled your name. You just act and look like a Berry anyway.

  • Um, DCCommish, aren’t ALL of Bloomingdale’s commercial interests on First Street?

  • @Anon- Well the divisive actions of Mr. Salatti and the misinformation he puts out needs to be communicated too! Furthermore…as everyone knows my DCCommish…why do you post ANON? Involvement also means putting yourself out there.

    @checkypantz. No if you look at a map you will see that RIA, N. Cap and Florida Ave are the commercial streets and zones of Bloomingdale, and yes that would include some corner lots on those streets; other than an occasional bodega here and there. 1st in Bloomingdale is residential.

    • i’m not sure why dc commish or gigi ransom feel that it is improper for bloomingdale to want mcmillan to be in it’s anc. we share a residential street with the property. no other neighborhood does.

  • It is very notable that Bloomingdale has a lot of young and very politically active residents. Why does it seem to be that way? There are a lot of complaints coming from this area, so much so that Harry Thomas took over theeetong and opened up the floor for questions and answers instead of allowing the task force to give it’s presentation.

    So why are Bloomingdale residents so upset and so vocal ? Why that area specifically?

  • @A–I have a great sense of this community and have served it since moving to Bloomingdael. What I don’t have is tolerance for persons in our community to use thier influence for there own political games and to start a firestorm over issues they have little or no control. There was a task force…Mr. Salatti didn’t like the results so he wnats to change it. The process is the same for every ward…work the process not people!
    @eli- it wasn’t hateful but more like the shocking truth, something we don’t hear much of in Bloomingdale.
    @Ectoplasm–I agree and I am encouraged by the active people in our community. The major reason why Bloomingdale is all out of whack is the pandering of Mr. Salatti and his crew…Fournier and Youngblood….no good at all!

  • 10 yrs ago wasn’t part of the now present bloomingdale part of ward 4? Wasn’t it sliced off by CM Thomas Sr and added to ward 5 to drive up the income and housing numbers of ward 5 so they wouldn’t be so dissmal? Now CM Thomas Jr has to deal with the work of his father because he doesn’t like the demographics of the very ward that boost the ward 5 housing price averages,salaries and lowers the crime numbers? Now he is trying to slice it up so as to water down influence of the very people and homes his father was clamoring for in the first place.

  • DCCommish – I’ve been in the neighborhood for a long time and am very surprised we have never met. Here’s the deal: Stop the bs regarding John Salatti – he may come across awkwardly at times, but there is no question that he has the neighborhood’s best interests at heart. He’s at every neighborhood function – whether it be a meeting, safety walk, clean-up day, McMillan tour, tweet-up, etc. He’s the first to respond to a neighbor in need. And he just GETS it.

    I don’t understand the perpetually negative and oddly defensive stance that yourself and some of the other current/past Ward5 ANC’s typically take. I also don’t understand how/why you continue to brown-nose Harry Thomas Jr. You guys are done.

  • @Bloomingdalian– I’m at a lot of events in the area. You obviously have never been to an ANC5C meeting. As for Mr. Salatti’s being at a tom of things you are correct, and I have never taken that away from him. I give credit, where it is do and most leaders in this community would agree with me on that much!
    As for the negative comments for Commissioner Salatti, you might get more involved to see this man in action. First he tried to swindle the DCDSC out of a hotel room bill in Denver in 2008, he attempted to get the ANC to pay for campaign materials, then he got into McMillan development with these crazy people who want the city to spend $60 million on 18 acres of farmland, let’s not forget his guidance to Stu on BBC liquor license , or his petition to stop a dry cleaners in Bloomingdale, then his taskforce tactics.
    He wasn’t on the task force and he bitched and cried to CM Thomas… so they let him on. Then he tried to take over the taskforce, they voted against him, then he takes on the battle in Bloomingdale and lost on the ANC vote to accept the re-districting plan. Because he didn’t get his way he storms out of the meeting. Mr. Salatti has pissed off so many leader in this community he can’t get anything done. This guy is in this for his own political gains, no in it for the right reasons…giveback to the community. That’s not a statesman in my eyes, and that’s what I am looking for in any representative.
    As for the comment about brown nosing…I wasn’t the one up CM Thomas’s ass like Mr. Salatti, I didn’t get any acclamations, awards, monuments of medals from CM Thomas like Salatti has for the past few years. I take nothing and owe nothing to CM Thomas. So please get some more information on Salatti and his record on these items and we can have a more informed conversation.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Please don’t use language like, “I wasn’t the one up CM Thomas’s ass”.

      Thank you.

    • what you do no understand is that your take on mr. salatti and whatever truth that may hold doesn’t make you someone that understands this area or us residents. you have acted in a way that is contrary to the wishes of this neighborhood. this is why you are not a commissioner and why you do not have respect of the neighborhood. sling all the mud you want, you are not on the right side of the issues and you are not fair and equitable to all. when you talk you divide, that is what makes you divisive. please come to an understanding of that.

  • @Anonymous– when it come to Commissioner Salatti and his antics most assures. When it comes to bs in the community you are right. Speak up and tell the truth no matter how unpopular, being on the right side of the issue, and being fair and equitable to all…yes that’s would be me being divisive….

  • thomas won.
    bloomingdale lost.

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