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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 [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

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 [email protected]

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