view map larger in PDF here: 2021-11-18 Final Subcommittee Map
More info from Councilmember Elisa Silverman:
“By law, every 10 years the District of Columbia needs to rebalance its population among the city’s electoral districts so all are roughly equal in size, within a legally permissible range. The District’s official Census count was 689,545, which means every ward must be between 81,883 and 90,503 residents. Currently, three wards fall outside of the mandated population boundaries: Wards 6, 7, and 8. Therefore, these three wards must be redrawn to ensure residents have equal representation in local government, and other wards may be impacted due to cascading effects and other considerations.
The key question before the Subcommittee was how to grow Wards 7 and 8, which are geographically separated by the natural boundary of the Anacostia River from the rest of the city (with the exception of a small part of ward 7 which spans the Anacostia) while shrinking the population of Ward 6. Though the fundamental duty of redistricting is to rebalance the population to ensure every resident has an equal voice in government, any new political boundaries must be drawn in a way that does not dilute the voting strength of minority residents. The Subcommittee considered this principle greatly as it examined how to blend neighborhoods of varying racial and economic composition.
The subcommittee’s final map proposal balances the legal requirement of equal representation with a strong interest in advancing the economic and racial diversity of the District’s wards while safeguarding the voting strength of Black residents east of the Anacostia River.
Ward 8 grows across the Anacostia River into Navy Yard and neighboring townhomes that border the Southeast Freeway. The western part of Ward 8 spans the newly built Frederick Douglass Bridge to the 11th Street Bridge, giving easy pedestrian and bicycle access as well as car travel to both sides of the river. It creates more racial diversity, though the addition of white residents does not dilute the voting strength of Ward 8’s Black residents. Additionally, this allows western Ward 8 to have enough population for a stand-alone Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
Ward 7 grows further across the Anacostia River, with Reservation 13’s ongoing mixed-use development as its economic activity anchor. The western shore of Ward 7 spans the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge to the East Capitol Street bridge, extending up to C Street NE. The western boundary is largely 15th Street, and it jags southwest on Potomac Avenue SE near the Metro station. This proposal again promotes racial diversity but does not dilute the voting strength of Black residents in Ward 7. Additionally, it allows western Ward 7 to have the representation of an entire Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
Ward 6 reduces population on its western boundary by transferring residents in four Census tracts in the Shaw/Mount Vernon neighborhoods to Ward 2. Residents asked for this area to be united under one ward, and many expressed a preference for Ward 2. Ward 8’s growth into Navy Yard and Ward 7’s further growth westward also reduced population. A decision was made by the Subcommittee to further racial diversity in Ward 6 by reuniting Kingman Park, which used to be in Ward 6’s boundary but is now in Ward 7, back together with the Rosedale area. The Rosedale and Kingman Park Census tracts constitute the only majority Black neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, and the Subcommittee believed it was important to listen to resident voices who wanted to reunite these communities of interest in Ward 6.
Finally, the Subcommittee appreciates how fraught redistricting can be for residents. Change is sometimes not easy, especially when it is a change that is imposed upon residents and not requested. That is why the Subcommittee made an early and intentional decision to freeze parking zones; this was the biggest expressed reason why many residents feared a change of ward boundaries. As has been noted many times, ward boundaries do not change public school boundaries, police districts and patrol service areas, and many other government services. After redistricting is completed, we will still have the same neighbors, patronize the same businesses if they are in our neighborhoods, and we will all remain bound together in a common interest as District residents.
SPECIFIC BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENTS BY WARD
Ward 1: Absorb the Armed Forces Retirement Home and medical center from Ward 5, and extend southern border three blocks east along S Street NW
Ward 2: Accept the Ward 6 Census tracts comprising Shaw; move western border south of Massachusetts Avenue NW to 5th Street NW
Ward 3: No change
Ward 4: No change
Ward 5: Transfer Armed Forces Retirement Home to Ward 1
Ward 6: Transfer the Shaw Census tracts into Ward 2; transfer most of Navy Yard to Ward 8; change border with Ward 7 to be C Street NE to the north, to 15th Street NE, down to Potomac Ave SE, to 11th Street SE, returning Kingman Park to Ward 6
Ward 7: Change the border with Ward 6 to be C Street NE to the north, to 15th Street NE, down to Potomac Ave SE, to 11th Street SE, returning Kingman Park to Ward 6
Ward 8: Accept Navy Yard from Ward 6″
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