Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My 2 cents on Proposed Ward 7 ANC Redistricting Plan

So the hearing for the ANC redistricting was today. For the DC politics junkies, the bill is B19-528: ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSIONS BOUNDARIES ACT OF 2011.

Ms V thought the process was a boondoggle from the beginning.   Nonetheless, as a resident of Ward 7, I have a right to voice my opinion.  I reviewed the report and the map.  Below is what I submitted to the Subcommittee on Redistricting.

I am submitting written testimony as a public witness.

I reside in the current ANC 7B06. I was not part of the Ward 7 ANC Redistricting Task Force, but I expressed my opinions throughout the process with my ANC Commissioner. My testimony today will focus on the parts of the plan that I support and do not support, in addition to the process itself.

SUPPORT: Pennsylvania Ave Corridor in ANC 7BThe Pennsylvania Ave SE Corridor is currently being transformed into a “Great Street”. Hopefully over the next several years the corridor will have new development to compliment the new streetscape improvements. I support the corridor being in one commission versus the current split between three commissions. This will ensure consistent and streamlined decision-making throughout the corridor.

OPPOSE: Non-compliance with Subcommittee GuidelinesThe ANC Redistricting Procedures issued by the Subcommittee on Redistricting on June 21, 2011, explicitly state the ideal ANC size is 2000 residents, with a min and max of 1900 and 2100. While there are several SMDs in Ward 7 that do not conform to the tolerance, there are 8 SMDs that are substantially outside of the 5% tolerance.

7B02 – 2233 (+11.7%)
7F02 – 2224 (+11%)
7F04 – 1307 (-34.7%)
7F05 – 2235 (+11.7%)
7F06 – 2247 (+12%)
7D01 – 1444 (-27.8%)
7D02 – 2440 (+22%)
7D03 – 1704 (-14.8%) 
The report provides no detail to justify for why these SMDs should be granted exemption from the 5% tolerance. Absent any sound justification, these SMDs need to be modified to conform to the law. 
OPPOSE: Renaming 7A to 7FI oppose the renaming of 7A to 7F. There was no justification for this change provided in the final report prepared by the Ward 7 ANC Redistricting Task Force. If there were difficulties under the name 7A, then work to rebuild the ANC and/or elected better commissioners. A name change will not repair a reputation. Absent a logical justification the ANC should remain 7A.

CONCERNS: Provision of Maps
I read through the report upon its release. However, it was difficult to visualize some of the boundaries since draft maps were not provided with the report. Even maps hand drawn in marker would be more acceptable than receiving nothing. Last night around 11:30pm I was provided a link to the ANC maps prepared by Office of Planning from a resident in Ward 5. It is very unsettling that this is the first map that Ward 7 has seen of the proposed boundaries.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide written testimony for inclusion in the public record. I’m available for any clarification and discussions.

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