The DC Council Subcommittee on Redistricting will meet Wednesday, November 3, at 10 a.m. for a public hearing specific to Ward 6 concerns. This redistricting process must significantly alter the shape of the ward.
Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) appointed a subcommittee to direct the Council’s redistricting work, consisting of three at-large members: Elissa Silverman, who will chair the subcommittee, Anita Bonds, and Christina Henderson. The subcommittee will make recommendations to the full Council on redrawing ward boundaries to ensure balanced ward populations and representation in the legislature.
The process of redrawing the lines of electoral districts is undertaken by every state (and DC) after each decennial census. In 2020, the US Census Bureau reported that the population for the District of Columbia was 689,545 persons in 2020. The Council has to make sure each of the eight wards will have a roughly equal population, about 86,193 residents, with a permitted deviation of plus or minus 5 percent. That works out to between 81,883 and 90,503 people in each ward.
Only three of the eight wards currently have populations outside those limits. Wards 7 and 8, with populations of 76,255 and 78,513 respectively, are slightly below the permitted range. On the other hand, Ward 6 has a population of 108,202.
That means the ward lines must be redrawn to place at least 17,699 Ward 6 residents in another ward, without pushing any other ward’s population over 90,503.
On Nov. 1, the subcommittee released three draft maps for discussion. Each makes slightly different determinations for how to do this that have consequences for the placement of Navy Yard, Buzzard Point, parts of Hill East, Shaw and NoMA.
You can participate in the process. Attend the online meeting Nov. 3, or the final city-wide hearing at noon Friday, Nov. 5.
Written statements can be submitted by email to email@example.com. Additionally, the public may provide testimony by voice mail by calling (202) 350-1521, stating and spelling the witness’s name, stating any organizational affiliation, and speaking slowly to provide a statement to be transcribed and included in the record.
The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.
Residents can also find more information about the redistricting process at https://www.elissasilverman.com/redistricting.