Ward Redistricting

Committee of the Whole | Subcommittee on Redistricting

The decennial redistricting process officially began in September 2021 when the 2020 Census data were finally released five months late. Three At-Large members were appointed by Chair Mendelson to lead the Committee of the Whole’s Subcommittee on Redistricting, Elissa Silverman (Chair), Anita Bonds, and Christina Henderson.

According to the dedicated website on District redistricting maintained by At-Large Councilmember Ellisa Silverman, “[u]sing data from the 2020 Census, the subcommittee will make recommendations to the full Council on redrawing ward boundaries to ensure balanced ward populations and representation in the legislature. The subcommittee, along with ward-specific task forces, will also make recommendations on redrawing Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) boundaries to meet similar balancing and fair representation goals.”

The Subcommittee released the final map proposal on November 18, where existing boundaries are in color and proposed new boundaries are in black. The Subcommittee mark-up of the ward redistricting bill took place on November 19, 2021. The full Council is expected to take a first vote on the ward redistricting bill on December 7, 2021 and a second vote on December 21, 2021.

Go to the dedicated District Redistricting page here for more information.

ANC 3/4G Special Meeting on Redistricting (December 1, 2021)

ANC 3/4G held a Special Meeting over Zoom on Ward Redistricting on December 1, 2021 that started at 7:03 pm and ended at 10:34 pm.

Those who wished to make remarks (3-min limit), were asked to sign up ahead of time to speak by emailing either Commissioner Lisa Gore at 3G01@anc.dc.gov or Commissioner Michael Zeldin at 3G04@anc.dc.gov Those who didn’t sign up in advance to speak spoke after those who did. Commissioner Gore read out loud the written statements of those who were unable to attend the meeting (see section below).

The video recording of the meeting can be found here where oral remarks and the deliberations among commissioners can be heard. The chat log can be found here.

After hearing the community share their views, the Commission approved a resolution (see section below) to reunite the four Ward 4 districts located in Barnaby Woods, Hawthorne, and parts of Chevy Chase, DC with the other three Ward 3 districts by a vote of 4 Yes, 1 No, and 1 Abstention.

Here was part of the Notice that was shared with the community a week before the Special Meeting:

WHY HOLD A SPECIAL MEETING? The District is changing ward boundaries to align with population changes over the last decade that have been documented by the 2020 Census. ANC 3/4G has heard feedback from residents about possible boundary changes and wants to hold a community conversation about whether Hawthorne, Barnaby Woods and parts of Chevy Chase, which were moved to Ward 4 two decades ago, should stay in Ward 4 or be shifted back to Ward 3.

The Commission is holding a special meeting to consider residents’ views on the Council’s ward redistricting proposal as it affects the boundary between Wards 3 and 4.

We look forward to hearing from everyone who wishes to speak, whether you support the current boundaries or want to suggest changes.

A few facts and rules:

1. The Council is on its way to approving a redistricting plan with no change in Wards 3 and 4. The Commission can’t promise it will be able to influence the process. For those who seek change, your best bet is to provide a proposal with a detailed map in advance of the meeting.

2. For a proposal to stand any chance of influencing the outcome, it needs to comply with the rules the Council is working within. Most importantly, that means no ward can have a population that varies up or down from any other ward by more than 5%. To review the Council rules, go to: https://www.elissasilverman.com/redistricting

3. The meeting will focus on ward boundaries only. The Commission hopes that the ANC boundaries will remain the same, no matter what wards our neighborhoods are in.

4. To conduct an open meeting, the Commission needs people to sign up ahead of time to speak. If you want to speak at the meeting, please email Commissioners Lisa Gore at 3G01@anc.dc.gov or Michael Zeldin at 3G04@anc.dc.gov. There will be a chance for those who don’t sign up in advance to speak, but only after those who do.

5. Speakers should limit their remarks to three minutes.

6. People are passionate on both sides of this issue. Passion can turn to anger and personal attacks. Everybody attending needs to check their anger at the door. Those who don’t risk being cut off.

Background:

On December 1, 2021, ANC 3/4G will hold a special meeting to consider residents’ views on the Council’s ward redistricting proposal as it affects the boundary between Wards 3 and 4. The Council Redistricting Subcommittee’s report at pages 27-28 proposes no change to the current boundary.

For the last 20 years, the western part of Chevy Chase has been included in Ward 3 and the eastern part of Chevy Chase and all of Barnaby Woods and Hawthorne in Ward 4. On December 7, 2021, the Counsel will take its first vote on this proposal and any proposed amendments and will take a final vote on December 21, 2021.

The Subcommittee held public hearings on possible redistricting for Ward 3 on October 22, 2021, and for Ward 4 on October 28, 2021. At its regular November 22, 2021 meeting, the Commission heard from Ward 3 Councilmember Cheh, read a letter from Ward 4 Councilmember Lewis George, considered a statement from the Commission’s Racial and Social Equity Committee, and heard from several residents about their views on setting the boundary between the two wards. The Commission concluded that it needed to give the community an additional opportunity to express its views and to consider whether to take any further action before the Council’s votes.

The December 1st meeting will be similar to other community meetings we’ve held to gather residents’ input. In order to make the most of the meeting time, we ask that those who wish to speak help us by signing up in advance, limiting their remarks to three minutes and curbing the impulse to ask commissioners questions so we can maximize your speaking time and minimize ours.

The flyer can be found here.

ANC 3/4G RESOLUTION AND TESTIMONIES

ANC 3/4G Resolution on the “Ward Boundaries of Portions of Chevy Chase and the Entirety of Barnaby Woods and Hawthorne” approved at the properly noticed, Special Meeting held on December 1, 2021.

ANC 3/4G Chair Randy Speck’s Individual Testimony at the Subcommittee on Redistricting Ward 3 Hearing held on October 22, 2021. Video of the hearing can be found here.

ANC 3/4G Chair Randy Speck’s Individual Testimony at the Subcommittee on Redistricting Ward 4 Hearing held on October 28, 2021. Video of the hearing can be found here.

Written Testimonies Submitted to ANC 3/4G Special Meeting on December 1, 2021.