A Crazy Quilt of Redistricting
- Dear Friends:
Today's Post has an article on redistricting.
I wanted to give you just a little more flavor on what the Mendelson
redistricting plan would do. It really does create unnecessary controversy,
all in an effort to keep one neighborhood in Ward 3 and out of Ward 2.
That neighborhood is Glover Park, an area by the way that is by report not
all that opposed to a transfer to Ward 2.
To achieve that, Mendelson has to pick five fistfights.
First, he would jump the park and transfer Forest Hills east of Conn. from
Ward 3 to Ward 4. The anticipated reaction from Forest Hills has been
described as "ballistic".
The same reaction is likely to occur in Woodley Park, a piece of which I now
represent. Rather than reuniting Woodley Park, Mendelson further divides it
and in effect chooses the worst option: 5.02 to Ward 3, 5.01 to Ward One. I
would keep that boundary the same, something that both sides of Connecticut
are willing to live with.
Mendelson then looks for a scuffle, which he will get, over the transfer of
Sheridan Kalorama, and North Dupont Circle/South Adams Morgan to Ward 2. A
change by the way that insures a "white ward" for Jack Evans, something that
he has steadfastly said he does not want.
Finally, Mendelson takes the neighborhood of Park View, a solid African
American middle class community east of Georgia in Ward One, and splits off a
third of it for Ward 5. I want to keep Park View, and I certainly don't want
the one third which faces the MacMillan reservoir to be part of a Ward a
quarter of a mile away.
So natural boundaries are ignored, neighborhoods are split up, people are
agitated all because a relatively willing Glover Park must not go to Ward 2.
The proposal also is contrary to the recommendations of my Ward One
Redistricting Task Force.
In the Orange Graham plan, we avoid all of those controversies through the
single transfer of Glover Park.
To do otherwise, just doesn't make sense.
Ward One still has to lose population. Under our plan, Forest Hills would not
be jumping the Park to Ward 4. Thus in order to add needed population to that
Ward, we transfer about 5700 people from census tracks 28.0l and 29 (Upper
Columbia Heights/Petworth) on the Northern boundary to Ward 4. All other
boundaries remain the same. A tough choice, admittedly, but not as
disruptive as the Mendelson plan for Ward One.
I wanted you to know.