By Melissa Silverman
After 11 hearings, 150 witnesses, 40 hours of testimony, and 220 resident map submissions, the DC Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting approved a final redistricting map, shifting the boundaries of the city’s eight wards to rebalance population based on the most recent U.S. Census. With subcommittee approval, the map moves to the full Council for a vote on December 21.
Under the subcommittee’s approved map, the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood remains in Ward 6. As the only ward over the legally prescribed population limit, Ward 6 was required to shed residents, which the subcommittee map accomplishes in part by expanding Ward 8 across the Anacostia River to include Navy Yard and the neighboring townhomes that border the Southeast Freeway. The western part of the updated Ward 8 spans the newly built Frederick Douglass Bridge to the 11th Street Bridge and includes enough population for a stand-alone Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Ward 7 also grows across the Anacostia River and includes a new boundary that spans the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge to the East Capitol Street bridge, extending up to C Street NE.
The population of the current Ward 6 is further reduced on the newly-drawn map by transferring residents in four Census tracts in the Shaw/Mount Vernon neighborhoods to Ward 2. In the interest of furthering racial diversity in Ward 6, the subcommittee map reunites 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.
The newly-drawn Ward 6 includes 87,954 residents, of which 49,629 are white, 22,914 are Black and 6,260 are Hispanic.
“I truly believe this map not only meets the legal requirement of equal representation, but advances racial and economic diversity in the District while safeguarding the voting strength of Black residents,” said At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, who chairs the Redistricting Subcommittee, in a press release.
Changes in ward boundaries will not impact parking zones, public school boundaries, police districts and patrol service areas, and many other government services.
Specific boundary adjustments by ward include:
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