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 took its first vote on the ward redistricting bill with Chair Mendelson’s markup on December 7, 2021 and is expected to take 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)

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 heard feedback from residents about possible boundary changes and decided 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.

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 to consider residents’ views on the Council’s ward redistricting proposal as it affects the boundary between Wards 3 and 4.

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 (Gore, Zeldin, Gosselin, Chang), 1 No (Speck), and 1 Abstention (Higgins).

In passing this Resolution, it was the view of the Commission that reuniting the Chevy Chase neighborhood in Ward 3 is in the best interest of the community. The contents of the Resolution made clear that the Commission’s decision was based on the structural issues that bifurcating the Neighborhood Cluster that is known as Chevy Chase twenty years ago created for our ANC. By reunifying the three SMDs with sizeable minority populations that are now in Ward 4 back into Ward 3, we will have made an immediate impact on Ward 3’s diversity levels; reversed an act of political expediency twenty years earlier; and recreated compact and contiguous boundaries into one ward to ensure shared and collective interests are represented fully and by a single councilmember and school board of representative. The Commission asked that all seven Single Member Districts remain together whether or not they are reunited in Ward 3 or remain bifurcated across two Wards.

A community petition and a new Facebook page have been created to solicit support for reunification of the Ward 4 districts west of Rock Creek Park back to Ward 3.

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.

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.