Ward 6 residents resist redistricting
Residents of the Rosedale neighborhood argue the re-districting plan adopted by a D.C. Council committee Thursday will unfairly split them apart.
“The redistricting committee could have applied a scalpel, instead they came with a meat cleaver,” said Rob Stephens, who lives in Rosedale.
This community at the eastern edge of Ward 6 is set to become part of Ward 7 as redistricting gets underway. Because of population shifts the city is legally obligated to balance out its wards, and 7 needs to grow.
The current plan moves the border between wards 6 and 7 to 17th Street Northeast, whereas currently the Anacostia River serves as the border.
“Being in Ward 6, I feel like a family here. Being in Ward 7 we would feel so isolated being across the river. We just think different here,” said Gladys Mack, Ward 6 ANC commissioner.
Other neighborhoods like Penn Quarter and Shaw are also affected, but neighbors in Rosedale are pushing back most forcefully.
“We understand that things have to change, but do you understand that people are really being affected by this change?” asked Ncothia Bowens.
Rosedale residents also point to council member Harry Thomas's Ward 5, which directly borders Ward 7 but is staying intact.
“I think he has a lot of clout and I think he's keeping his ward together, so it's political so he can keep the vote,” said Shirley Worthy.
The redistricting committee moved forward with their plan Thursday despite petitions, rallies, and even some squabbling among councilmembers.
“We are totally prepared for the ugly comments that will be made in the coming weeks because that's where redistricting takes people. Right into the gutter,” said Jack Evans of Ward 2.
One more public hearing is set for June 1. before the new boundaries become official in July. View the subcommittee's report online. The proposed borders for Ward 6 are below.
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