Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ward 3 Redistricting Questions

In a recent issue of The Mail from DC Watch, one resident aired some issues related to the recent Ward 3 redistricting effort:

Ward 3 ANC Redistricting has been a distressing affair. I was horrified by the lack of democracy and the lack of concern for Ward 3 citizens, as ANC lines were redrawn with little or no consideration for residents. A coup by ANC 3E, which retained its small five-person commission, resulted in the ANC’s taking over all the issues in Tenleytown, leaving more than half of Tenleytown’s citizens in ANC 3F.

The five commissioners of ANC 3E now have jurisdiction over every business and institution in Tenleytown (including DC Public Schools Janney, Wilson, and Deal and countless private schools) and all businesses on Wisconsin Avenue between the District line and Veazey Street, while being accountable mostly to citizens in American University Park and Friendship Heights. Yes, there are a few of us in Tenleytown east of Wisconsin who are now in ANC 3E, but not enough of us to be a political force or to have our own SMD. My new single member district will be populated mostly by people who live on the opposite side of Wisconsin Avenue, mostly residents of AU Park. Unlike most of my neighbors, my home was pulled into ANC 3E because of a last minute deal that puts local ANC boundaries on small, non-arterial residential streets. Most of my neighbors, whose lives are centered on Wisconsin Avenue and Tenleytown institutions, will be represented by ANC 3F (whose commissioners resisted the coup) that must now focus on Connecticut Avenue issues, far to the west of where they live.

It was a situation where the majority of the Task Force representatives were responsible to no one but themselves and/or their employers. Most who voted against the residents did not feel compelled to answer our letters and still fewer gave reasons for their votes. But there was code: “the reunification of Tenleytown” was how several ANC 3E commissioners repeatedly characterized their stick of dynamite.

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