Neighborhood redistricting will affect student voice

In the next couple of weeks, D.C. will redraw the boundaries of its 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions – bodies that provide formal community input on everything from liquor licenses to campus plans.

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council altered the boundaries of its eight electoral wards to reflect the 2010 Census returns. Each Councilmember will now appoint a “ward task force” to redraw ANC boundaries and those of the single-member districts that individual ANC commissioners represent.

According to guidelines issued by the Council, each single-member district must contain between 1900 and 2100 residents.

Georgetown Metropolitan‘s Topher Matthews has provided a helpful breakdown of current population estimates in each single-member district in ANC 2E, which includes the University’s Main Campus:

  • SMD 1 (Ed Solomon) – 2449
  • SMD 2 (Ron Lewis) – 1919
  • SMD 3 (Jeff Jones) – 2037
  • SMD 4 (Jake Sticka) – 3102
  • SMD 5 (Bill Starrels) – 2529
  • SMD 6 (Tom Birch) – 2308
  • SMD 7 (Charles Eason, Jr.) – 2122

The University primarily occupies SMD 4, represented by student Jake Sticka (COL ’13). Many dorms were also moved into SMD’s 2, 3, and 5 after the 2000 Census (see here for a detailed SMD map of the University). Certain community groups pushed for this SMD map after a campaign in the late 1990’s to get students on the ANC.

The all-student SMD has the most diluted representation. But even the average SMD population of 2,352 is outside the permissible range. ANC 2E would likely have to add a new commissioner to be within the legal limits.

Any registered D.C. voter that is interested in serving on the Ward 2 redistricting committee should contact Councilmember Jack Evans.

3 Comments on “Neighborhood redistricting will affect student voice

  1. Let’s hope DC Students Speak and other conscientious students step up and try to ensure equitable redistricting. If the commenters on the Georgetown Metropolitan blog are any indication of what the redistricting committee members will look like (and it would shock me if they weren’t), we’re going to need strong student voices. This is especially true since it looks like Georgetown has the possibility to pick up an extra ANC seat, but it could easily be gerrymandered out of our hands (further diluting our already fragile membership).

    Exhibit A:
    June 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Let’s clear this up once and for all. Universities are not residents, they are not supposed to get one commissioner, much less two. Students are not residents, they are seasonal migrant guests, and locust-like ones at that. Why are we giving seats to kids who don’t really live here, whose parents claim them on taxes elsewhere? Next, you’ll want us to let the guests at The Georgetown Inn a vote. It makes about as much sense, and the hotel commissioner would probably care more about the neighborhood.”

  2. Like Matt says, if you’re interested, please shoot Evans’ office an email. This process has ramifications for years to come as seen by the fact we’re still feeling the affects of the 2000 gerrymander.

  3. Pingback: Vox Populi » Evans launches Ward 2 ANC redistircting

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