The Redistricting Taskforces for Ward 7 and Ward 8 met this week virtually. Appointed by Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Sr. (D) and Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray (D) respectively, they are charged with establishing new boundaries for each ward’s advisory neighborhood commissions (ANCs) as well as the single member districts.
By law, the population of a single member district (SMD), the area represented by a single commissioner, can vary from 1,900 to 2,100 residents based on the 2020 US Census data. Customarily, each ANC is drawn with an odd number of SMDs to avoid any deadlock.
Once agreed to by each taskforce and approved by their respective councilmembers, the new Ward 7 and 8 ANC boundary maps will be voted on by the entire DC Council twice this spring.
The Ward 7 Task Force is made up of 19 members. It is chaired by Ward 7 residents and commissioners Tamara Blair (7D01) and Joel Caston (7F07). The Task Force plans three listening sessions with residents and two more map workshops, where members will hammer out the boundaries. All meetings will be open to the public. The schedule has not yet been set.
Taskforce membership includes: Erik Rogers, Keith Towery, Francis Campbell, Patricia Stamper, Marla Dean, Justin Lini, Malissa Preese, Mash Richman, Madia Deskins, Caprice Casson, Travis Swanson, Ashley Ruff, Wendell Felder, Tomeika Bowden, Brian Alcorn and Lee Wilson. For more information, email the councilmember’s Chief of Staff Sheila Bunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 39-member Ward 8 Task Force is chaired by Commissioner Brian Thompson (8A03), serving as President, and resident Marcus Coates, who is Vice President. The taskforce will solicit public testimony and host map discussions via Zoom meetings on Feb. 2, Feb. 16 and March 2. On, March 16, three maps will be selected for a final vote, which will be held on March 30. For more information, email the councilmember’s Chief of Staff Wanda Lockridge at email@example.com or Chair Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ward 7 and 8 Redistricting Taskforces encourage residents to draw their own maps for consideration. The DC Office of Planning (OP) has created an online tool to facilitate this. Residents can find it at https://dcredistricting.esriemcs.com/redistricting/. General information on redistricting can found at https://planning.dc.gov/page/district-columbia-2021-ward-redistricting or https://www.elissasilverman.com/redistricting.
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) has yet to appoint his taskforce.