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Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Final Steps in the District’s Redistricting Process

COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON REDISTRICTING
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004

To: All Councilmembers

From: Michael Brown, Co-Chairperson, Committee of the Whole, Subcommittee on Redistricting Jack Evans, Co-Chairperson, Committee of the Whole, Subcommittee on Redistricting

Date: June 21, 2011

Subject: ANC Redistricting Procedures

I. Purpose These procedures govern the process of adjusting the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (" ANC") areas to meet the statutory requirements of the D.C. Code, based on the 2010 Census.

II. Authority Under § 1-1041.01 of the D.C. Code, the Council of the District of Columbia ("Council") is required to appoint ward task forces to recommend adjustment of the boundaries of the ANC area and single-member districts. Redistricting falls within the purview of the Committee of the Whole, Subcommittee on Redistricting under the Council's Rules of Organization and Procedure for Council Period 19. The following rules of procedure are hereby established.

III. Appointment of Task Forces Per § 1-1041.01 of the D.C. Code, each ward Councilmember shall appoint a broadly-based task force on ANCs for his or her ward (this should reflect the newly approved boundaries rather than the current ward boundaries). In appointing the ward task force, each Councilmember shall give full consideration to ensuring fair representation for all genders, racial and ethnic minorities, and geographical areas within the ward. Each member of the ward task force must be a registered voter and a resident of that ward.

Each ward Council member is responsible for appointing the chair of the ward task force. Each At-Large Councilmember and the Council Chairman may appoint a person to each ward task force. The members of the ward task force shall serve until the task force files its report, and the members will not be compensated. Area business owners and other community stakeholders may participate as non-voting members of the task force.

IV. Task Force Meetings The ward task force shall notify the Subcommittee on Redistricting of its first meeting, and all substantive meetings thereafter. Representatives from the Board of Elections and Ethics and the Office of Planning will attend the first meeting in order to give an informational briefing and disseminate maps and other information necessary to complete the task.

V. Task Force Report Each ward task force must submit a report to the Council not later than 90 days after the Ward Redistricting Plan is approved by the Mayor, or in the event of a veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto. The report must contain recommendations for the adjustment of the boundaries of the ANC areas and Single-member districts for that ward, as well as any other recommendations with respect to the operation of ANCs which the task force feels are appropriate.

VI. Task Force Procedures

A. Each ward Councilmember should assist their task force with developing rules and procedures to govern the group’s work. This should include but is not limited to the process by which the final task force report is adopted before submission to the Council.

B. A public hearing should be held in each Ward as part of the task force’s duty.

C. All ward task force meetings should be public. As such, there should be public notice of each meeting and each meeting should be held in a venue accessible to the public.

VII. Establishment of Boundaries

A. Population

Each single-member district shall have a population of approximately 2,000 people, and shall be as nearly equal as possible. The boundaries shall conform to the greatest extent possible with the 2010 census block boundaries established by the Bureau of the Census.

Each ANC area shall be located to the greatest extent possible within the boundaries of one election ward. An ANC area may be located within two election wards if the location results from the limitations of census geography or if the location promotes a rational public policy, including but not limited to, respect for the natural geography of the District of Columbia, neighborhood cohesiveness, or the development of compact and contiguous areas.

The total District population and the population of defined sub-units of the District population as determined by the 2010 census, or any official adjustment to the federal decennial census, shall be the exclusive permissible population data for changing the single member district boundaries.

No redistricting plan or proposed amendment to a plan shall result in ANC district populations with a deviation range greater than 10% or a relative deviation greater than plus or minus 5%, unless the deviation results from the limitations of census geography or from the promotion of a rational public policy, including but not limited to, respect for the natural geography of the District of Columbia, neighborhood cohesiveness, or the development of compact and contiguous districts.

The statute allows for a relative deviation of plus or minus five percent (100 persons) from the ideal single member district population, and for an overall deviation range of up to 10% from the smallest to the largest single member district. Based on these provisions, the single member district boundaries should be adjusted as shown below:

Average (ideal) SMD size: 2,000

Allowable 5% deviation: ± 100

Maximum SMD size: 2,100 (Ideal + 5%)

Minimum SMD size: 1,900 (Ideal - 5%)

B. Vote Dilution Prohibited

No redistricting plan or proposed amendment to a redistricting plan shall be considered if the plan or amendment has the purpose and effect of diluting the voting strength of minority citizens.

C. Block Splitting Procedures

The ANC and SMD boundaries should conform to the greatest extent possible to the census block boundaries, because census data is reported only by whole census blocks. If a census block must be split due to an unreasonably large population deviation, technical support must be sought from the Office of Planning.

The Office of Planning will develop split block census population estimates based on D.C. housing unit data. Official Office of Planning data thus provided will be considered official 2010 census data for any block splitting purposes of ANC and SMD redistricting.

VIII. Technical Support

The Board of Elections and Ethics and the Office of Planning shall provide each ward task force with technical and analytical services necessary for redistricting. Contact information, procedures to access ANC redistricting software, drafting guidance, examples of task force reports from prior years and the due date of the task force reports will be distributed to Councilmembers by July 1, 2011.

IX. Timetable for ANC Redistricting

A. By July 1, 2011 – ward Councilmembers appoint ward task force members. At-Large Councilmembers and the Chairman may each appoint one member to each ward taskforce.

B. August 1, 2011 – progress report to Subcommittee on Redistricting from each task force due.

C. September 1, 2011 – progress report to Subcommittee on Redistricting from each task force due.

D. Within 90 days after the Ward Redistricting Amendment Act of 2011 is signed by the Mayor – each ward task force submits report to the Council.

X. Information Requests

A. Requests for information on the process of redistricting will be directed to the Subcommittee on Redistricting, who may direct inquiries to current Ward Councilmembers. The Subcommittee may be reached at 202-724-8198. The point of contact is Drew Hubbard.

B. Requests for data in hard copy or electronic media shall be directed to the Office of Planning, which will provide to the public, at cost, 2010 Census maps and population data in hard copy or machine readable form. The Office of Planning is located at 1100 4th Street SW, Suite E650, Washington, DC 20024, telephone 202-442-7600.

Please click here to view the updated Ward boundary maps.

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