ANC Redistricting: Don’t Divide Hill East from Capitol Hill

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force is charged with drawing new ANC single member district boundaries for the entire ward. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to visit the task force blog, www.w6tf.blogspot.com, to review and comment on some of the proposals under discussion.

One proposal in particular caught my eye. ANC 6A Commissioner Drew Ronneberg (6A02) has proposed a plan that would create a separate “Hill East ANC” consisting of Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park. The plan would make 11th Street SE the dividing line between the western and eastern portions of southeast Capitol Hill. The boundary would then follow South Carolina Ave. SE north to 15th Street SE and proceed north up 15th Street NE to Benning Road NE. Click here to view the proposed plan. Note that Commissioner Ronneberg does not serve on the task force – he is just proposing this plan for discussion.

While I appreciate Commissioner Ronneberg’s attempt to place all of H Street NE within one ANC, his proposed plan does so at the expense of Hill East and southeast Capitol Hill. As I posted in the blog’s comments section, the plan would eliminate the voice that Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park residents have, or should have in the case of Kingman Park, on Barracks Row/Eastern Market (for SE Hill East) and H Street NE (for Rosedale and Kingman Park). The plan disadvantages all three neighborhoods and is exactly what we all argued against during ward redistricting – a marginalized north-south ANC on the eastern end of Capitol Hill with no primary commercial corridor.

The plan also goes against the east-west orientation of the Ward 6 ANCs. This orientation reflects how most Capitol Hill residents view their immediate neighborhood. As one commenter from Rosedale posted, “Residents of Rosedale and Kingman Park have MUCH more in common with the issues of fellow residents to the west, pointing down C street and H street than we do with our neighbors to the south.”

The ward redistricting battle clearly demonstrated that Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park residents can effectively work together while “living” in different ANCs. We can continue to work together on issues like Reservation 13 and RFK without losing our voice and connection to the rest of Capitol Hill.

What do you think of the proposed plan? Post your comments below and on the Ward 6 Task Force Blog. Also, make plans to attend the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force’s ANC 6B Community Listening Session next Monday, Aug. 1, 6:30 pm at St. Coletta’s School (1901 Independence Ave. SE).

Thanks to Chair Joe Fengler and the rest of the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force for all of the time and effort they are putting into this process.

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