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Loose Lips (6/8) misses the point of the residents objecting to Plan H adopted by the D.C. Council for redistricting the wards to conform with the 2000 census. Legal guidelines are established for redistricting; namely, (1) use natural geographic boundaries for the ward boundaries, (2) keep communities cohesive, and (3) avoid dividing census tracts. Plan H violates each guideline.
I submitted a plan to Phil Mendelson based on the guidelines that was closer to the target population, 71,507, for the eight wards than Plan H. The 2000 population east of the Anacostia River was sufficient for two wards. Only Ward 2 was on both sides of Rock Creek. Communities were kept together, and no census tract was divided.
The Chevy Chase Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 3G) passed a resolution urging that the area be keep in one ward, either Ward 3 or Ward 4. Plan H splits the area in two at Broad Branch Road. Lafayette School is on the boundary. Ward 3 residents can no longer vote at the school, which is to be in Ward 4. Needless expense is incurred when communities are split. The council states that ANC 3G can be a joint ANC between Wards 3 and 4. How are ANC funds to be distributed with four commissioners in Ward 4 and three commissioners in Ward 3?
Plan H reunites some communities, but the good features of Plan H are overshadowed by the bad features. Loose Lips fails to distinguish between them.