The John A. Wilson Building. Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Welcome to the Re-district of Columbia!

The D.C. Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting released a map of new proposed ward boundaries yesterday. The subcommittee, chaired by At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, announced the changes to D.C.’s eight wards as part of a mandated restructuring. Washingtonians needed to be divided into boundaries of 86,193 residents, plus or minus 5 percent.

Three wards fall outside of the resident requirements. Wards 7 and 8 need to grow while Ward 6 needs to shrink. 

“We needed to grow Wards 7 and 8. Either growing both across the river or at least one,” Silverman said during a presentation of the new map. “There’s just not enough people to have two wards East of the Anacostia without crossing.”

One of the most significant changes that the redistricting subcommittee is proposing is for Ward 8, a low-income, majority-Black area, to absorb the Navy Yard, an affluent neighborhood across the Anacostia River with luxury condos where you can rent a Tesla. The subcommittee’s proposal stresses the new addition would add racial diversity but “does not dilute the voting strength of Ward 8’s Black residents.”

Ward 7’s push across the Anacostia River would expand to the Hill East neighborhood by dividing along 15th Street SE and part of C Street SE and Potomac Ave SE. 

One of the main changes the final proposal makes from an earlier rendition is to move Kingman Park from Ward 7 to Ward 6, rejoining the Rosedale neighborhood. The proposal says it made this choice because the neighborhoods “constitute the only majority Black neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, and the subcommittee believed it was important to listen to resident voices who wanted to reunite these communities of interest in Ward 6.”

Other changes include:

  • Parts of Shaw and Mount Vernon Triangle will be moved from Ward 6 to Ward 2.
  • Ward 5 would lose the Armed Forces Retirement Home to Ward 1.
  • A few blocks of Ward 6 would be given to Ward 1 along S Street NW.

Boundaries to wards 3 and 4 will see no change.

Opinions about the new maps have already begun to circle. Community organizing group Empower DC tweeted that, even though Ward 8 would include Navy Yard, the area should still see the same amount of attention for social programs for its majority-Black residents.

“Adding gentrified Navy Yard to Ward 8 will change ward median income, unemployment rates etc – but not materially change the conditions of [people] in the ward experiencing poverty & must not be used to justify lessening investments targeted to their needs.”

The Redistricting Subcommittee will vote on this proposed redistricting today at 3 p.m. The full Council will likely debate and vote on the new ward boundaries Dec. 7 and 21.

Bailey Vogt (tips? bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • A Southern Hills apartment complex in Southeast D.C. is fined $30,000 for a mice infestation as some residents await emergency housing. [WUSA9]
  • D.C. police looks to expand its high school cadet program. [WTOP]
  • D.C. corrections officer suing city for anti-gay discrimination [Fox5DC]

By Ambar Castillo and Bailey Vogt (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com and bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Ranked choice voting gets hot and cold reception at the D.C. Council. [DCist]
  • Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray asks why Dr. Thomas Farley, recently hired DC Health community health official, should keep his job. [DCist]
  • Add attorney Bradley Thomas to the list of people challenging At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds. [Post]
  • Why councilmembers Christina Henderson, Charles Allen, and Brooke Pinto didn’t sign the letter calling for Mayor Muriel Bowser to reinstate a mask mandate. [Twitter]

By Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Jenna Shellhammer

Can Free Food Lure Workers Back to Their Dusty Downtown Desks?

Free food is a perennially successful dangling carrot, even for the well-heeled. Downtown law firms, […]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Shannon Greer

City Lights: Paula Poundstone Takes the Birchmere Stage

Across her 40 years as a professional comedian, Paula Poundstone has found success not only […]

  • A “sort of homecoming for artists and audiences alike”—only local actors cast in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s February production of Our Town. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
  • A deep dive into the creation, production, and possible foreboding of the Britney Spears musical making its world debut in D.C. [Washintonian
  • #BuyBlack Friday, a shopping guide to support Black-owned, local retailers this holiday season. [Twitter]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Sammi Silber

Capitals Rookies Step Up As Team Deals With Multiple Injuries

For the Washington Capitals, the kids are more than all right. Prior to this season, […]

  • Two Washington Spirit players picked up end-of-the-season awards as the team prepares for the NWSL final against the Chicago Red Stars at noon tomorrow. Trinity Rodman won NWSL Rookie of the Year, and Aubrey Bledsoe was named Goalkeeper of the Year. [Black & Red United]
  • Juan Soto finished as runner-up to former Nats teammate Bryce Harper in the National League MVP race. [MLB.com]
  • One week after upsetting the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Washington Football Team will take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. [NBC Sports Washington]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to newsletter@washingtoncitypaper.com.