Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:51:03 PM
The editor had suspicions a couple of years ago that Ward 2 (he would say Ward II, but some in the higher numbered wards would probably think that all of a sudden we had at least 11 wards, but he won't) was adding a ton of people, and would probably have tighter boundaries this round. He checked with Lt. Mike Smith, as the police probably track population closely, in part for resource allocation purposes. Mike said that he thought the population gain in PSA 207 was about 10,000. The editor relaxed, and decided that whatshisname would wind up in Ward 5 and would provide them excitement for the next 10 years.
The editor also knows someone who is in Ward 6, likes the community and has worked hard to make it a better place. He has a good chance of winding up in Ward 7. The editor wouldn't say he is going ballistic, since the guy is a professional arms dealer (the big stuff).
Be he is severely unhappy. He wonders why communities would be broken up. He's not politically naive, but really doesn't see it. The editor isn't sure he does, either, but redistricting isn't fun for the people doing it or undergoing it. If RFK Stadium is next door to your ward, and your ward has to expand geographically, that would be a plum. The concilmember would get to meet all those high-rollers who put on events at RFK. Who knows what that could lead to? Extra opportunities to improve the lives of citizens of the ward, for sure.
The editor and wife lived in Foggy Bottom and had a chance to renovate a rundown house on the 900 block of M Street. Back then, it wasn't historical, just old. We checked the boundaries, as John Wilson was our councilmember and we weren't leaving Ward 2. We checked out the zoning of those vacant lots above Mount Vernon Square. That was special use (the editor forgets the specific letter designation) with some mention of the expansion of UDC. We know how that turned out, but it's all been for the better.
Now, take off the hat of resident, community activist, tree box cultivator, whatever. Put on the hat of a mover and shaker in DC. Perhaps a real estate type, office developer, zoning lawyer, whatever. For the entire run of home rule (is that supposed to be capitalized?) you've dealt with John Wilson and Jack Evans as the ward councilmember. Both are about as competent at dealing with the serious development issues of downtown DC as have ever been on the council. The editor is talking politics in the good sense, with no overtones.
Now imagine these folks getting wind of the Convention Center sliding into Ward 5. The phone lines would burn up. So the Ward 2 boundaries will probably include the CC, the O Street thing, and Ward 2 will give away the more purely residential territories on the periphery. The editor is guessing that some communities will straddle ward boundaries, and will carry on quite well. After all, every 10 years those boundaries do move.
So Ward 2 will always be "downtown", and probably have (with perhaps a hiccup or two) a quite competent councilmember.
And no, the police district boundaries won't change. The districts were intentionally not eight in number to avoid have and district beholden to a single councilman. This is not Chicago.
The editor is also guessing that he has some readers fuming by now.