Did anybody bother to ask the people of central Shaw?

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Last night I got an email from the BACA prez regarding the redistricting process. BACA (Bates Area Civic Assoc covering northern TC) is in Ward 5, Harry Thomas Jr's ward. Early on I thought that maybe central Shaw (CCCA area) would join the TC to roughly bring more of the historical borders of Shaw together. The email says the following:

Dear Neighbors, during our meeting tonight, we discussed the proposal of the Redistricting Committee to have Shaw come into Ward 5. This action would have huge positive implications to our neighborhood. I encourage you to email the Council Members listed below to have your voices heard. Time is of the essence, as the Council is set to vote on this matter quickly as the final boundaries must be completed by July 14.

I missed the meeting as the Help and I had a social engagement, so I can only imagine how this came about. Seeing the fight the folks west of NJ Ave have had with their Ward 2 CM Jack Evans and the fight to go to Ward 6 and keep the chimney stack (notably the southern part of Truxton, but in the MVSQ Historic District) in Ward 6, um, I'd hate to undermine their efforts. There appears to be a great practical attachment to the idea of going to CM Tommy Wells, and no mention of any thought of going to Ward 5's Harry Thomas.

So I wonder how much dialogue has there been between the persons pushing for the change on either side of the border.

2 Comments

I was at the meeting last night. This concept was presented as one of the "options" that could be considered. At the BACA meeting the month before CM Thomas indicated he was in favor of keeping the 5th boundary where it is. I believe this is based upon the old "minimum amount of work to maximum amount of benefit" idea for the CM. After all, if you have 80% re-election support from the folks in the far NE, and the folks in the NW keep asking you to help out with crime and business growth, it's easier for the CM to have more of the far NE type of folks... so keep the ward border where it is.

There were representatives from the CM office at the meeting last night and they made it clear there is no use in trying to get the council to consider this change because it's too late. The proposal to bump Ward 6 next to Ward 5 (displace 2) is already to the Council so it's a matter of making small changes to that proposal. The general sense of BACA was that the re-uniting Shaw would be of economic benefit and general neighborhood benefit and it can't hurt to let the voices be heard...

It's too bad really because moving Ward 5 to 7th St. would have been the proper thing to do from a neighbor hood cohesion standpoint...

With regard to the "Chimney", none that I am aware of and MVSNA was leading the charge to keep us with the rest of the Mount Vernon Square Historic District. Our area is physically separated from Ward 5 by Dunbar High School and the New York Avenue Playground and has no connections with the other residents of Ward 5 - we do though with our neighbors in Ward 6 (which are right across the street from us). We have also built strong ties with our Ward 6 Councilmember and ANC 6C Commissioners - we don't want to lose the connections that we have there - especially since none ever existed with Ward 5 there before (10 years ago we were the forgotten blocks of Ward 5).

Rob Amos
MVSNA President

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