This petition is supported by Ward 6 residents, community and business leaders who strongly oppose redistricting efforts to relocate and divide our neighborhoods to another Ward. This would include a "taking" of a major Ward 6 middle school Eliot-Hine and our only high school Eastern High. The taking of the schools into another Ward is deemed an arbitrary recommendation by the DC Council's Subcommittee on Redistricting.as this action is not required to meet redistricting requirements.
Additionally , we support the D.C. Code which states redistircting should be a tool to build and strengthen "neighborhood cohesiveness" and in this light respect the "natural geography" of the area. In this regard we feel any "taking" of census tracts south of C street NE and east of 17th Street NE & SE in Ward 6 does nor respect the intent of the D.C. Code and is to the detriment of our neighborhoods and its residents.
PETITION to the
DISTRIC OF COLUMBIA COUNCIL
Opposition to Redistricting and Taking of Tracts South of C Street NE and East of 17th Street
We the undersigned stand in strong opposition to the redistricting or taking of census tracts south of C Street NE and east of 17th Street NE & SE. from Ward 6.
We call upon the DC Council to fully support our community by adhering to the language contained in the DC Code encouraging respect for our neighborhoods by creating minimal disruption and recognizing “neighborhood cohesiveness” and the “natural geography of the District”. We believe allowing this taking from the Ward ignores these principles.
We state that a cohesive Capitol Hill Community has been built over decades of community work through our neighborhoods, community organizations, civic associations and schools. Our community is a product of the development and growth of geographically contiguous neighborhoods. These abutting neighborhoods work together politically and organizationally nurturing our Capitol Hill community. A taking of this magnitude harms the residents of these tracts by ripping them out of their community and isolating them politically within their new Ward as a geographic remnant.
We know the Council, is aware that community building is based on citizens ability to organize geographically and politically in working on common goals. This is most effectively done by working with neighborhoods compelled to work together by natural boundaries such as rivers and major roadways. It is also done by the community voting to elect its Council and ANC representatives to protect its interests. We build consensus by working and voting on issues together. Taking of these tracts only harms neighbors Placing these tracts in another Ward locally disenfranchises many from their neighbors and diminishese the power of their vote in their own community.
We believe this is especially critical in educating our neighborhood children. This is evident as elected officials work closely with their constituents to develop consensus educational strategies for our community. This relationship is aptly represented by the many Ward 6 school initiatives and the Ward 6 Middle School Initiative. It is evident by the dynamic increase of thousands of new students that are entering Ward Six schools. In light of this it is suggested that the most critical elements of this strategy Eliot Hine Middle School and Eastern High School would be lost to this taking. This not only disenfranchises local parents weakening their elected representation, but also is a disservice to Ward 6 children who will attend Eastern. This taking of the schools properties is arbitrary and does not represent any element or requirement of redistricting. It should be left in the Ward it has served
We also believes this negatively impacts and harms the Ward-wide work of community, political and civic organizations such as CHAMPS, CHRS and the ANC 6a & 6B as these boundaries have been in place for over 30 years and have helped define the work of these organizations. An organization’s activism in the same community with different Ward Councilmembers and other elected officials competing for resources benefits no one.
In summary we ask the Subcommittee and the Committee of the Whole to:
• Ensure Eastern High School and Elliott-Hine Middle School remain in Ward 6 to support local initiatives and parents
•Support Capitol Hill community by respecting its natural geographic boundaries intact which have helped build our neighborhoods
•Take an intelligent minimalist approach to meet requirements of redistricting to cause least harm rather than abandon over 30 years of success
We ask that you consider our petition and keep our historic and growing community intact by not redistricting and tracts south of C Street NE and east of 17th NE & SE.