The council was expected to take up an emergency bill today that would put the new boundaries into effect immediately so election preparations could proceed while the congressional review period for the bill passed in June continues.
But earlier today, Trinidad resident Geoff Hatchard raised questions about the emergency bill, which he claimed would change the boundaries agreed upon in June. The bill, at least the one circulated among council members and staffers Monday, did not change the original lines. But Hatchard’s scrutiny revealed two flaws in the boundaries passed in June.
Long story short, there are small portions of the city that are written into two wards.
One portion, bounded by New York and New Jersey avenues and Kirby and N streets NW, is in both wards 5 and 6 when it should be in Ward 6 only. Another portion, between Pennsylvania and Minnesota avenues and Nicholson Street SE, is defined as being in both wards 7 and 8 when it should be in Ward 7 only.
What appears to have happened is that changes were made to one ward without making concurrent changes to the lines of the bordering ward.
The emergency bill was withdrawn today by D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large), who leads the redistricting committee, for technical reasons unrelated to the boundary questions. Brown aides said Tuesday that the flaws and other issues with the bill will be addressed at the Council’s Nov. 1 legislative meeting.