The D.C. Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of a new ward boundary map that has Wards 7 and 8 taking in new neighborhoods at Ward 6’s expense in order for each of the eight wards to have equitable populations.
Eleven council members voted for the plan while Trayon White (D-Ward 8) voted present and Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) did not participate in the legislative meeting due to illness.
The boundaries will stand for the next 10 years. The plan, in the form of a bill, goes to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature and the congressional review process begins. If there are no objections from Congress, the plan becomes functional.
The council had the charge of making sure each of the city’s eight wards had equitable populations or 86,000 residents, with a plus or minus of five percent.
Ward 8 will move west across the Anacostia River to pick up a large portion of the Navy Yard neighborhood. Ward 7 will move westward also, going to 15th Street and Benning Road, encompassing neighborhoods such as Kingman Park and Rosedale.
White tried to pass an amendment that would have had the 11th Street Bridge totally in Ward 8, but it failed.
In a Ward 7 Democrats email on Friday, leaders of that organization praised the new plan that included the changes mentioned above, but wanted the western boundary extended to 16th Street and the Pennsylvania Avenue SE neighborhood located near the Potomac Avenue Metro Station in their ward. No consideration of their proposal occurred.
Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) introduced an amendment that passed, 7-5, that keeps the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington, D.C. and the Washington Hospital Center in Ward 5 instead of becoming a part of Ward 1.
Former Council member Vincent Orange, who is running for his old Ward 5 seat, praised McDuffie’s effort to keep the ward as it is.
“Our beloved Ward 5 remains intact,” Orange said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “That is the Armed Forces Retirement Home, the Washington Hospital Center, and the New York Avenue Recreation Center will remain in Ward 5.”
The plans include slight changes such as a portion of the Shaw neighborhood in Ward 6 reverting to Ward 2 and some block changes dealing with Wards 1 and 2. The plan doesn’t change the boundaries of Wards 3 and 4.