Redistricting Process Offers Chance to Reunite 14th & U in Ward 1

by Borderstan.com June 1, 2011 at 9:21 am 1,272 9 Comments

Brianne Nadeau

Brianne Nadeau is a former ANC commissioner. She represented district 05 in ANC 1B.

Editor’s note: After the DC Council approves a new Ward map with boundaries based on the 2010 Census results, the city will begin redistricting Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs). The following letter/column is from Brianne K. Nadeau, former ANC commissioner for 1B05 and represents the opinion of Nadeau and her fellow signatories, not Borderstan.com. The letter was originally posted Monday on Nadeau’s blog. Borderstan.com welcomes similar columns of various and differing viewpoints — you can reach us at [email protected]

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From Brianne K. Nadeau

Tomorrow night [June 1], Commissioner Aaron Spencer [1B02] and I will offer this testimony on behalf of all those listed below.

June 1, 2011

To: Subcommittee Chairman Michael Brown
Re: Ward 1 Boundaries
Dear Chairman Brown,

We are writing today as representatives and residents of our Single Member Districts 1B02 and 1B05. Our districts are on the border of Ward 1, shared with ANC2B. As you know, during the last redistricting process in 2000, the southwest corner of 14th Street and U Street, NW corridor was removed from Ward 1 and placed into Ward 2. At the same time, Ward 1 held onto territory in Woodley Park that does not share the identity of the rest of the Ward. The ANC in Woodley Park that is a part of Ward 1 identifies itself so little with Ward 1 that it is actually called ANC3C.

14th and U NW intersection, Borderstan, ANC 1B, ANC 2B

The northeast corner of 14th and U Streets: Three of the four corners at the intersection are in ANC 1B, but the southwest corner is in ANC 2B. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Having our 14th and U Street Corridor split into two wards, literally down the middle of 14th Street, has had devastating effects on the development of our community, management of quality of life issues, as well as management and local leadership of our commercial district. While the rest of the 14th and U Street corridors have grown steadily and positively, we have seen many missed opportunities on the Ward 2 side of the corridor. Once again, we feel the primary jurisdiction of our commercial district and should reside within one ANC, and that ANC should once again be 1B.

We ask that you consider returning the aforementioned parts of Ward 2 back to Ward 1 as you move forward in the redistricting process. Over the last ten years this commercial area that makes up the heart of ANC1B has fought mightily to preserve continuity and foster smart growth, but it has done so with one hand tied behind its back, and just barely. We ask that as a part of the redistricting process you provide us with the tools to make sure our neighborhood and our local commercial district continues to fulfill all its promise.


  • Commissioner Mary Streett, 1B05
  • Commissioner Aaron Spencer, 1B02
  • Former Commissioner Brianne Nadeau, 1B05
  • Former Commissioner Phil Spalding, 1B02
  • Bryan Martin Firvida, Former President of U Street Neighborhood Association
  • Scott Pomeroy, Former Director of 14th and U Main Street Alliance

Joined in support by:

  • Commissioner Deborah Thomas, 1B04
  • Commissioner Juan Lopez, 1B07 [chair of ANC 1B]

Cc: OANC, Councilmember Jim Graham, ANC2B, ANC3C

Related Borderstan Posts

  • Blake

    This is laughable. Ward One and the area known as ANC 1B has had a burst of development… All along 14th Street and U, and surrounding streets there are many recently finished developments and newly started projects. New stores and restaurants have opened as recently as last week. Taylor Deli is coming to 1910 14th Street, NW, the old Paradise Liquor building just sold, the block where the 14th Street post office now stands will become condos and retail. And, all the commercial lots in 2B09, made vacant in the 60’s, are slated for major development. The letter clearly misrepresents what’s happening in the neighborhood and makes the signatories look like foolish power grabbers. This nonsense makes me wish I lived on the other side of the street in Ward 2.

  • Mariessa

    Any detriment to the two wards meeting up at 14th & U is not apparent. While your opinion should be and is heard, your perception of the area seems very limited and negative. Friends, who live across the street in Ward 2, and many who live within the 1B boundaries view representation by Mr. Evans as a plus for continued, healthy growth. Why so much reference to “fighting”? Why not promote cooperation? These invisible lines needn’t prevent you from working effectively with neighboring residents and businesses.

  • NotDupontEastAnymore

    MariessaPK asked: “Why so much reference to ‘fighting’?”

    Um, because that’s the reflex of ANC Commissioner Ramon Estrada and his de facto staffers Elwyn Ferris and Phyllis Klein anytime something other than a furniture shop or a ChiDogO attempts to open in his single-member district, which about a decade ago stopped being “Dupont East” and became part of 14th & U.

    “Why not promote cooperation?” Indeed, and does your high-minded call to cooperation and “working effectively with neighboring residents and businesses” across Ward and ANC boundaries include these kind of antics below? Don’t get me wrong, we have businesses that will try to blur the lines between restaurant and club, and good enforceable agreements with them are important. But this kind of court jesterism undermines us before city agencies, every time:

    Partner of ANC Commissioner Attempts to Scuttle Saint-Ex Agreement; Goes After Policy Employees:

  • ANCFun

    Don’t look know, but I think she just doubled down!


    Nadeau: “We’ll fight against those who have moved into this wonderful community, but don’t see that its strength is the balance we are striking with the mixed residential and commercial areas. Even if we lose this one battle, and as a result have to fight 100 times harder than we would if it was all in one ward, we will not back down. That’s my pledge as an active resident of this corridor. And that’s my notice to those in 2B09 trying to hold us back. you. know. who. you. are.”

  • Norissa Giangola

    Ms. Nadeau’s columns (here and on her own blog) seem to neglect the fact that the residents she and the commissioners of 1B05 and 1B02 are attempting to ‘unify’ are already part of a unified neighborhood of their own. While these commissioners can continue their messaging of ‘unity’, they cannot ignore that the majority of those who they are seeking to acquire are entirely in opposition to this change.

    Commissioners, congratulations on out-Washington-ing Washington.

  • t.c.

    The only issue is do people here identify more with Columbia Heights or with Dupont & Logan.

    Twenty years ago the area north of S and west of 16th got into Ward 2, ten years ago we did, and this year we were waiting for the area east of 14th to take it’s turn. We certainly would have helped, just as people west of 16th helped us. So long as Logan Circle is divided at S Street Logan Circle is behind Dupont and Georgetown in Ward 2 and the area north of S is an unimportant appendage to Ward 1, just as we were. A Logan Circle stretching to Florida, or even U, as we had to take, would be as important in Ward 2 as Dupont or Georgetown. Florida Avenue should be the natural boundary of Ward 2 and that’s we have have working toward for 20 years. Until this bizarre stunt.

    The honest thing would been to poll as many residents as possible north of U and west of 14th and north of S east of 14th to see if they would rather stay in Ward 1 or re-unite with the rest of the neighborhood in Ward 2. Why wasn’t this done? It’s because the re-districting petition, repeat re-districting petition, submitted to Phil Mendleson in 2001 showed by 100’s to 1 the choice to unite with Ward 2.

    Here we have yet another instance of people who proclaim themselves “leaders” either thinking they know better than common people or else acting as shills for the Ward 1 interests who want to get the Utopia and DC Condos projects back under Ward 1 patronage. Maybe both.

    Real estate prices and business interest have soared since our area got into Ward 2 for good reason. People looking to buy homes often ask whether they’d be in wards 1 or 2 because of the vast functional differences. The Dupont ANC has fair guidelines for new businesses with no pay-to-play (hopefully Logan also) and Ward 2 is at least as business-friendly as any ward.

    This whole charade has been about keeping Logan and Dupont divided by attacking those who already switched away from Columbia Heights to Ward 2.

  • NotDupontEastAnymore

    Ms. Giangola only underscores the outdated assumptions that Ms. Nadeau attempts to challenge, specifically by terming as a “unified neighborhood of their own” the first and every single centimeter beyond the yellow line painted on 14th Street.

    Mr. Coumaris adds to the illogic by suggesting the dilemma for a large chunk of 14th & U residents is whether to join Columbia Heights or not, instead of fairly portraying Nadeau’s proposition of having them be in 14th & U. Conversely, having them remain in “Dupont” seems not at all absurd to him, or Giangola. Love the reference to the Dupont ANC’s guidelines…the ones under which proposed patio dining on the edge of the 1400 block of T fall completely and fairly within the ANC guidelines, written by Ramon Estrada, but are strenuously opposed by Ramon Estrada anyway, since it’s on his block. Some definition of “business-friendly,” ain’t it?

    This is all probably moot, however, if Evans has already said he wants to keep the area in W2. That gives Coumaris, and a few others, the opportunity to fondle that 11-year old petition for another decade. It’ll be interesting to hear, after yet another incredibly transformative decade, why 14th & U is still really Dupont.

  • ANCFun

    Why not split the baby? Take the block bounded by 15th on the west, 14th on the east, U Street on the north and T Street on the south and PUT IT in Ward 1. Leave that tiny little sliver between T and S Streets in Ward 2 and ANC 2B.

    Another option: put the U Street corridor districts of ANC 1B into Logan Circle/ANC 2F (and thus Ward 2). While you’re at it, put ANC 2B09 into ANC 2F. You’d have a huge ANC 2F — but no worse than that bizarre conglomeration of districts that make up ANC 1B. ANC 1B makes no sense whatsoever in terms of its scope.

    Let me at those boundaries! I’ll draw you a map!

  • Dan

    What i find tiresome is the delusion of some on the ward 1 side, like Pomeroy and Nadeau, who purport that 14th street needs ‘reuniting.’ There’s a lot that they could be doing to improve conditions along U Street in the blocks east 14th, yet they’re fixated on the other side of the street, where there’s a longstanding, cohesive neighborhood that they continually ignore.


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