October 25, 2021
⚡ There’s a lot going on today in the DMV, so buckle up for a jam-packed newsletter aimed, as always, to make you smarter faster.
☔️ Today’s weather: Pack your umbrella. We’re in for scattered showers with a high of 78.
Situational awareness: Reduced Metrorail service will continue through at least Oct. 31. In response, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Lyft this morning announced free 30-day Capital Bikeshare service for D.C. residents.
Today’s newsletter is 795 words — a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: Ward 6 is too big
The explosive growth of Navy Yard, the Southwest Waterfront, and NoMa have put Ward 6 at the center of the District’s redistricting debate.
Why it matters: The city is considering how to redraw political lines after the 2020 census, a process that repeats itself every decade with thorny issues over which neighborhoods go where.
- Everything from political power to parking zones is at stake.
Ward 6 will need to shrink in size by at least 17,700 residents, while wards 7 and 8 — the poorest in the District with the largest Black populations — will need to gain residents from neighborhoods west of the Anacostia River. Each ward needs to be between roughly 82,000 to 90,000 residents.
Ward 6 stretches from the banks of the Anacostia to Shaw and includes Capitol Hill, and will get carved up one way or another.
- Some of the proposals consider making Navy Yard part of Ward 8, while some communities east of the U.S. Capitol move into Ward 7 to rightsize the imbalances.
Residents will be able to discuss at a D.C. Council redistricting hearing on Nov. 3 which neighborhoods will need to be moved out of Ward 6.
- The redistricting subcommittee has aimed to bring transparency to the process by holding hearings dedicated to each ward before making recommendations to the council on how to redraw the boundaries.
2. Diverse growth in suburbs
Montgomery County’s redistricting process showcases the growth of Black, Latino, and Asian residents in that Maryland suburb, the Washington Post reports.
- In six out of the county's new proposed seven districts, the voting-age population is made up of a majority of people of color.
- The county has grown by 90,000 new residents since 2011.
A public hearing for the draft redistricting plan is scheduled for next month.
3. 🏈 And now the feds are involved
Driving the news: Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the committee chair, and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell requesting the information after leaked emails led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
- “The Committee is seeking to fully understand this workplace conduct and the league’s response, which will help inform legislative efforts to address toxic work environments and workplace investigation processes,” Maloney and Krishnamoorthi wrote.
D.C.’s congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said it’s “very likely” there will be a hearing on Capitol Hill regarding the WFT’s response to the workplace harassment allegations, WUSA9’s Adam Longo reports.
Oh, and they lost yesterday to the Packers 24-10. They're 2-5 on the season.
4. 💉 Shots, shots, shots (you know what kind)
Young children can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine before Halloween, but as regulators move closer to authorizing the Pfizer vaccine for kids age 5-11, Children’s National Hospital says it's ready.
“We’re gearing up and ready to go whenever we get that authorization,” says Claire Boogaard, the medical director of the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
- Young kids may be able to get vaccinated before Thanksgiving, Boogaard tells Axios.
What’s happening: The FDA is holding a public meeting this week to determine whether to authorize the vaccine for children under the age of 12.
- Should that authorization occur, the CDC’s vaccine advisors are scheduled to meet early next month to issue recommendations.
- Pfizer says its vaccine is more than 90% effective in protecting children from COVID-19, according to data posted Friday by the FDA.
Children’s National Hospital has already put in an order with DC Health for a batch of Pfizer vaccines for younger children once authorization is granted.
- Boogaard says the hospital’s priority is vaccinating its most vulnerable patients, specifically children with high medical risks and children who live in parts of the city with a higher exposure risk.
Vaccines will also be available to patients in the hospital and in the hospital’s primary care offices.
Meanwhile, boosters are a-go for many more D.C. residents who have been fully vaccinated.
5. Headed out west
Western Maryland lawmakers from Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties are hoping to become West Virginians.
The Republican legislators say they’re frustrated with the Democratic-controlled legislature in Maryland, the Washington Post reports.
- “We would be tickled to death to have them,” West Virginia governor Jim Justice said.
An actual succession is highly unlikely, though.
Yes, but: The last time a group of counties was successful in seceding was during the Civil War when West Virginia was founded, the Post reports.
So if nothing else, history is on these legislators’ side ... kind of.
6. 1 sweet thing to go
Summer is long gone but ice cream season is forever.
This weekend Paige tried rolled ice cream from 520 Ice Cream and Tea to satisfy her sweet tooth. And it worked — proving cold foods can be enjoyed in cold months too.
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