On 3 November, the Montgomery County Redistricting Commission voted to approve revised County Council District lines. The new lines, which implement a 2020 voter-approved ballot initiative, would move from a Council with five Members elected by district and four at-large Members to a Council with seven Members elected by district and four at-large Members.
Four Corners will be moved from its current Silver Spring-based district to a new district that moves north and northeast to include White Oak, Colesville, Fairland, Cloverly, Burtonsville, and Leisure World. The new map will require County Council approval after the Council holds two public hearings during the week of 15 November.
Coincidentally, the State legislature is using 2020 Census data to redistrict boundaries for state legislators and Members of Congress. The State legislature will hold a special session in December to begin this work.
The County Council-related ballot initiative was proposed by current At-Large Councilmember and Silver Spring resident Evan Glass. Glass noted that the County population had increased 50 percent over the last 30 years while Council representation remained the same, leaving each County resident with reduced representation.
I spoke with Glass on 9 November who told me that six of the seven new districts will have a majority of people of color, reflecting the County’s population distribution. He told me the Redistricting Commission was appointed by the current Council and included four Democrats, two Republicans, two independents, two unaffiliated voters, and one Libertarian.
Councilmember Glass concluded that there is one important thing that a new map can’t do: it will be up to the voters to elect more women Councilmembers!
[Levy, who has lived on Thistle Court for 35 years and has volunteered in politics since he was 14 years old, was Vice President for several years of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board.] ■
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