Barry Makes Ward Boundary Battle about Race

March 25, 2011  |  

(Washington Examiner) — Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry has turned 2010 census data into a battle over the District’s racial divide.  “The people in Ward 8 are wonderful,” Barry told The Washington Examiner. “The demographics are like an apartheid system, but they’re not responsible for the system.”  The population west of the Anacostia River has boomed as white residents have flooded into the city, census data show. But on the east side, the population has shrunk. The lines for the city’s two easternmost wards — 7 and 8 — will have to be redrawn to bring their populations back up to the legal limit. Ward 2, home to Georgetown and downtown, boomed and will have to give up some territory. Ward 6, once on the low end of the legal limit, is now nearly on the mark for the average population. Wards are required to be no more than 5 percent above or below about 75,000 residents. Reaching that level for every ward is likely to cause the council to redraw the borders of several wards, council members said.

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