Petition is successful with 250 signatures
To: Montgomery County Council
Correct the marginalization of Derwood
We are requesting that the Montgomery County Council correct the marginalization of Derwood resulting from the proposed redistricting, by moving the portion of Derwood currently appended to the proposed Wheaton district into the Upcounty/Midcounty district with the rest of Derwood. Derwood must be represented by one district so it can speak with one voice.
Why is this important?
Throughout the recent electoral redistricting process undertaken by the Montgomery County Redistricting Committee, the Derwood community repeatedly told the Redistricting Commission that it was vitally important that our community not be split across multiple districts. When the initial three maps were released on October 13th, we were pleased to note that two of the three maps kept Derwood intact and placed us in districts which shared many common issues with our community. This is important because it helps ensure equal representation of all communities within a district. We were optimistic that our concerns were being addressed and going forward our community would be fairly represented by its Councilmember.
This optimism crashed to earth on October 20th when the Redistricting Commission approved a map which splits Derwood. A portion of Derwood, west of Shady Grove Road and north of Muncaster/Muncaster Mill, has been included in the Upcounty/Midcounty district. A district which shares a lot of commonalities with the Derwood community.
The remainder of our community, however, has been appended to a district which includes Aspen Hill and Glenmont and extends to Wheaton and Forest Glen! One only needs to look at Google maps to see that this portion of Derwood is separated from the rest of the proposed Wheaton district by Rock Creek Regional Park, Lake Bernard Frank, and Lake Needwood and shares a lot of commonalities with the proposed Upcounty/Midcounty district while sharing little to none with the proposed Wheaton district.
We have no idea whatsoever why this portion of Derwood has been included in the proposed Wheaton district except to increase the population of this proposed district which even with the inclusion of this portion of Derwood is undersized. If this proposed map is implemented, Derwood would reside in the forgotten periphery of this district. The Councilmember representing this proposed district will be more concerned with the majority, its interests will drive the agenda of the Councilmember, and Derwood will be marginalized. During the Redistricting Commission’s October 20th meeting Commissioner Stein, author of this map, stated that "We should not be drawing maps to advantage one part of the county and disadvantage another part of the county", however, Commissioner Stein has done just that to Derwood. This portion of Derwood is truly in another part of the county when compared to the remainder of the proposed Wheaton district. We should never seek to enfranchise one part of the county while disenfranchising another.
For reference, the web site of the Redistricting Committee is here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/BCC/redistricting/index.html