I tried to use subtle colors for everything, and even subtler for the features at the bottom of the Visual Hierarchy. I felt that the rose color for Ward 7 and the sand color for DC were a good match. Green and blue for the parks and water were a natural fit. I differentiated the different school types by using color coded small to large schoolhouse symbols.
Managing the empty space was a challenge. The map is in such a odd shape with diamond shaped DC jutting onto the page. I was able to mitigate some of that with my legend and vicinity map. It still feels a little bit off, but I am not entirely sure how to fix it. I think that incorporating a faded Maryland state could fill in some of the space.
While this was all done on ArcGIS, it would be fun to tool around with the map in CorelDraw.