Saturday, April 30, 2011

Progress on Dallas City Council Redistricting Process

The second meeting of the public with the Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission was at the Kiest Park Recreation Center on Thursday, 04-28-2011.  The meeting was exceptionally well attended with standing room only.  There were only enough seats for about half the people present.  About 200 people were present. About 37 gave testimony. The pattern was consistent with the first meeting, almost everyone spoke of keeping their community together. Gerrymandering was mentioned several times. It was obvious to me that I did not need to give everyone documentation of the problems with gerrymandering.  I also said that in my talk as the last person to speak, since I had spoken at the first meeting.

As I spoke I presented the changes in current council districts since 2000 relating to how many have 50% or more of any of the three dominant racial/ethnic divisions in Dallas.  In 2000 there were 3 districts that were majority Hispanic.  There are now four.  In 2000 there were 5 districts that were majority Anglo.  Now there are only 3.  In 2000 there were 4 with majority Black districts. Now there is only one.

Without a significant redistricting, with many changes, there will not even be three Black majority districts. On Friday I worked two more hours at the redistricting computers. I was able to prove that three such districts are possible but only if the southern section of District 3 is combined with parts of Districts 8 and 5 to form a new District 5.  The map posted in the last posting has now been totally changed due to the necessity for some effort to preserve three Black districts. There is a lot of work to do.  Please come to City Hall to work on your own plans. You may find better ways to eliminate gerrymandering and achieve needed goals with a better map. With many of us working we will find the best!

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