Monday, August 15, 2011

Letter to Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission regarding amendment process

Sent: 8/12/2011 1:02:08 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Map Amendment Process Recommendation
Dear Honorable Commissioners,

It is awfully late for this to be recommended, but after watching the agony past midnight last night, it is very possible it may only be worse next week. Others also seem to have that fear. It is obvious you are agonizing over these maps to find and create the best. The following recommendations are made seeking to help the process go more smoothly. While some of this is already being done with some recommendations, consistency will help the process significantly.
  1. Every amendment to a map should have a reason behind it. It needs to be expressed in detail. If a community of interest is the reason, it should be described in detail, boundaries given, and the representatives of the community of interest who communicated their concerns named if at all possible.
  2. The area to be moved should be named by street boundaries.
  3. If the change creates an imbalance beyond 5% in any district then the corrections needed must be included in the recommendation before it can be voted on.
  4. Changes in demographics must be known before the vote. That vote will cover the entire package of initial move and corrections to be in the one package change.
  5. If the above can all be done in writing, maybe by filling in a form, the process will go much more smoothly.
This will require additional planning by each member making a recommendation. Without such advanced planning work included in each recommendation, the meetings could go on well past midnight next time. The quality of the final maps will suffer, if for no other reason than the ultimate fatigue that is only human. The huge volume of work the Commission is valiantly undertaking will be less productive without such efficiency.

It would be an honor to help any commissioner form any recommendations they may want to work on.  I am available over this weekend, or at any other time. It can all even be done by email, or I would be glad to meet with my computer and show how changes may affect a map.

The ideal situation would be if every commissioner could access each of the final maps in the online application that is available, such as the one I used for wPlan03. If I could have access to the cPlan05a and cPlan16a online, I could quickly tell anyone what their changes would do to the final map. Without that, I can still report on population & demographics in any given area for the “c” plans, and give more detailed analysis on details to wPlan03a which I am able to work on online.

It is hoped this may help.  It is an honor to be a part of this groundbreaking process. Dallas is leading the way!


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