Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dallas City Council Redistricting plan wPlan03: the most compact redistricting plan with the highest minority representation

The comparison of the 21 plans being considered by the Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission clearly shows that only 7 of these 21 plans have both 3 majority Black districts and 5 majority Hispanic districts.  These 7 plans are the original work of only three people. Three of the 7 plans represent commission updates to the original 4 plans.  Here is a statistical comparison of these 7 plans, with an 8th plan added.  The 8th plan was generated by 12 amendments to wPlan03 following recommendations from many separate sources, including the public and commissioners.

Click on the above chart to enlarge it.

When the plans are compared relative to compactness, only one plan stands out with both an average district perimeter below 32 miles and an average of the four indexed compactness scores that is above 1.3.  This is wPlan03.  With the recommended amendments it now has an original average perimeter of 31.96 miles and an average index score of 1.34.  The next closest of these plans by a different author, relative to compactness, has an average district perimeter that is over 10% longer, over 3 miles longer, of 36.26 miles, and a significantly lower average index score of 1.24.

Once wPlan03 is amended with the 12 changes reflected in the map below, here are the demographics produced:
Click on the above charts above or below to enlarge them.
Here are the compactness scores produced:
Here is the wPlan03 map that produces the above demographic and compactness measurements.  Click on it to enlarge it:
Dallas City Council Redistricting map from plan wPlan03 amended by recommendations given Commissioners on 8/4/11.
Click on the above map to enlarge it. 
The 12 changes in wPlan03 started with attempts to re-unify the uptown area by the movement of the northern end of District 4 south from Turtle Creek to the State/Thomas area.  This moved 8,000 people from District 4 and into District 14.  That required a ripple of no fewer than 5 additional changes to accommodate this move of 8,000 residents. One result was that the black voting age population for District 4 went up over 6 percentage points.  The western boundaries of District 9 had to be moved west to take up some of that population and the southeast corner of District 10 reached into the apartments on the northern end of District 9 to take in some of that population. The western boundary of District 4 had to be moved to take in some of District 8 to make up some of this population loss for District 4.

The other major change was to move the western boundary of District 13 to Webbs Chapel Road from Forest to Walnut Hill.  This led to changes to the southern borders of District 6 which was moved to Medical Center Drive.  Other changes were made to the District 11/12 boundary to accommodate an agreed resolution achieved by the Commissioners in that area.  Also, three sets of changes were made in District 8 to accommodate population balance with Districts 4 and 5 as well as the wishes of some residents.

Between District 1 and 3 the boundaries were moved to place Kessler Park and Stevens Park into District 1.  The western boundary of District 1 was moved to Gilpin at Davis and south, down Cockrell Hill city limits to Clarendon, then east to Westmoreland.  The northern District 1 boundary was moved to Fort Worth Avenue and I-30.  To compensate for this move the County Jail was moved our of District 1 and into District 3.  Since both the population, and the Hispanic percentage of the population, are similar in both Kessler Park area and in the County Jail, these changes did not lead to any dangers of a concern for packing.

Detailed amendments were submitted to the Commissioners on 8/4/11 to achieve these needed amendments which produce the above map.

The best news is there is no need to gerrymander to have strong minority representation on the Dallas City Council!

We must demand compact City Council Districts. These amendments to wPlan03 result in a compact set of City Council Districts that are the strongest minority representation districts created by any plan now before the Redistricting Commission. Compact districts help maximize voter turnout!  They make it less expensive to campaign for office!  They make it easier for citizens to know their representative.  It is easier for a council person to know the people they represent in a compact district.

Please tell the Commissioners you support wPlan03.  It is the plan designed and amended so as to help the Dallas City Council best reflect the makeup of the City of Dallas, while also having compact districts to improve the active involvement in our city by more residents.

The email address for the commissioners is You may also call them and leave a message during work hours at 214-670-5735.

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