Monday, August 15, 2011

One of Many Costs Dallas Pays for Gerrymandered Districts

The schedule for the 2011/2012 Budget Town Hall Meetings is now posted on the City Web Site.  If you use this list to count the number of meetings at which each city council member is present to meet with the people of their district, you quickly see a pattern.  That pattern is documented in the spreadsheet below.  The 7 most gerrymandered districts in Dallas have twice as many budget meetings scheduled as do the 7 least gerrymandered districts: 34 meetings vs only 16 meetings. 

This is another small piece of evidence of what the unnecessary gerrymandering of minority districts on the south side of Dallas costs. It makes ongoing contact by the city council representatives with residents more time consuming and difficult due to the multiple communities covered in the unnecessarily long and spread out districts. With the 2010 census it is also clear that gerrymandering will lessen the potential for minority candidates to continue to be elected to these city council district positions. Compact districts will help strengthen the potential for minority representation to continue. We must form compact districts on all sides of Dallas, not just the north.  Wplan03a does that.  In 5 districts the Hispanic voting age percentage averages 62.39% with wPlan03a.  In 3 districts the Black voting age percentage averages 62.69% with wPlan03a.  None of the other two maps come close to these numbers. When the map with the highest numbers in these critical areas is also the most compact map, with an average district perimeter that is less than 32 miles, miles less than any other map, what does that tell you?

The information to create the above chart came from the document at this link on the City of Dallas web site.  It is the schedule for the 2011/2012 Budget Town Halls Meetings.

It was just discovered that 11 new amended maps have been posted on the Dallas City Council Redistricting Web page at  These 11 maps represent various recommendations made by Commissioners to the original 3 maps.  There are now three versions of cPlan05, two versions of cPlan16 and 6 versions of wPlan03 that are posted.   

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