Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dallas Redistricting Map sent to Department of Justice, & petition to also be sent!

(Text from release from Dallas Redistricting Commission on 10-24-11:)
The City of Dallas has submitted its 2011 Adopted City Council Districting Plan Section 5 Submission to the Department of Justice. The Dallas Council adopted the plan on Oct. 5, 2011.

A paper copy of Dallas’ submission is available for review by the public at the City Secretary’s Office, Room 5D South, 1500 Marilla St., Dallas, TX 75201 and at the Government Information Center on the 6th Floor J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201. An electronic copy is also available at http://www.dallascityhall.com/Redistricting/DOJ.html.

Comments or concerns can be submitted directly to the Department of Justice. Comments to the Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division, sent by the U.S. Postal Service, including certified mail or express mail, shall be addressed to the Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, Room 7254–NWB, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530.
Carriers other than the U.S. Postal Service, including hand delivery, should be addressed and may be delivered to the Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, Room 7254–NWB, 1800 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.
All comments should be marked: “Comment under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.’’ Comments should include the name of the jurisdiction and the Attorney General’s file number (2011– 4417) in the subject line.
Remember, additional details are linked to http://www.dallascityhall.com/Redistricting/DOJ.html, the City of Dallas Redistricting Commission web site.

It is recommended you read the cover letter dated 10-24-11 that is linked just under the title "City of Dallas Department of Justice Preclearance Submission" on the above linked page for the Dallas Redistricting web site. 

On Monday evening, 10-24-11, a standing room only meeting was held at the Kiest Recreation Center by Councilman Scott Griggs over concerns about the approved map.  He gave the best presentation on what redistricting is that I have ever heard from an elected official.  He also illustrated on the maps some of the problems with the approved map. About the only thing that was not well explained was how the approved map is an injustice to the Dallas black population.

At the end of the meeting petitions were circulated with the wording below which I find to be exceptionally accurate.  They will be submitted to the Department of Justice.  This petition can be signed online at http://www.petitiononline.com/RedistOC/petition.html.

============== What the petition states: ==============

Dear Department of Justice:
On behalf of the undersigned, please enter into the Minority Report the following concerns that we have regarding the redistricting map that the Dallas City Council has approved for submission.
• The citizens of Dallas were asked to provide input in what we were assured would be an open and transparent process. Taking this invitation at face value, we attended public forums and expressed our thoughts regarding redistricting. The repeated preference of citizens was for compact districts that unite communities of interest. Now that the process has run its course, we are presented with a fait accompli in the form of a redistricting map that not only ignores citizen input but also that of the Redistricting Commission. The Mayor’s private bargaining out of the public eye and immune from public input has resulted in a map that fails to meet either the needs of the citizens of the City of Dallas or the requirements of the United States Department of Justice.
• With community assets being separated from their residents, the entire fabric of Oak Cliff’s communities are being decimated. An egregious example occurs in the heart of Oak Cliff where, in the Wynnewood area, neighborhoods are districted apart both from each other and from their shopping center. Virtually across the street from Wynnewood Village, Kiestwood neighborhoods are split away from Kiest Park and joined instead with the VA Hospital. This deplorable indifference to considering and respecting our communities of interest occurs throughout District 3, as far north as Pinnacle Park and as far south as Mountain Creek.
• The Voting Rights Act should be applied citywide, and not exclusively to southern Dallas where we are perpetually being saddled with all of Dallas’ not-in-my-backyard challenges. Recent examples are Oak Cliff fire trucks being allocated elsewhere and the DHA attempt to front load Permanent Supportive Housing applicants into Cliff Manor. Why isn’t North Dallas’ District 10 that contains Hamilton Park and a sizeable Black voting age population, redistricted into a winnable Black seat? Why isn’t Northwest Dallas that contains a substantial Hispanic voting age population, redistricted to contain a winnable Hispanic seat? Dallas’s diversity is citywide and redistricting should reflect that reality.
• The DOJ has filed suit challenging the redistricting map cobbled together by the State legislature. The Dallas City Council has approved a redistricting map that includes such substantial defects that there is no reason to think it will be immune from DOJ challenge. In addition to shattering public trust in the redistricting process, adopting that map in the face of the above-mentioned defects will potentially cost the City of Dallas massive legal fees to defend it at a time when the City is cash-strapped.
I gave my signature 10-25-11 as #47 to sign with the following statement added:

With 71% minority population, it is wrong for the approved Dallas map to have only 7 out of 14 districts as minority majority districts, especially when 3 of those 7 will loose that status within 5 years due to population movement. This is certainly unjust when maps exist with 8 STRONGER minority majority districts designed to all last 10+ yrs & grow!

Remember, the above petition can be signed, and your comments added, online at  http://www.petitiononline.com/RedistOC/petition.html.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Redistricting lawsuits, online mapping, and anger over gerrymandering

Google news for the two words "redistricting" and "lawsuits" and you will get well over 400 news articles within the past month. Those numbers will grow in the months to come. Why not? As many as 85% of all legislative elections are accurately predicted before voters vote based on how well legislators have selected their voters in the redistricting process. Computers make gerrymandering a frighteningly exact science.

But a change is comming. Google the two words "redistricting" and "software" and one of the first hits is "Playing offense on redistricting,"written by Paul McMorrow in Commonwealth Magazine and published 10-21-11. He writes of the power of the increasingly public and online re-mapping software that is allowing citizens to have the same data and map-making power available to them that legislators have available.

He calmly wrote that "because the Legislature is working with the same data that's available to every state resident, there's no reason that residents can't just take over redistricting themselves."

Let's repeat the last half of that sentence and listen carefully: "there's no reason that residents can't just take over redistricting themselves."

That takeover will happen.  It will be fueled by the anger that will explode as more and more citizens understand how the immense power of redistricting has been abused for generations. The anger will spread as people better understand how 85% of congressional elections can be decided, before any voting, with computer-empowered gerrymandering. They will see how well designed, compact districts can restore legislative accountability and true democracy to our nation. They will demand it! They will demand an end to gerrymandering!

Our rather small problems in Dallas, with 43.5 miles long city council district boundaries when 30 miles boundaries would be enough, are certainly small relative to the horrendous legislative gerrymandering that was inflicted again on Texas legislative districts with the legislatively approved plan. Watch what happens in 2021 as citizens have the same power as legislators by going online to manipulate these districts and immediately see the results. Any legislator standing in the way better have his/her retirement planned. 

That majority of citizens who testified for compact districts in 2011, and were ignored, will have more weapons, more anger, more determination, and more allies in 2021!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Redistricting justice & voting power

Our schools have failed to educate the public about the power of the vote stolen in gerrymandering legislative districts, including city council districts.

The power in redistricting should only go one direction, toward justice and fairness. The districts should be compact and centered on authentic communities of interest, which are often still communities that share a common ethnic and racial heritage. As integration and inclusion continue, race and ethnic heritage will be less and less of a devisive factor for our children and grandchildren, many of who will be multi-racial and multi-cultural.

When you have a city that is 29% white, 25% black and 42% Hispanic, those proportions should be reflected in the ethnic/racial majority distribution in the 14 city council districts. (That is not happening in the new map for Dallas.) That is the foundation for justice. Then, in the election booth, we will see a reflection of the voting numbers and the real power. That is where citizenship will count, not in redistricting.

The real power should be in the voting booth, not at the redistricting table, unless there is an injustice committed in redistricting! Unjust redistricting happens as the power of the vote is manipulated by one political party or another. Redistricting should be for justice, the foundation on which we have equal access to voting, the avenue to power.

Unjust redistricting moves the power from the voting booth to the redistricting table. That is not democracy. That is not what our soldiers are dying to defend. The only so-called “power” in redistricting is a negative power, the power of injustice, the power to manipulate others votes.  Authentic justice redirects that power in redistricting back to the voting booth, where it should be.

As more and more citizens realize how their votes are compromised by gerrymandering during redistricting, the anger will grow. Transparency will allow that awareness to spread. The end of gerrymandering is within sight.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do we count the undocumented?

Not since the days of slavery has anyone in the US been counted as less than one person. The 1787 Philadelphia Convention allowed slaves to be counted as 3/5 of a person, the Three-Fifths compromise. But, after slavery ended, never again would the reason for a person’s presence in the US, a person who labors in our fields or in our cities, be used to keep that person from being fully counted, even in the redistricting process!

Many U.S. laws and court decisions have reinforced the legal foundation of every person living in the U.S. being counted, one for one.  Court decisions from this legal foundation are often referenced in the documents that are linked to the Dallas City Council Redistricting site as resources.

Using this one for one counting method, the population changes in Dallas since 2000 have been dramatic:
  • White population has gone down 65,526 to 345,205. Whites are now 28.82% of Dallas population meaning that 4.03 out of 14 districts should be majority white.
  • Black population has gone down 5,183 to 299,634. Blacks are now 25.02% of Dallas population meaning that 3.50 out of 14 districts should be majority black.
  • Hispanic population has increased by 84,665 to 507,309. Hispanics are now 42.35% of Dallas population meaning that 5.93 out of 14 districts should be majority Hispanic.
Thus "446" should be the motto for redistricting equality in Dallas. The district population majorities should be 4 white, 4 black, and 6 Hispanic.

However, due to combinations of youth, the inability to vote, or the failure to vote, "545" (5 white, 4 black, 5 Hispanic) will probably be the election results with a "446" redistricting plan in place.  The concerns of the public about non-citizens are addressed in the voting booth, where they should be, not in the redistricting meeting.  We must continue to allow the voting booth to be the ultimate power.  It is one of the most critical goals for becomming both a citizen, and an adult.

Compact Dallas City Council Districts can, and should, be formed to follow the 446 pattern.  Such a map would have more compact districts, improve chances for a 545 representation, and provide the best minority representation in the history of Dallas.

Then, as years pass and current children register to vote, 446 will be achieved.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Redistricting map an injustice to Blacks

This was written in response to "Redistricting map an injustice to Latinos," a 10-13-11 editorial in the Dallas Morning News.

The approved Dallas redistricting map is potentially a much greater injustice to blacks in Dallas than it is to Hispanics. While the immediate injustice is more obvious for the Hispanic community, it is a much greater injustice for the black community projecting forward 5 years. The population movements of the past decade, if they continue, could leave the Dallas black community with only one black voting age majority district in just 5 years!  That is an even more blatant injustice than the one to our Hispanic community.

In 2001 the current four black city council districts had an average black population of 56%. By the 2010 census this same average black population in these 4 districts (4, 5, 7, & 8) had fallen to 48%. A total of 16,700 in black population was lost. (See slide #70 in presentation given to Dallas City Council on 9/7/2011 titled "Redistricting 2011: Process Review and Proposed Districting Plan" at
) Districts 4 and 7 lost over 16% of their black population. The adopted redistricting map does not take this history into consideration. With the adopted map, in 5 years we could be back to having exactly what we have now, only one city council district that has a black voting age population over 50%.

Remember, the census numbers used in the redistricting process are already 18 months old. District 7 in the adopted map only had a 50.76% black voting age population majority, and that was 18 months ago. The area of Dallas in the new District 7 lost from 8 to 12 percentage points in black population over the past decade. It is almost certain we have already lost the majority black voting age population number in District 7 during the 18 months since since the 50.76% number was recorded. We may have lost much more, unless the population movements have stopped.

Yes, a lower black voting age population District 7 in the adopted map is still very "winnable" district, but that leaves us with only two districts that are majority black voting age population at the very start of the decade. Why take the risk when three much stronger districts, with an average of 6 percentage points in voting age population more, over 63%, have been proven possible? This can be done with no loss in the potential for a fourth "winnable" district? Even a fifth "winnable" district is possible!

Due to population movement, less gerrymandered maps looked north for these winnable black districts. The large majority of the 16,700 loss in black population in the four current black districts were not people who moved out of Dallas. They simply moved to North Dallas districts, one of which had a black population that grew by more than 100%. In the six white majority districts the black population has grown by over 9,100 people. That is where more potentially winnable black districts are. Such maps can have two minority coalition districts, one of which can be 70% minority. As population movement continues, such districts north of I-30 will become stronger for minority candidates. Let's build for the future.

Maps that are much more compact than the one adopted can provide 10 minority districts on the Dallas City Council. These include 8 minority majority districts and two coalition districts, with a minority as the majority in each coalition district. Why was such a map not chosen?

While the potential for a black leader to be elected in any district city wide is increasing, that potential remains compromised in North Dallas minority communities. They remain fragmented among several North Dallas districts in the adopted map. The Justice Department must change this. It must establish and maintain equal voting rights in Dallas, and do it without gerrymandered city council districts.

Since the above posting was made, on 11-6-11, there was an article in the Dallas Morning News about the 41 schools within DISD that are less than 75% full and being studied for possible closing.  On page 10B of that paper was a map with the locations and names of these 41 schools given. It was not given online, but was photographed and is below. 

Click on the above map & list to enlarge.
Study the above map and listing of schools closely, along with the approved redistricting map for Districts 7 and 4, copied below. 

Click on above map to enlarge.
You will note that the overwhelming majority of the 41 schools are in Districts 7 and 4.  This corresponds to the dropping black population in this area.  We must start the decade with much stronger, more compact, black districts, and with black majority districts that are in areas wherein the black population is either stable, or growing, as we done in wPlan03c by Rawlings.  The fragmented minority coalition district surrounding Hamilton Park could be united to become a true "winnable" black district, but it appears such potential may have to wait for the next redistricting in 2021.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A letter to the editor

The redistricting guidelines passed by the Dallas City Council were excellent. They were simply not followed.

The 6 council members who voted against the adopted map may have remembered the often repeated words during redistricting training: "a plan cannot have the effect of diluting racial, ethnic or language minorities."

There are 50% more white-majority districts (6) than Hispanic-majority districts (4) in the new approved city council map. This is in a city where the Hispanic population is 47% larger than the white, non-Hispanic population.

In terms of voting age population, only 34% of the Dallas voting age population is white but the approved map has 43% of districts, 6 districts out of 14, that are majority white. That same approved map has only 29% of districts, or 4 out of the 14, wherein Hispanics are in the majority. The Hispanic voting age population is 37% of the total voting age population of Dallas.

These numbers clearly document the "diluting" that is happening.

While three majority black districts are in the approved map, with one "winnable" black coalition district, the potential for these to survive the decade are minimal if the 8% average drop in black population over the past decade continues. Two of these four districts are already weak. Gerrymandering only adds to that weakness. Stronger districts are needed, and possible! They were achieved in the wPlan03c Rawlings map that produced three much stronger black majority districts.  These three districts were stronger by an average of 6 full percentage points in the black voting age population. 

While the current 4 black council districts on the south side of Dallas have lost over 16,700 in black population over the past decade, the large majority of that population did not move out of Dallas.  Most of them moved to northern city council districts.  That is where the two growing coalition districts are located in the wPlan03c Rawlings map.  One of those coalition districts can be made to have a black majority, and can be expected to become a stronger black district!

Now is the time to lay foundations for compact communities to develop that will carry electoral traditions forward and nurture more citizen involvement. Gerrymandering does not do that!

The wPlan03c Rawlings map, with 40 fewer miles of gerrymandering boundary lines, shows that a 71% minority city council (10 minority seats) is possible through coalition districts. It has a total of 8 strong minority majority districts and two strong coalition districts.
Redistricting can never guarantee election results, only potential. Results only happen when people vote. But when we start without a level playing field, and with gerrymandering that discourages community development, something is wrong.

Without a change from the City Council, the next hope for progress in Dallas now rests with the Justice Department.  The Justice Department must approve this map before it can be used due to a history of similar voting rights violations in Dallas.

The Dallas City Council must reflect Dallas. That is the law.
If the adopted map bothers you, write a letter to the editor, and notify your city council member. Council contact data is at http://www.dallascityhall.com/government/council/contact_mcc.html.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Were guidelines followed with the adopted Dallas City Council Map?

Five guidelines were adopted by the Dallas City Council for the 2011 Redistricting Process. The first three were regarding population equality, minority representation and continguity and compactness. It was stated that these “shall be applied as required by the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and other federal and state laws.” The stated goal in the guidelines was that "the voting strength of racial, ethnic, and language minorities in the districts should not be diluted by depriving minority voters of an equal opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice, such as by packing or fracturing districts."

In the eyes of this non-lawyer the first of these guidelines was followed. No map was accepted that did not meet the mathematical requirements of the first requirement for population equality.

The second requirement for minority representation was not met.  Dallas now has a new gerrymandered map that will do well if it produces a 50% minority council in a 71% minority city. The approved map has 6 districts (43%) that are majority white while only 34% of the voting age population is white. That same map has 4 districts (29%) wherein Hispanics are in the majority while Hispanics are 37% of the voting age population. Does it look like some "diluting" is happening? Another more compact map, rejected in the process, demonstrated that a map can be created wherein the potential for 71% of the council seats to be won by minorities exists.

The third requirement for contiguity and compactness was not met.  The chosen map required gerrymandering to avoid greater minority representation. The chosen map had an additional 40 miles of gerrymandering boundary lines.

The final two guidelines were listed as ones “which may be considered.” The first of them regarded “neutrality as to incumbents” with a very clear statement that “districts must not be configured for the purpose of either protecting or defeating an incumbent.” As is shown in the online video documentation of Redisstricting Commission discussions, and City Council discussions, and in the map itself, this guideline was not followed.

The second of these final “may be considered” guidelines was “communities of interest.” While this was the lowest priority guideline, it was the most often mentioned of the guidelines in the redistricting discussions. It appears “communities of interest” were used to avoid meeting the highest priority guidelines number two and three, certainly the more critical guidelines. More has been written elsewhere about this failure.

Dallas Morning News Editorial was too gentle

The Dallas Morning News Editorial: Hits and Misses was too kind about the usage of the term "communities of interest" during the Dallas City Council redistricting process. This three word phrase was used to hide some of the worst actions taken during the redistricting process. Those actions too often achieved the same goal as the usage fifty years ago of another three word phrase: "separate but equal."

Too often (once is too much) the difference from a "separate but equal" effect is minimal. This most clearly happens in statements as to why certain, usually higher percentage white, "communities of interest" should not be included in a, usually lower percentage white, City Council District.

One example is the gerrymandering Councilman Caraway wisely objected to during the tragic 10-5-11 meeting.  He objected to a gerrymandered appendage from District 1 that crossed I-35 into District 4 and was ultimately eliminated in the "final" map. But too many other such "community of interest/separate but equal" amendments remained in the final map that was approved.

In the Dallas redistricting process it was proven beyond doubt that the most compact districts can also provide the highest level of minority representation. But that was not allowed to happen in the map approved on 10-5-11. There were other priorities.

We now have a map that we can only hope the Justice Department rejects. Dallas is a much better city than the one reflected in the gerrymandered map approved 10-5-11.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why Dallas City Council had no winners on 10-5-11

10-5-2011 was a terrible day at Dallas City Council! We showed the world a side of Dallas that was not pretty.

There is no evidence to indicate that what happened yesterday in the Dallas City Council was any "prettier" than the same redistricting processes 10 or 20 years ago, except for the critical factor that now this process happens in the open, the way it should.   In the long run it is certain this transparency will improve the process.  It will lessen gerrymandering. 

Voters hate gerrymandering. Such hatred of gerrymandering is readily evident at any redistricting hearing. Almost all speakers at all redistricting hearings, at all levels, talk of the desire to keep their neighborhood/city/county together. The same testimony was the most common testimony at the Dallas City Council redistricting hearings. Then it was ignored, just as it was ignored in the Texas Legislature.

Almost all of the maps submitted by the public to the Dallas Redistricting Commission were more compact, with smaller average district perimeters, than the 35.60 mile average perimeter map that was approved yesterday. If you study the list of 21 maps submitted by the public, and summarized at http://dallasredistricting2011.blogspot.com/2011/07/comparisons-of-21-dallas-city-council.html, you will see that almost all the average perimeters were less than 35.6 miles.  These maps were more compact than the map approved 10-5-11.

Gerrymandering will be less and less acceptable to the public as knowledge about gerrymandering grows. Strangely shaped districts are almost never misshapen so as to maximize minority representation. They are almost always formed only to help in the re-election of either an incumbent, or a person they want to follow them.  It is the reason for the legislative gridlock plaguing our nation! 

Legislators fear no negative consequences from voters they have selected themselves during redistricting.  They know they will be re-elected no matter what they do or fail to do. 

Some could say that the obvious winners yesterday were the large majority of the Anglo council members who will probably keep their city council seats, something totally inconsistent with being only 28% of the population. But the price they, and all of us, pay is a less than efficiently functioning city government due to the unnecessary gerrymandering and misleading representation.  We all loose!

Others may claim that our Black Community is the winner. But, with the more compact wPlan03c Map presented by Rawlings, the Black Community would have had three much stronger Black majority districts.  The average Black voting age percentage in the three Black majority districts was over 6 percentage points higher on average in the wPlan03c map presented by Mayor Rawlings than in the map finally approved on 10-05-11.  Also, due to population movement patterns that appear to have been ignored in the approved map, in the 18 months since the 2010 census, the black population in District 7, 50.76% in the approved map, has probably already fallen below 50%.  District 7 lost 20% of their black population since 2000.  Similar patterns in District 4 indicate it will be below a 50% black population within the next 5 years.  The approved map may leave only one district with over 50% black population by the start of 2017 in Dallas.

The Rawlings wPlan03c map also has two coalition districts that could each have produced another Black council member.  With minor amendments, both of these coalition districts could have even been made significantly stronger to increase this "winnable" potential.

The Dallas Hispanic community, now the largest group in our city, is generally acknowledged as the most overt loosers in yesterday's process. They will do well to achieve 4 positions on the next Dallas City Council when, just by the numbers, they should comfortably have had 5 strong seats.

In summary it appears we now have an approved Dallas City Council Map, with over 40 unnecessary miles of boundary lines in it, that significantly weakens any potential we may have had for the minority composition of the next City Council to reflect that of our city.

Consequently thousands of us will be joining together in making valid claims to the Justice Department against the imposition of the Dallas City Council redistricting map selected on 10-5-2011.

As a small bit of the evidence to be submitted, here is a comparison of the approved 10-5-11 map with the wPlan03c map by Mayor Rawlings.  It shows what could be possible:
Click on the above chart to enlarge it.

There were no winners

Here is the map, and the demographic report it produces, that was approved by a 9 to 6 vote during the tragic city council meeting yesterday.  A copy of the approved map, and the demographics, have just now been posted on the City of Dallas web site at http://www.dallascityhall.com/Redistricting/planReview.html.

Click on the above map to enlarge it.
Click on above chart to enlarge it.
The average district perimeter for the approved map is 35.60 miles.  This is a significant improvement from the current average district perimeter of 43.52 miles for our extremely gerrymandered city council districts.  But it still remains more gerrymandered than almost all of the 21 redistricting plans designed by the public and submitted to the Redistricting Commission.  It is obvious that the public wants less gerrymandered districts.  They do not want their neighborhoods broken up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What will the Justice Department say?

What will the Justice Department say about a Dallas City Council Redistricting map they must approve that does not follow the guidelines passed by that same Dallas City Council? What will the Justice Department say when it is obvious there are other maps that provide a more complete minority representation, with more compact, less gerrymandered district lines?

Gerrymandering is mandatory if you want to design districts that will continue to produce an Anglo majority city council in a town with a population that is over 71% minority.

(The above comment was left under the 6th Dallas Morning News editorial urging the Dallas City Council to approve a less gerrymandered map for Dallas.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 5, 2011 Final City Council Amended Maps

Since last week three new "final" amended maps are now posted at http://www.dallascityhall.com/Redistricting/planReview.html .  Two are under the "October 5, 2011 Final City Council Amended Maps" heading and a third is posted below that with "October 5, Proposed Floor Amendment Map" in the heading.  A statistical report on each map is given.

With these maps, a total of 14 maps have been considered since the redistricting process left the Redistricting Commission and went before the Dallas City Council. The third alternative map for consideration 10-5-11 is by Council members Atkins, Caraway and Davis.  It is also the fourth map of these 14 considered by the Dallas City Council that has two minority coalition districts. (Minority coalition districts are those districts wherein no single ethnic group has a voting age population majority.)

Only one of these four, 2 coalition district, maps also has 8 majority minority districts. That is wPlan03c presented by Mayor Rawlings. The other three only have 7 majority minority districts, and too many of those majority districts are very weak.

Only one of these 14 maps also has three majority Black districts that are also all above 52% Black voting age. That is wPlan03c presented by Mayor Rawlings that has all three Black voting age districts above 55%. This map also has a 30.7% Black voting age coalition district that could easily be amended to be above 35% Black voting age without affecting the other strong majority Black districts.

Only one of these 14 maps also has five majority Hispanic districts that are above 54% Hispanic voting age. That is wPlan03c presented by Mayor Rawlings that has all Hispanic voting age majority districts above 57%. Four of those 5 districts are above 62%!

Only one of these 14 maps also is the most compact of all maps being considered. That is wPlan03c presented by Mayor Rawlings.  It has an average district perimeter that is 32.64 miles, several miles shorter than the other maps.

The normal result of having the most compact redistricting map in a town that is over 71% minority is that you will also have the highest minority representation, especially when it seems the other maps were designed to minimize minority representation. The days of an Anglo majority on the Dallas City Council should be coming to an end unless there is a refusal to follow the redistricting guidelines we are supposed to be working under, and the laws of this great nation.

Eight minority seats should be almost certain, but that is only true with the plan by Mayor Rawlings. With Mayor Rawling's plan, not only is an 8th district an almost certainty, but a 9th, and maybe even a 10th minority seat, are real possibilities due to the two minority opportunity districts.  Here is a chart that documents these differences between the plans:
Click on chart to enlarge it.
The exception to the representation predicted above is that candidate competence may overshadow all other variables in voting. Hopefully such visible competence and dedication will become increasingly common as more candidates of all races file for office in more compact districts on all sides of Dallas.  Dallas is in a place to become a truly great American City as a more truly representative city council helps that happen.

Another positive note about progress in Dallas relates to the stories that have been floated about Dallas loosing Black population.  While this is true, it represents a loss of less than 6/10 of one percentage point in the Black population.  The redistricting agony in finding a 4th Black district is due to the 16,000 Blacks who moved out of the four Black majority districts in Dallas.  However, over 11,000 of this population did not leave Dallas.  Most of the Black population movement appears to have been to the north within Dallas.  Many of the northern districts grew significantly in Black population.  An increasingly inclusive Dallas is certainly not a problem!