The clock is ticking for Dallas City Council’s decision on redistricting map
The Dallas City Council has until June 29 to make a decision on how the city’s 14 districts will be divided, and it looks like they’re going to wait until the last minute.
After making little progress at a June 8 session, the council is expected to take a final vote on the issue on a Wednesday at 9 a.m. June 22, meetingjust one week before the deadline imposed by the US Department of Justice.
A council-appointed redistricting commission approved by a 10-5 vote on May 10 a map this was met with resistance from residents, who claimed it was racially divisive, politically motivated, or did not serve the intended purpose of evenly distributing the population while keeping neighborhoods intact.
The redistricting process is mandated by state law every 10 years to realign the borders based on U.S. Census data. Challenges arise, however, as residents lose cohesion with adjacent neighborhoods and elected officials are “redistributed” out of areas they have long represented.
Once approved, the new boundaries will go into effect for the May 2023 City Council election.
The map submitted to City Council for approval was created by District 14 Redistricting Commissioner Norma Minnis, then modified by Minnis and community leaders Randal Bryant, Brent Rosenthal and Bob Stimson.
Council members had about a month to review it and present the changes requested by voters. They came with a 21-page report of proposed changes suggesting things like moving the Kiest Park neighborhood to Council District 4 and putting the Lakewood Mall in District 9.
Councilman Paula Blackmon proposed that Lakewood Country Club be drawn entirely into District 9 rather than split into Districts 9 and 14. Councilman Gay Donnell Willis suggested a specific proposal in response to the “overwhelming neighborhood outcry”.
“The proposed amendment returns most neighborhoods west of Webb Chapel Road and north of Walnut Hill to District 13. This amended map keeps the Midway Hollow neighborhood at D13 but adds a small portion that has been stretched – which would divide the neighborhood association. borders. The Hispanic population of the northern triangle remains in District 6 (Marsh after Josey, north of Forest Lane),” the proposal states.
If the Dallas City Council fails to reach agreement on the proposed changes by the June 29 deadline, the map approved by the redistricting commission will serve as the final product.
The only change passed at the June 8 council meeting was a proposal from Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and District 5 Representative Jaime Resendez to expand District 5’s southeast boundary to include River Ranch and The Texas Horse. Park.
“The redistricting commission has been given a difficult task, and I assure you that the commissioners are committed to working diligently not only to make this process fair and equitable for every Dallas resident, but also to provide a map of the council district that provides for fair and equitable representation of Dallas residents,” said Jesse Oliver, chairman of the Dallas Redistricting Committee. “Because our goals cannot be achieved in a vacuum, community involvement and participation is essential to our success.”