Redistricting meetings, which are open to the public, begin this week.
Every 10 years, when the U.S. Census data is released, the Dallas City Council-appointed Redistricting Commission meets to redraw district lines.
The committee recommends a districting plan based on population changes, but the public’s input is also gathered in the process.
We reported in October that we didn’t expect to see significant changes in District 9 because the population is close to the “ideal” number and the district itself is relatively compact. But District 14’s population was measured to be 106,927, which is 13,757 away from the “ideal” of 93,170. And it encompasses parts of Oak Lawn, Downtown and East Dallas all the way to the 3-G intersection.
This won’t just affect City Council; state legislative and congressional districts, county commissions and school boards are also affected by the new plan.
Here’s how the process will work. Once the 15-member Redistricting Commission finishes its plan, it will file its recommendations with the mayor for presentation to the City Council. The Council has 45 days after the plan is submitted to the mayor to adopt or modify and adopt a new plan. Any changes require approval by three-fourths of the Council. If the Council doesn’t take a final action within 45 days, the Redistricting Commission’s plan is adopted.
District 14’s commissioner is Norma Minnis (firstname.lastname@example.org). District 9’s commissioner is Brent M. Rosenthal (email@example.com).
One thing new this year is that this is the first time Dallas and other Texas cities will not have to get redistricting plans approved by the Department of Justice before using them in an election.
There are several opportunities to provide feedback to the Redistricting Commission. The meeting closest to our neighborhood will be 6:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center, 9940 White Rock Trail. There will also be an in-person and virtual meeting at City Hall, 1500 Marilla, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
For other meeting times and dates, see the graphic below.
Register to speak at a meeting here.
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