Council members waited for the last opportunity to make their final decision on the redistricting map. It was the third time this month that city officials have met to discuss updating district boundaries. A new map was approved unanimously on Monday.
“Redistricting is essential to the functioning of a representative democracy. I am grateful for the work of our redistricting commission, ably and fairly led by Chairman Jesse Oliver, and I am pleased that the Dallas City Council was able to rally around further changes to the new map,” the mayor said. of Dallas, Eric Johnson, in a press. Release.
Johnson, who announced last week that he had COVID-19, was absent for the vote.
Black and Latino residents said they fear redistricting maps proposed for consideration by the council will dilute their voting power, divide neighborhoods and diminish cultural and historical connections.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where everything you’ve worked for, everything you know, is whitewashed,” Dallas resident Jonathan Maples told KERA in May.
Maples, who lives in the historically black neighborhood of Elm Thicket NorthPark, was concerned that some district boundaries proposed during the process crossed her neighborhood.
The version of the map adopted by the council mostly keeps the same districts.
Maps of city neighborhoods are usually updated after each census. The objective is to rebalance the number of inhabitants in each neighborhood to ensure fair representation.
Last Census results show that the city of Dallas has grown by 106,563 and now totals about 1.3 million. The demographics remained roughly the same. Latinos represent 42% of the population, whites 28%, blacks 23% and Asians 4%. Natives and Pacific Islanders each made up less than 1% of Dallas’ population.
The new district plan will be implemented in the next city council election in May 2023, when all 14 city council seats and the mayor’s office are up for grabs.
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