Almost all of the state’s cities and 87 counties are kept whole in Tennessee Senate Districts under a statewide map proposal released by Senate Democrats on Friday.
“This proposal keeps communities together – entire counties and entire cities to the extent possible,” said Sen. Jeff Yarbro, Senate Minority Leader for Tennessee. “We want every member of every community to know that their voice counts in the State Senate and that their vote will make a difference.”
Democrats are releasing their 33-district senate proposal after receiving direct feedback from Tennesséens at five public community meetings across the state. Additionally, members of the Democratic caucus attended dozens of other meetings hosted by local organizations to discuss how districts are expected to change in 2022.
“This is a fair map that directly incorporates feedback from the people and organizations who have told us to ‘please keep our city together,’ said Senator Raumesh Akbari. “It’s a map that holds more cities and communities together than ever before. It is a card that makes senators more accountable to the voters they serve.
Most of the districts in this proposal are moving to mid-Tennessee to accommodate the region’s explosive population growth. But each district in the proposal retains the essential features of the current map.
- Antioch is added to the seat of the Senate of La Vergne and Smyrna: Senate District 13 maintains its base in western Rutherford County, but now extends southeast of Nashville to create a full Senate district for communities of Antioch, La Vergne and Smyrna along the I-24 corridor.
- Bradley County is not divided. This proposal overturns a controversial 2012 decision: to divide Bradley County into two districts. Instead, Senate District 10 reverts to Hamilton County with its lines around the city of Chattanooga, and Senate District 9 encompasses all of Bradley County with McMinn, Meigs and Rhea counties.
- Full Senate Seat in Montgomery County: After a decade of population growth of almost 30%, the City of Clarksville almost qualifies for its own seat in the State Senate. In this proposal, Senate District 22 removes two counties to the west and now captures the core of Clarksville as well as unincorporated areas north of the Cumberland River.
- West Tennessee Districts Are Growing: West Tennessee has seen slow growth in many counties and population loss in others, a trend that is forcing senate districts to expand geographically. As such: Senate District 24 stretches east from six to eight counties. Senate District 26 stretches east from eight to nine counties. The Senate District 27 is reduced from 5 to 6 counties. And Senate District 32 extends from Tipton County and part of Shelby County to three counties and part of Shelby.
To give your opinion on the Senate District maps offered by state Democrats, send an email to
With or without public comment on the draft cards, Republicans are expected to vote on their favorite new district lines soon after the General Assembly resumes on January 11.
To comply with the constitutional “one person, one vote” requirement, each senatorial constituency must have a “substantially equal population” close to 209,419. This population requirement means that some counties must be divided.
Of the eight counties that are divided among Senate districts in this proposal, seven require division due to population. Of the eight county divisions on the current map, only five were needed due to population.
Additionally, more than 20 divided cities on the current map are kept whole in this proposal, according to caucus analysis.
Our goal was to draw districts that were faithful to cities, counties and natural community lines, Senator Yarbro said.
“Voters do not know their constituency boundaries, but they do know their neighborhoods, towns and nearby major roads,” Senator Yarbro said. “We should be drawing lines so that they make sense to voters when they need to call their legislators, instead of only making sense once every four years when politicians need to call voters. “
Prior to the 2022 election cycle, the Tennessee General Assembly must by law draw political boundaries so that the 33 districts of the Tennessee Senate have roughly equal numbers of people.
The community district process (also known as a redistribution or redistribution) takes place every 10 years after federal census officials release data showing the population of every city, town and county in the country.
A good neighborhood map reflects an entire community or community of shared interests, such as a city, neighborhood, or group of people who have common political concerns that would benefit from being brought together in one neighborhood.