Final map of new San Antonio City Council wards nears completion

A redistricting advisory committee voted to leave Brackenridge Park only in City Council District 1 after much debate on Tuesday.

San Antonio has gained 100,000 residents since 2010 and was the fastest growing major US city last year, census officials say. The map of the 10 city council districts has been redrawn with the aim of distributing this new population fairly.

The city now has nearly 1.5 million inhabitants.

Brackenridge Park has always been in Districts 1 and 2 for the past several decades. District 2 activist Pharoah Clark said East Side residents want the park to officially remain in the council district which includes the largely black neighborhood. About 7% of the city’s total population is black, according to nearby leaders at the meeting.

Clark said the area has suffered many slights over several decades, including the current ongoing gentrification.

“We don’t have a movie theater, we don’t have a hospital, we don’t have a bowling alley, and the last thing we have is a nice park where our kids can go and enjoy on the weekends. -end with their family.”

Residents of District 1 said leaving the park only in their neighborhood would give them more political clout on traffic issues. The new map brings together the entire River Road neighborhood, for example, in District 1.

Roadside residents are concerned about traffic at the San Antonio Zoo in the spring and summer. Planning also continues for the Sunken Gardens Theater expansion, which could draw thousands of theatergoers to the Brackenridge neighborhood in the future. Access to the neighborhoods by emergency vehicles raises concerns during the busiest days of the zoo and park during the warmer months of the year.

While Tuesday’s committee meeting was called a “cleanup” of the map – to iron out final details where little or no population would be affected – the overall final draft map did not leave all residents of the city ​​satisfied with the result.

Some residents were concerned about property values ​​rising or falling based on placement in neighborhoods considered wealthier or poorer than others, but the Bexar Assessment District told Public Radio du Texas during the last property tax season these values ​​were based on a neighborhood’s home prices. sell for.

While the committee has filed numerous complaints, Joel Garcia, a resident who has served on the committee in the past, came to Tuesday’s meeting to praise their months of work.

“I can say that you have done a lot of work very diligently and really got to the heart of your redistricting mandate, ensuring population equity in neighborhoods in the city of San Antonio (while maintaining ) also a meticulous geographical nature within the boundaries as well,” he said.

The new map faces another meeting before the redistricting committee on June 7. The final draft map is expected to be submitted to the full City Council on June 16.

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