Tower District leaders shake up Fresno’s redistribution map that divides the neighborhood into three council districts

A Fresno City Council redistribution map that will go to a final vote next week has many Tower District residents expressing concerns about the new dividing lines. The map expands the area from two council districts to three.

Fresno City Councilor Miguel Arias chaired the committee that drafted the map. He said the committee relied on public comments to create the map that addressed the major population gaps that had developed over the past decade.

“The current district map that we have has one council member with 10,000 more people than another. And this imbalance needed to be corrected,” he said.

In addition to Districts 1 and 3, Map 111 now adds the representation of District 7. Arias acknowledged that the situation was not ideal.

“It is not a perfect card to have multiple council members representing a neighborhood. Unfortunately, since we are limited to 7 council members, this will result in three council members representing the Tower District which runs from downtown to at Shields Avenue. “

Arias said the wards representation division resolution would require a public vote to allow the creation of nine municipal districts instead of the current seven.

Tyler Mackey, executive director of the Tower District Marketing Committee, criticized the map for shattering historic neighborhoods.

“It literally divides the neighborhoods of Fresno High, the historic neighborhoods into separate neighborhoods, instead of keeping them intact, which they feel like as a community,” he said.

He said the Tower District has long struggled as a divided district and the new map will only complicate that.

“We are already seeing such challenges in the Tower District with the preservation of the Tower Theater itself,” he said.

Michael Birdsong is a member of the new Tower District Specific Plan Committee, which works to protect historic districts. He was concerned with the way the map drew lines in residential neighborhoods instead of main streets.

“So if you lived on one side of the street you could be in District 3, if you lived across the street you could be in District 7, depending on how it was cut. “, did he declare.

Birdsong pointed to divisions in historic neighborhoods like the Wilson Island Tract near Fresno High and the Porter Tract near Fresno City College.

Arias argued that drawing lines on neighborhood streets allows neighborhoods to gain and lose the number of residents needed to meet the ideal 1% population gap. He argued that giving the Tower District more representation would ensure more resources. A final vote will take place on Thursday, December 9.

Previous East Texas COVID-19 Cases Rising, Still Below 2,000
Next China may return to normal when COVID19 death rate drops to 0.1%: top medical expert