Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ward Map controversy

Redistricting is coming up soon, as dictated by the city charter. Census numbers come out next year and the wards will have to be drawn within one year after the numbers come out. Groups are already mobilizing to have their voice heard. In this week's Gazette, Capitol Hill-area activists say it is imperative that we get the inner south side its own ward instead of breaking off bits and pieces hear and there and lumping it with other wards in order to marginalize the inner south side. I would argue that's not what's at play, and you can just look at voter turnout which is pretty paltry. Still, it gives the impression of something fishy when you see the ward map itself.

Some have suggested, as Pete White did when he called it ridiculous how Capitol Hill is split into 5 different wards, that we need to expand and add more councilors in order to expand representation. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but it's not the only good argument. Then others such as Sam Bowman want to just see better-drawn wards without expanding the Horseshoe because there are advantages to having fewer councilors, that it's easier to get everyone in a room and find compromise than have publicly-waged debates involving political capitol and things you see in places like...Tulsa. And then there's Brian Walters, who wants no change, except that he wants every councilor to join his and Mayor Cornett's crusade for family values.

I think the most likely positive scenario is what Bowman suggested, by just drawing better lines next time. City charter states that each ward has to be relatively equal in population. Here's my suggestion that I drew quickly that I prefer because it keeps certain parts of town together without mixing entirely different areas too much:


CGHill said...

I like your new map, mostly. The boundaries seem sensible, though I think you've shuffled the numbers more than necessary.

"1" = 6
"2" = 5
"3" = 4
"4" = 3
"5" = 7
"6" = 2
"7" = 8
"8" = 1

This will perforce move me to Ward 6 (your proposed Ward 1), which I'm okay with, especially since Sam Bowman, my Ward 2 guy, is reportedly retiring.

Kris Bryant said...

Where exactly are your boundaries for the inner city wards? Just wondering if my ward would change on your plan. Right now I am ward 1, but within a half mile of wards 2, 3, and 6.