Detroit City Council Considers Redistricting
Detroit is one of the few major cities in the U.S. that does not have council by district. But that may soon change.
Detroit’s City Council has begun the tedious process of drawing voting district lines for the city. It’s a move that was decided upon by the citizens themselves and a decision that has been a long time coming.
“This has been the first time in about six decades that the city has been broken down into districts like this so it’s a new undertaking for everybody in city government,” says council member Saunteel Jenkins. She is one of nine council members tasked with seeing the city through this process.
Under the directive of the elections commission, the city will be divided into seven council districts. The planning commission, with the help of Data Driven Detroit, has taken the city’s population into account and created four slightly different maps – one of which will be approved by council as early as February 17th. Future city council members will represent each of those seven districts, with two council members being elected to represent the city at large.
Realizing it will be difficult if not impossible to please everyone, and lawsuits will most likely be filed, specific guidelines have been used to create the districts. Some neighborhood associations may be disrupted and ultimately spread out over multiple districts because the criteria for laying district lines are pretty cut and dry.
Detroit voters overwhelmingly approved the council by district idea in 2009.
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