PolitiFact: West Austin Overrepresented
There are two competing proposals on the ballot in Austin to change the city’s long-standing representation on City Council. Both the 10-1 plan, as it’s called, and the 8-2-1 plan aim to bring in a city council more tied geographically to constituents, rather than the at-large system currently in place.
KUT’s Emily Donahue spoke with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s Politifact Texas team about a statement made by Travis County’s former State Senator,
Gonzalo Barrientos. He supports the 10-1 proposal, which would result in every council member except the mayor being elected from individual districts. He wrote that a good reason for this is that over the decades, many of the elected members have come from just one swath of the city.
Barrientos wrote in a recent opinion article that 55 percent of Austin City Council members have come from parts of the city that were home to only 10 percent of the city’s population. We checked what Barrientos said and noted that the research by the 10-1 advocates double counted mayors. It’s not 55 percent from areas with 10 percent of the population, it boils down to 50 percent – it’s a little bit less. Separately, the population of those four ZIPs, remember they said it was 10 percent? It really comprised a little over 11 percent of all Austin residents in 2010, based on our check of Census figures.