Update: Austin’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted unanimously last night to certify the district maps for future city council elections.
The group split the city into ten districts. Starting next November, voters in each district will elect a single city council member. Previously, all council members were elected at-large.
Check out this interactive version of the district map:
Original Story (Nov. 26): The arduous process of redrawing the electoral map for the City of Austin is in the home stretch. The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will meet tonight to certify the final maps.
The ICRC previously approved the map, and at tonight's meeting they will make the ten district map official city policy. Approval from City Council or City Manager Marc Ott is not required.
Craig Tounget, the executive director of the ICRC, says he's proud of how politically balanced the redistricting process has been and hopes the process informs future redistricting efforts. “The best things that happened were the public hearings. We had 14 public hearings; we heard from literally hundreds of people in the community, both in public and written comments,” says Tounget.
Fairness in redistricting was an issue on both the national and local levels this past year. Due to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the new 10-1 map does not need to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. Section 4 previously provided an electoral formula, determining which states and political subdivisions require federal oversight.
After Monday’s meeting, the ICRC will only need to complete a report on the 10-1 redistricting process. Tounget and the current commissioners will conclude their work for the City of Austin by January 1st.
The first election under the new City Council map will take place in November 2014.