Geographic Representation

5:07 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

10-1 Commission Candidate List Goes to City Council

The commission that will draw the new City Council districts is taking shape.
Callie Hernandez, KUT News

Today the city of Austin moves closer to a new form of government.

It’s the 10-1 plan chosen by voters in the November election: 10 geographic districts drawn by citizens plus the mayor serving at large.

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Geographic Representation
10:22 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Interview: Volma Overton Jr. Describes Austin’s Long Struggle for Geographic Representation

Volma Overton Jr., photographed on the University of Texas campus.
Marissa Barnett for KUT News

Volma Overton Jr. on 10-1, Austin and his father's legacy

Volma Overton Sr. was a civil rights pioneer in Austin. He brought a hard-fought lawsuit to desegregate Austin schools – and brought his school-aged children with him to Austin’s segregated places, pushing against the racial boundaries of the time.

One of those children is Volma Overton Jr. KUT News recently sat down with him to talk about another front his father fought on: changing Austin’s form of at-large elections, where all candidates for City Council have to run citywide.

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City Hall Hustle
2:55 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

City Hall Hustle: The Long, Winding Road to 10-1

A detail of a map plotting the applicants for the city's Applicant Review Panel, which will help select the group that draws Austin's districts.
Wells Dunbar, KUT News

The Hustle on the move toward geographic representation

After seven tries and several decades, geographic representation is finally coming to the City of Austin. And as the city prepares, the vortex of activity swirls around … none other than three certified public accountants.

That’s the Applicant Review Panel. It’s a group of three CPAs, randomly selected from a group of applicants, who will vet applicants for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. That’s the group that will ultimately draw the district lines.

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5:21 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Austin’s Next City Council: Primarily Made of Newbies

Most of the present council will hit the city's term limit and won't be able to run in 2014.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

This May, Austinites will learn the names of the people who will be drawing the city’s 10 new district maps, and then the redistricting process will start to take shape. After the maps are drawn, Austinites will learn the district boundaries. Then people interested in running for City Council will know which district they can represent. 

Seems like a lot of changes. And the biggest one is that the next Austin City Council is likely to be made up of rookies.

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Geographic Representation
4:15 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

10-1 Review Panel Selected - And All Three Members Are Women

City Auditor Kenneth Mory looking for 10-1 volunteers last month. Today, the auditor randomly selected three CPAs to oversee redistricting commission applications.
City of Austin

Earlier today, Austin's City Auditor held a public drawing today to select the three accountants that will serve on the 10-1 Applicant Review Panel. The three accountants are Martha Parker, Michelle DeFrance and Carolyn Limaye – all women.

The review panel will select the 60 most qualified applicants for potential service on Austin's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. That's the group which will ultimately draw district lines for city council members. (Click here for an overview of the district-drawing process.)

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The Lead
8:57 am
Mon March 4, 2013

The Lead: 10-1 Review Panel Drawing, Texas' Sequester, Austin’s Kite Festival

The high-flying scene at Zilker Park on Sunday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Central Texas is under a hazardous weather outlook due to warm temperatures and dry, gusty winds, per the National Weather Service. The winds will continue tomorrow, but in the form of a cold front – meaning today’s unseasonable highs in the mid-80s will drop into the 60s Tuesday.

Lead Story: As the City of Austin initiates the process of drawing single-member city council districts, City Auditor Kenneth Mory is hosting a public drawing today to select the city’s first Applicant Review Panel.

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Geographic Representation
1:59 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Last Call for 10-1 Applicants - And CPAs! (Update)

Application forms can be found online and at city facilities including the Austin libraries, recreation and senior facilities, and City Hall.
City of Austin, KUT News

Update: City Auditor Kenneth Mory says only nine of the 66 people who have applied to sit on a redistricting review panel are qualified to serve – and all of those people are white.

A three-person panel of accountants is being assembled to select a pool of qualified applicants that may serve on the redistricting commission. (Click here for an overview of the redistricting process.) Mory says it has been hard to get qualified CPAs interested because it is tax season. And many CPAs have or want to work with the city – which would be a conflict of interest.

Mory says he thinks his office has done as much as possible to recruit a diverse group.

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Geographic Representation
2:13 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

First Step in Austin's Redistricting Process: A Diverse Commission

A detail of a map released by the City Auditor's office, plotting where redistricrting commission applicants live.
KUT News

This summer, Austin will begin drawing its first city council districts.

The long slog towards geographic representation has been an uphill one: a fight to get the measure on the ballot, a hard-fought campaign and, once the measure was approved, fear an all-volunteer committee to draw council districts would fail to attract diverse and representative candidates. But with the help of the city auditor and community groups, the list of applicants has swelled from fewer than a hundred nearly two weeks ago to just under 250 at last count on Feb. 14.

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5:35 am
Wed January 16, 2013

City to Reimburse Redistricting Volunteers - But How Much?

Council members say commute expenses of redistricing volunteers won't be covered - but trips into the community may.

Story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM

This summer, a group of 14 volunteers will begin the process of drawing new maps for Austin City Council districts.

The commission will work between six months and a year on those maps. And some of their expenses will be paid for by the city. Now, Austin City Council members are trying to hammer out what they think will be a “reasonable and necessary expense.”

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Geographic Representation
11:51 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Comment Ending on Auditor’s Read of Geographic Representation

The city auditor's office extedned the comment period on its interpretation of Prop 3's charter langauge through tomorrow.
Wells Dunbar, KUT News

There’s still time to voice an opinion on the city’s switch to geographic representation.

The deadline for public input in City Auditor Kenneth Mory’s interpretation of voter-approved language calling for 10 single-member districts was initially last week. But the auditor has since extended the comment period through tomorrow, Jan. 16. 

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Geographic Representation
6:01 am
Wed January 9, 2013

How Many People Are Barred From Serving on Austin's Redistricting Commission?

The scene at Lee Leffingwell's election watch party last May. Conflict of interest standards in Prop 3 will exclude many politically-involved Austinites.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In recent years, only two cities – San Diego and Minneapolis – have gone through the process Austin is initiating: drawing geographic city council districts that reflect the city's diversity.

Now Austin is giving it a try, beginning the process of assembling an independent citizens redistricting commission. The search is on for a diverse group of Austinites that will make up the commission.

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Geographic Representation
12:55 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Will Tax Time Hurt the City’s Hunt for Redistricting Volunteers?

As accountants' busiest time of year approaches - tax season - the city is looking for CPAs to get Austin's redistricting process going.

Audio story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM

Starting next week, citizens can apply to serve on the independent redistricting commission that will draw Austin's 10 city council districts. 

Commission applicants will be sorted through by a group of three certified public accountants. They will be in charge of getting the redistricting commission going by creating a pool of the 60 most qualified applicants. Out of those candidates, a group of 14 will ultimately draw Austin's first district maps. (Click here for an overview of the redistricting process.)

But the timing is a little crazy, because W-2 forms are in the mail as we speak. And right about now is the kick-off of the busiest time of the year for CPAs:  tax season. But Austin needs CPAs to apply as volunteers now, in order to kick off the entire district-drawing process. 

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Geographic Representation
6:00 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Infographic: How Austin's City Council Districts Will Get Drawn

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In November, voters approved a historic change to Austin’s form of government.

For most of Austin’s modern history, the city council has been elected citywide, or at-large. With the passage of Proposition 3 last year, voters approved a change to geographic representation, where an independent citizens commission will create 10 city council districts.

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Geographic Representation
4:04 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Auditor Calls for Input on City Redistricting Process

Wells Dunbar/KUT News

Auditor Calls for Input on City Redistricting Process

It may seem like government offices are in slow mode during the holiday season, but Austin's City Auditor is working against the clock. That's because there’s a very strict timeline the auditor needs to meet in order to put together the group that will draw Austin’s new city council district maps. 

The auditor is following the guidelines and timeline laid out in Proposition 3. That was the citizen-initiated charter amendment passed by Austin voters last month. But some of the terminology in Prop 3 needs to be tweaked into more official legal terms in some cases. In others, it just needs to be clarified. So, the City of Austin's Auditor, Kenneth Mory, is asking for citizen input.

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