Sunday, January 03, 2010

Beyond the spasm - City Redistricting Coming Soon

I know the spasm of the moment seems like the only issue on the table... But the election of the next city council president has a lot more significance than is typical.  The next city council president will have a lot to say over how city council districts are reshaped following the census coming up soon.  How that goes may shape how politics in the city works for the next decade or longer and could impact all issues before council.. In that sense it trumps any one issue by far. 

For one thing, does anyone ever wonder why the city only has two conceivable minority districts while the school board has almost always had 3 minority members? Right now the district actually has 4 minority members though one was appointed. Given that the school district includes Mt. Oliver with a smaller minority population than the city, it should be harder to have 3 minority districts in the School District compared to the city.  There has been a lot of population change in the last decade, and it surely has not been even within the city so there will be some palpable differences in the districts when they get drawn.  Even without getting into specifics, it sure would be good to hear if any of these ever-changing council president hopefuls had any thoughts at all on the issues that will come up in redistricting within the city. In fact, it would be something if any of them ever mentioned the issue publicly at all.  It may be the most important thing they literally have control over during their term.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next president will not have a say, it will occur for council in2012

Sunday, January 03, 2010 8:15:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

If last time around is any indication, both county council and city council will have redistricting panels formed in the early fall of 2011. I would say the composition of those panels are the single most important thing to how it all turns out. You're right that the city probably won't finish before 2012, but there is no reason it has to take that long. The county had it's new districts proposed by December 2011. The timing of municpal elections in odd-years allows them to take more time. Of course the timing of how long it all happens will be a part of the politics of it all.

Without getting into some technicalities, the data that will drive the whole process will be released in March of 2011... 15 months from now. We will know the key issues impacting redistricting at that time.

Sunday, January 03, 2010 9:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again another "progressive" blogger that has no idea what he is talking about. Middle class African Americans are leaving the City in larger numbers than any other group of people. The pressure to have "minority districts" will increase, without even debating whether creating a district for one group of people is even a good idea. Regardless, the City is losing African Americans because they would rather not live in the City either.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 7:33:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

ha. I'll ignore the ad hominum, let alone the labeling, but do you really think I don't ponder city migration a lot?

You are half right in that there is a substantial Black out-migration that folks do not talk about. Flip through the changes over the decades I demonstate this with regularly.

But it's more complicated than that.  There certainly is White outmigration as well from the city.. especially if you net out student trends. Most likely..natural change is taking down city non-Black population more than Black population.. that is the result of health inequities that leave fewer older Black men and women  But that also has a big impact on supervoter demographics. 

But you really miss my point.  How about over last 20 years?  Why has school district have 3 clear minority districts while city has only two?

There is an answer.. or at least I have a pretty clear answer.  To take up another day unless someone has a thought. It's not about what is 'good'.. though there is probably an argument over what is just plain fair. A big issue of course, but I am arguing there should at the very least be a debate or discussion on any of this.. which there just isn't.. nor has there been any meaningful debate on this in recent cycles.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 7:50:00 PM  
Blogger rich10e said...

My idea of a change in council districts would be from 9-7 by district and just for the hell of it..two at large on Dem and one GOP...oh yeah and split the 4 districts Bruce Kraus has in Oakland between Bill P and D Lavelle

Saturday, January 09, 2010 12:13:00 AM  

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