After sometimes contentious hearings and meetings over the past few months, the citizen redistricting committee completed its work and had two plans ready for the city council.
The creators of this plan, 15-REV, withdrew the plan from consideration.
This plan, a brain child of Steve Glorioso, was presented to and accepted by the committee Thursday.
This plan also advanced, so 17-REV and 13-REV-2 will be the plans the council gets to work with.
There are three factions tugging on the redistricting--the increased population north of the Missouri River, the concerns of the Black population, and the concerns of the Hispanic population. None wants their population divided so that their influence is lessened. The problem is that the population has shifted both north and to a lesser extent south. The 3rd council district and the 5th council district have lost population, while the 1st and 2nd have gained population. The City Charter asks that each council district have roughly the same number of people in it, so the amount of ethnic gerrymandering that can be done is limited. So now the ball is in the City Council's court. One of the committee's goals is that the redistricting will not have to be done again after the 2010 census figures are finalized in the spring of 2011. There is also the overall issue of when these redistricting efforts should be done, and getting the city charter more in line with the availability of fresh census date, while keeping the rules about how many general city elections occur between redistricting. That still is something that may be evaluated in the future.
Photos of the plans and the committee at work by the Observer. Click on photos to make bigger.
Author's note: This entry was written Friday and was going to be posted Saturday but your writer was felled by a virus, only now able to poke the head up above ground. In the meantime, Blog KC posted this fabulous up close look at these districts, illustrating exactly how small the differences are in places and how political this got. Please check out the post--linked here. Of course, all this committee's fine work can be derailed by the City Clowncil. Like I said, stay tuned.