Redistricting: The most underrated issue in democracy

As many of you are aware, the city council sent a note to the County Board pointing out that Rochester now represents more than 5/7 of the county.  As such it is our expectation the 5 seats be contained entirely in Rochester.  Also we asked that districts be drawn fairly and respect neighborhood boundaries.   Since we are asking the County to redistrict fair, we need to do the same.  The plan that passed the council 6-1 does just that.  We adopted what is called Option 8.

Note that Ward 2 is pretty much the same (as it should be).  Ward 2 was actually the closest to the correct size of all 6 wards, and thus shouldn’t have changed much.  Basically I pick up all of the Historic SW, including the urban village and the Parkway Neighborhood.  I picked up all of Kutzky Park south of the river, which still divides Kutzky, but not as bad as previously.  I also lose Salem Sound and Bamber Valley Estates which are outside of West Circle Drive.  From a political standpoint I lose areas were I did well in 2008 (Salem Sound), and gain areas that I didn’t do as well (Kutzky Park).  So why am I happy?  Because the maps are fair to Rochester neighborhoods and that is what districts should be.

Edit:  I also gain 3 areas with a population of 0, but I was willing to take more…

Edit 2: Upon further review looks like I didn’t take the urban village?

Here is what I like about this option.

  1. This map uses common sense divisions between wards such as major rivers and highways.
  2. This map shows more respect for neighborhoods boundaries than the 2001 map.
  3. It shows Olmsted County that that Rochester respected smaller boundaries just as we are asking them to do.

I have to confess that it is odd when I first get these maps from the media who covered us…

Here is what the city map looks like:

Here is what changed:

Here are the demographics of the new Wards:

option 8

1

2

3

4

5

6

total

measure

total

17,656

17,925

17,774

17,767

17,738

17,909

106,769

269

% dev

-0.78%

0.73%

-0.12%

-0.16%

-0.32%

0.64%

0.78%

nhwa

15,077

14,727

14,118

11,845

14,594

14,247

84,608

minority

2,579

3,198

3,656

5,922

3,144

3,662

22,161

3,343

% min

14.6%

17.8%

20.6%

33.3%

17.7%

20.4%

20.8%

18.7%

moved in

349

659

0

1,766

1,718

4,450

8,942

moved out

1,625

597

5,491

667

141

421

8,942

total change

1,974

1,256

5,491

2,433

1,859

4,871

8,942

8.38%

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