Fun With Redistricting, or: Well, Look Who Done Submitted a Map to the Commission

Categories: City Hall
MertensMap.jpg
Map by Sam Merten
Click to embiggen a former Unfair Park-er's proposed redistricting map
Steve Thompson beat me to it, but no matter. Because, see, in advance of this evening's meeting of the city's Redistricting Commission, some of us were sneak-peeking the public's submissions made to the commission, and lookie there: Among the stacks of maps is one turned in by a rather familiar name -- none other than Sam Merten, hot damn.

And how'd he do? Well, per the staff's analysis, not bad at all, as he managed to meet the criteria regarding population equality, minority representation and contiguity and compactness. And, writes Sam in his statement to the commission, "As much as possible, communities were kept intact, while others were properly placed together. For example, Pleasant Grove, which once was included in four separate districts (2, 5, 7 and 8), is now one district (5)." Hey, a man's gotta have a hobby aside from fantasy baseball.

Also among those who submitted: Bill Betzen, former city council member Donna Halstead (who's on the commission ... and president of the Dallas Citizens Council) and Keith McPhail. Anna's going to the meeting tonight. Because it sounds like ... fun?

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30 comments
scottindallas
scottindallas

Sam's map seems a commendable effort.  I think I might reconsider the line between districts 9 and 10 in Lake Highlands and the area just North of it, and some slight adjustments between 9 and 2.  But again, a great plan with logical groupings.

El Rey
El Rey

Sam's map - Districts 2 and 14 are a bit gerrymandered, but acceptable. My biggest complaint, and one that was voiced to the commission, is Buckner Terrace would still be divided. Buckner Terrace is one of the strongest and most active HOAs in the city and dividing it has only led to many struggles to keep it a healthy and vibrant neighborhood. Toggle the Neighborhood Association / HOA map layer to be sure you are not dividing a neighborhood.

Donna Halstead created a map using major thoroughfaires as boundary lines. I have two problems with this: 1. Boundary line road maintenance tends to be ignored and a 'pass-the-blame' attitude is often used by the council to explain the lack of maintenance.2. A road is often the shared commodity of a neighborhood. For example, US75 separates Knox-Henderson, but we still treat it as one entity. Greenville splits the M Streets but is actually a unifying fixture to the neighborhood.In addition, I immediately suspect and hold disdain for anything derived from the folks of the Dallas Citizens Council (as does all of South Dallas and Oak Cliff, with JWP being the exception).

Shirley Stark has the best map I have seen so far. I know her and I know her intentions are purer than Mrs. Halstead and the rest of the redistricting commission.

(BTW, did anyone take roll at the neighborhood meetings, I know a certain abogado who was absent for many...)

LaceyB
LaceyB

So, if a friend of Unfair Park moves out of the area, do they lose any accumulated "Friend" status? That hardly seems "Friendly"? Maybe, too many "Friend requests"?

Jpgreenan
Jpgreenan

I like the plan submitted by Shirley Stark. The districts seem compact and neighborhoods aren't unreasonably separated.

But best of all, it creates a Greater Downtown District that includes all of the downtown and parts of East Dallas, North Oak Cliff and Uptown that share at least some of the concerns of the urban center.

Montemalone
Montemalone

My embiggener doesn't seem to be embiggening enough, so I guess I'll hafta take y'alls word.

MattL1
MattL1

Goodbye District 14, hello District 2!  Fun times...

[Now that I've actually started looking at these maps, I'm fascinated by the way you can draw the lines to group/split neighborhoods. The smallest differences can potentially produce districts with vastly different collective interests. This is kind of fun to study, actually.]

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Any discernable agenda with respect to the Dallas Citizens Council proposed map?

Watching
Watching

Uptown is on the west side of Central, in PD 193 (Oak Lawn PDD).  It should be connected to the rest of Oak Lawn.  This map splits Oak Lawn between 3 districts.  NW Dallas is still split and connected to West Dallas down to Sylvan.  That's not a compact district.   Dist 6 current configuration discourages voting; this is just as bad.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

@SamMerten has been throwing logic all around these parts today.  Man between managing that Sportatorium baseball team laying smack downs over there and drawing up sensicle re-districting maps, I have a new hero.  Sam4Mayor

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

That's actually a pretty good map.  It keep Uptown together in a single district, and lumps it in with the M Streets, Knox Henderson, and Greenville Ave. which is pretty logical.

Also, South Dallas is de-gerrymandered and broken into more logical districts, which is nice to see.

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

I'm just hoping they'll be playing RoboCop again.  

What? That was a one-time deal? Well, shit.  

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Shirley Starks may is a disaster for Oak Lawn, Uptown and downtown.  Talk about lack of communities of interest.

helen trent
helen trent

Donna's map and intentions are to gerrymander Angela Hunt and Sandy Greyson out of their districts -- too independent minded those ladies are for the Citizens Counci. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

It keeps the neighborhoods in tact except the neighborhoods that are literally split in half for not apparent reason.

LaceyB
LaceyB

me neither, dude! I even broke out my magnifying glass from American Lit from when we had to read this obnoxiously small-printed book, and, still no dice. Uptown and Greenville go together, and when Uptown grows up, they move to M-streets or Southlake, so, pack us in with those guys. That's my vote.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Not sure what to do with Dist. 6, but this improves it. The east side of Dist. 6 is currently ignored and better identifies with Dist. 13.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

My sense is that Uptown has more in common with the M Streets and Greenville Ave than it has with Oak Lawn (but I can also understand Oak Lawn not wanting to be cracked).

Nick R.
Nick R.

Can we get that hash tag to trend in Dallas, please?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

No kidding, that map really is a mess.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I testified at the Oak Lawn meeting and submitted written testimony afterward.  Looking at Donna Halstead's proposed disaster of a map, I now get why she was so fixated on major roadways in her questioning.  And she has, I think, purposely split up neighborhoods that are strong advocates at city hall.  Wow.  She's a stalking horse if there ever was one.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I figured it was something like that.... the Dallas Citizens Council never has pure intentions, unfortunately.  Notwithstanding the fact that Angela Hunt will be termed out, perhaps they are attempting to minimize the chance any future independent voices will be elected to council.

Ralph Yaraborough
Ralph Yaraborough

Ms. Trent, regardless of the map proposed for 2013, Angela Hunt will be unable to run again as she has served four terms in a row. That isn't to say that the proposed 9th (which replaces the 14th) looks very different than its current incarnation

Montemalone
Montemalone

Merci, monsieur.

Toujours le gentilhomme.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Actually Wylie, Uptown has far more in common with Oak Lawn (PD 193) than with the M Streets.  Look how it's redeveloped over the last 10 years.  Changes are far more in line with west of central than east of central. 

LaceyB
LaceyB

Yeah, didn't come to Bottle Rocket prepared. Now, I know the drill.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Hmmm.... perhaps you're right, now that I think about it.

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