Six Council Members Request Mayor Add "Redistricting Alternative" to Voting Agenda

Categories: City Hall
councilapprovedmap.jpg
Speaking of issues with redistricting ...

There's an online petition being virtually circulated concerning the new council districts map sent to the Department of Justice earlier this week; so far it's been signed by 105 who also want Justice to slap down the city's official submission. Among the reasons:
With community assets being separated from their residents, the entire fabric of Oak Cliff's communities are being decimated. An egregious example occurs in the heart of Oak Cliff where, in the Wynnewood area, neighborhoods are districted apart both from each other and from their shopping center. Virtually across the street from Wynnewood Village, Kiestwood neighborhoods are split away from Kiest Park and joined instead with the VA Hospital. This deplorable indifference to considering and respecting our communities of interest occurs throughout District 3, as far north as Pinnacle Park and as far south as Mountain Creek.

The Voting Rights Act should be applied citywide, and not exclusively to southern Dallas where we are perpetually being saddled with all of Dallas' not-in-my-backyard challenges. Recent examples are Oak Cliff fire trucks being allocated elsewhere and the DHA attempt to front load Permanent Supportive Housing applicants into Cliff Manor. Why isn't North Dallas' District 10 that contains Hamilton Park and a sizeable Black voting age population, redistricted into a winnable Black seat? Why isn't Northwest Dallas that contains a substantial Hispanic voting age population, redistricted to contain a winnable Hispanic seat? Dallas's diversity is citywide and redistricting should reflect that reality.
None of that should take those who've been following along by surprise. Nor should this bit of breaking news: Late yesterday, Delia Jasso, Scott Griggs, Pauline Medrano, Monica Alonzo, Sandy Greyson and Angela Hunt sent a memo to the mayor requesting "agenda item Redistricting Alternative be placed on the next voting agenda," though they could live with it coming before council by as late as December 14.

Those, of course, are the six council members who voted against the map sent to the Department of Justice earlier this week for pre-clearance. I've left messages for Barbara McAninch, the assistant city attorney tasked with redistricting.

Update at 1:41 p.m.: McAninch says that under normal council rules, it can't revisit an item that's been voted on for a year -- that is, unless the council votes "to suspend the rules," she says, in which case it can "reconsider any item." That includes the redistricting map: "If that occurs," she says, "and they vote on another plan, then we will have to amend our filing plan with the Department of Justice." 10-Mayor-Request for Agenda Item

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Ms Freedmans
Ms Freedmans

What are they crying for the African Americans Vote with the Anglos and HIspanics, and get nothing in return for their communties, I see no improvements in Oak Cliff, Pleasent Grove , South Dallas, what????????????\

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

In 2011 Dallas and racism has not changed.The only group of people who were segregated in Dallas were Blacks.Hispanics and Whites Asians and any one else that was not Black when to school and enjoyed all public facilities.Now Hispanics,White woman,Indians and etc. want their Rights,yet they still don't want Blacks.We are the only group Hated by all other groups.I'm so tired of being hated,not trusted,people don't want to sit with Blacks on Airplane,last seat filled next to black person.I don't give a dam who , Council people are ,nothing changes for Black people.

Gmason214
Gmason214

You will have to get more African-Americans to move into Dallas if you want more power at the City Council.  Fact, more council people are elected in the Dallas Fort Worth area than ever before.  Let us not just talk about Dallas.  Let us include DeSoto, Lancaster, Cedar Hill, Carrollton, and many others.  African-Americans have had positive change.  We now have many professional A.A. who can afford to live in suburban cities.  Latinos can into the inner city and purchased the cheaper homes many moving to the top African- Americans left behind.  Good for them, this is what makes up the American dream.  However, you cannot continue to gerrymander as the whites did before you.  Regardless if someone likes you or not, what is good for the gander is good for the goose.  The current map should be accepted.  However, with the Latino numbers continuing as they are we all know the end results.  What are you going to do in the next tens years and then tens years later.  If the numbers continue, African-Americans will be lucky to have two seats in Dallas in twenty years.  The Latinos will remember! 

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

Sadly, Blacks were not the only group segregated in Dallas.  Why do you think Little Mexico existed?  Now, even more tragically, the best hope for achieving true equality of opportunity, our public schools, are in danger due to the funding crisis.  In Dallas ISD schools are also over 95% minority.  In Texas that number is over 68%.  Is the attack on public school funding by mainly white legislators made easier since white students are a rapidly shrinking minority in our states public schools?

We have work to do.  If we cannot better motivate our students to work and achieve we have nobody to blame but ourselves.  We must talk about the future more often and in more credible and physical terms.  Long term goals must become normal, credible, and actionable. The ability needed to change goals must be a normal expectation. The precious years in school cannot be wasted.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Dallas is a city with a white population that has fallen to less than 29% of the total population. Dallas has approved, and sent to DOJ, the Department of Justice, a map wherein 43% of the city council districts are white majority districts, and these “election results” are before there is any election!  This map has 5 districts that are over 50% white and one "coalition" district with a solid white majority. Again, this is all before any voting happens.

If redistricting is done correctly the distribution of majority districts should reflect the population. Who can or cannot vote should only make a difference in the voting booth, not in redistricting. 

That needs to be repeated. “Who can or cannot vote should only make a difference in the voting booth, not in redistricting.”

Redistricting should create a level playing field where everyone is counted the same.  Gerrymandering is the manipulation of this level playing field to manipulate the power of the voting booth BEFORE there is any voting. It is said that 85% of US legislative districts are now gerrymandered to the extent that the outcomes are known before the election. This designing of “Democratic” and “Republican” districts handicaps our nation! Thus we have the inaction we now have in Washington! That is what happens when the power is taken from the voting booth!

The power should only be in the voting booth, not at the redistricting table. Our soldiers are not dying to defend the right of the redistricting table to run our nation.

The power of the redistricting table should only be to create the level playing field so all potential, not actual but potential, voters have an equally powerful vote if and when they should gain that right to vote. When the redistricting table manipulates the potential power of the vote, as it obviously has here in Dallas and all across our nation, something is very wrong.

Too many people are confusing redistricting with voting. Compact districts must be the rule in the work to have district population majorities be a reflection of that same distribution in the city.

Details on filing comments to DOJ about the Dallas City Council map are at http://dallasredistricting2011...

Jpotrammell
Jpotrammell

What you say will never happen. Funny thing is that this battle is between black and hispanics interest. Neither wants any sizable white population in their district.If  Both groups try to make their district as strong as possible. Black interest are having their districts being drawn across the southern party of the city east to west. Doing that keeps as few whites as possible out of their district. Hispanics are drawing in their districts but this is scattered in pockets and this is not organized and not a historic base. Many hispanics have moved into south dallas but many are new to the area. Driving down Malcom X Near Martin Luther King, you see as many hispanics as blacks. But black politicans don't worry because they don't vote. Hispanics want the northwest and old east dallas areas but that will not get them ther. They want to draw out the north oak cliff it split it up. Pleasant Grove is tough because no one would be able to have an easy victory. Hispanics have the largest numbers but there are a sizable black and a older white population who is more likely to vote. The question is how many black and hispanics districts are competitive when a you have an council member running for reelection. Usually there is an understanding that no one challenges a sitting council person. Same thing with district 30 in the us house. When has Eddie Bernice Johnson ever faced a strong challenger in the demacratic primary in the past 20 years? No black or hispanic with any name recognition has challenged her. Hispanics make up the larget population in her district. I have never heard of any that has ever run against her. I am sure that no other black democrat has ever disagreed with her. lol. This is why Mr. Betzen that what you are saying will never happend. I hear you talking as if whites made whites the majority on the city council. No. Both blacks and hispanics were the one who made this happend. They both want to super concentrate their own districts. That makes more 45 to 55 percent white districts.

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

Jpotrammell, you are confusing voting with redistricting.  Until we eliminate the injustice in redistricting, rampant nationwide, the resulting apathy relative to voting will continue, especially among those victimized by fragmenting.  Why vote if you know you cannot get a candidate you believe in?

After the exceptionally informative meeting Councilman Griggs held Monday at Kiest Park, I was confronted by a District 13 resident who was exceptionally angry that I had suggested the growing minority community east of the Coit/Hwy 75 line was fragmented among districts 10, 11, & 13.  They declared "They don't vote anyhow!" speaking about this minority community.

I tried to suggest that voting patterns may improve if this community could see a candidate they possibly even knew running for City Council. That was not a welcomed suggestion.

Once we have a truly level playing field, with compact redistricting, that also provides districts with population majorities that exactly mirror those of our city, we will slowly see changes in voting and representation. It will not happen immediately, but the potential for eventual change will be greatly increased.

ANS
ANS

Very well said Bill! Keep working hard!!! Your doing some great work!!

ANS
ANS

It appears we are seeing complete capitulation by City Hall!!!! 

heart and soul
heart and soul

Someone needs to ask Tom if he still thinks he can slam dunk a lawsuit.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

"I did not get my way, therefor it must be racism. Call out the lawyers!  After all, minorities will only vote for their own minority as they have to be in lock-step for voting!!"  So will District X sue if their elected official is not of the officially sanctioned race for that district to keep that candidate from taking a seat? Di we need racial purity laws to make sure someone is exactly the right minority for their district?  And can the suburbs absorb all the folks feed up with this crap?

White people -- all going to hell!

heart and soul
heart and soul

Three of the people that signed this are "White". It is not about race.  Duh.

Gmason214
Gmason214

Well it is about race.  The three that signed do not want a African-American district in Northeast Dallas.

Ray
Ray

This is the right thing to do. Splitting D3 into three districts just like the current status of Pleasant Grove is unacceptable. It was wrong for Pleasant Grove and it's wrong for Oak Cliff. Separating Kiestwood from Kiest Park is also unacceptable, along with the gerrymandering of looping in the VA Hospital per Ms. Hill's request. Kiestwood has been a part of the Kiest Park neighborhood since it's inception back in 1951. Cutting us off from the park is flat out wrong. Putting Oak Park Estates at the southern end of Kiest Park into D4 is beyond belief.

If another minority district is needed, then you can find one very easily up around D9 and D10.The numbers are there, but it's a matter of those two districts being willing to give up some of those voters for the 'greater good' of the city. Let's see how high of a road, those districts are willing to take.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

Thank you for throwing the red meat.

Guys, feeding time!

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