Feds Approve 2013 Council District Map

City Council members’ adopted redistricting map got the go-ahead today from the Department of Justice.

In the Preston Hollow area, this means (in brief) that Bluffview and Devonshire will have a single Council representative after the 2013 elections, and Midway Hollow neighbors will be united in District 6 — which will also absorb Highland Meadows, a neighborhood bordered by Forest Lane, Marsh Lane, and Interstate 635.

City attorney Tom Perkins said the DOJ’s pre-clearance indicates the plan doesn’t create a retrogression of minority voters’ rights to elect candidates of their choice, per the Voting Rights Act — a big point of contention, especially in South Dallas, when the majority of Councilmembers approved the map through in October.

Prompting legal action from civil rights groups such as MALDEF, it shows four Hispanic voting-majority districts, four black districts, and six white ones. Hispanic leaders have pushed for five, four, and five, respectively, in a city where 42 percent of residents are Hispanic, one-fourth are black, and 29 percent are white.

“I am pleased with the outcome,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said in today’s press release. “It is my belief in the future we will see a majority of minority council members sitting around the horseshoe.”

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