The group charged with redrawing Dallas’ City Council’s district boundaries has narrowed the proposed maps down to two.
The Dallas Redistricting Commission voted Monday on two maps that supporters say could lead to more Hispanic and Black representation on the city council, but many residents raised concerns some neighborhoods were split and moved into new districts despite their calls to keep them together.
“There are a lot of competing interests in a city as diverse as Dallas – not only in terms of population but communities and interests and area,” said the commission’s chair Jesse Oliver. “It is not easy to come up with a plan that fits everybody’s desires and demands, but if we all work together on that effort, we can get close and kind of walk away with something that is acceptable and not (one) that gets essentially pushed down the throats of the public.”
The committee will meet again Monday, May 2, to begin adjusting the maps, with a public hearing set for Saturday, May 7, both in the Dallas City Council chambers. The commission could decide on a final map to recommend to the mayor and city council as soon as May 9.
“We have two (maps) that we will work on. We will adjust those two – both of those – by amending them amongst the commissioners,” Oliver said.
Once it’s submitted, the city council has 45 days to amend and approve a final map or the map the commission recommended becomes final.
The redistricting process happens every 10 years after each U.S. Census.
The two proposals remaining to be considered further are map 17 drafted by commission members Randall Bryant, Bob Stimson, and Roy Lopez, and map 41 by Melanie Vanlandingham and Darren Dattalo.
Of note, in the map 41 proposal, district 9 would gain Vickery Meadow.
Among the neighborhoods residents expressed concerns about were that both maps move the historically Black Elm Thicket/NorthPark area in district 2 to district 13.
“We have a good cross-section of committed neighbors who are working together – Hispanic, white, Asian, Black – who are working together, who are voting together, and at no time should we talk about turning this district over to Preston Hollow,” Elm Thicket/Northpark resident Zach Thompson said.
Thompson said he didn’t want the neighborhood to lose out on being represented by a person of color.
Jonathan Maples, another resident of the neighborhood, also said he would also prefer the area be moved to district 6 rather than district 13.
“We have nothing in common with District 13,” Maples said.