Hoping to deliver a redistricting plan by fall 2011, Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, announced the creation of a new ad hoc committee that will focus on redrawing the 26 council districts in accordance with state law and 2010 U.S. Census data.
The committee is an extension of a work group created earlier this year that will be chaired by Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, with Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, serving as vice-chair.
“I am confident this committee will approach the task of redistricting with the best interest of citizen representation and will dedicate themselves to making sure all the council districts are redrawn fairly,” says King. “This is an important job and I know this committee will work hard.”
Rounding out the ad hoc committee are council members Barbara Shanklin, D-2, Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, Kelly Downard, R-16, Robin Engel, R-22, Madonna Flood, D-24, and Brent Ackerson, D-26, who will help review the census numbers.
At earlier redistricting meetings, King vowed to protect incumbents while preserving African-American representation and keeping neighborhoods united.
However, that could be difficult given the population shifts that have occurred across the city, with growth in east Louisville and dwindling numbers in historically black neighborhoods that could diminish minority representation. In the predominately black 5th District, west Louisville neighborhoods have seen a 12 percent population loss due in large part to a vacant housing crisis in the area.
The redistricting committee will hold its first meeting May 16th at City Hall. The council has until Dec. 31 to pass an map ordinance to finalize its new district seats.