Drafts of Redistricting Maps Raise Concerns in Metro District 1

by Devin Katayama on August 30, 2011

Drafts of redistricting Louisville Metro Council seats are making their way through some districts, but because the maps change frequently, the council clerk’s office said they aren’t available online.

Around 100 citizens from west Louisville were in attendance at a redistricting meeting in Metro Council District 1, said James Green, who helped organize Monday’s meeting. Green is husband to Councilwoman Judy Green, who faces expulsion from the Metro Council due to ethics violations. James Green told the crowd the African-American population in District 1 may shrink from 71 to 52 percent, he said. But it’s unclear whether the information presented to the public is accurate.

“There were a number of people calling for an injunction to the redistricting process until there can be something else worked out with District 1,” said community activist Attica Scott with Kentucky Jobs with Justice.

But the map that was presented could not be confirmed officially by Metro Government. That’s because it is Judy Green’s staff’s interpretation of what a draft might look like and was drawn after Green had conversations with staff members and unidentified University of Louisville personnel, Scott said.

But Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, who chairs the redistricting committee, was in attendance for about an hour and did not contest the information, said Scott. Blackwell did answer certain redistricting questions and said all districts will have to adjust new boundaries, she said.

“He was very open and it seems that he wants to maintain an open and transparent process. I think at this point people want to see the draft maps before Metro Council votes on them,” she said.

Blackwell was sensitive to what people were saying, said James Green.

Calls to Metro Council could not confirm accuracy of the map. The map handed to community members cuts Chickasaw Park, Shawnee Park Library and the Kroger at 28th and Broadway from the district.

As of Tuesday, draft maps have only been revealed at two public meetings: Blackwell’s District 12, and Green’s District 1.

Blackwell encouraged those in attendance to attend the next redistricting meeting, scheduled for Sept. 19, said Scott.

Blackwell was unavailable for comment.

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