Drafts of Redistricting Maps Wait For Judy Green’s Trial

by Devin Katayama on August 31, 2011

As the ad hoc Committee on Redistricting nears its goal to create new district boundaries, the public has yet to see adequate drafts of what the new districts might look like.

Only District 1 and District 12 have reportedly shown versions of proposed new boundaries for their districts. Both public meetings invited council and community members of neighboring districts to attend. Now, the redistricting committee is planning to wait until after Councilwoman Judy Green’s, D-1, expulsion trial before making significant moves on redistricting, said Ken Fleming,R-7, vice-chair of the redistricting committee.

Monday’s District 1 meeting was organized by Green’s staff, said Green’s husband James Green, who spoke before a crowd of around 100 people. James Green said his role was only to expedite the process of getting information out to the community. But he unveiled data and a drafted District 1 map, which he said were given to him by Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, who attended the meeting to answer questions about the  redistricting process. Blackwell is chair of the redistricting committee.

The map showed a decrease in the African-American population from 71 to 52 percent, when comparing census data over the past 10 years, said James Green. Many were concerned at the consequences of the African-American population dropping that drastically, he said.

Some people even called for an injunction of the redistricting process, said community activist Attica Scott.

Minority districts are usually safe from loosing its representation when its minority population is 50 percent or higher, said republican caucus spokesman Steve Haag.

As previously reported by WFPL, it was unclear if this data was confirmed by Metro Government. But Blackwell did not contest the information, said Scott.

James Green also reached out to Michael Price on Monday, who works with census data with the University of Louisville, he said.

“It was more informative on my end,” said Price, who hasn’t been involved in the current redistricting process.

There will be a domino effect which will start with west Louisville districts, which need to make up population it lost over the past 10 years, Price said. This will cause districts to draw new lines into their neighbors, he said. But the maps must also reflect where the 26 district leaders live, while trying to maintain the integrity of the neighborhoods, said Price.

But in District 1 it’s uncertain whether Judy Green will continue to represent the district.

The redistricting committee has made an unofficial bi-partisan agreement to wait until after Green’s expulsion trial before making any formal presentations of new district maps, said Fleming. On Sept. 21 Fleming plans on holding a public meeting for his district, showing latest versions of the map, he said. The meeting will also invite councilmen Kelly Downard, R-16, and Glen Stuckel, R-17.

The next redistricting committee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 4 pm. Blackwell encouraged citizens to show up during the first 15 minutes when public comments take place, said Scott.

Blackwell was unavailable for comment on Tuesday and Wednesday. All other calls to Democrat council members were referred to Blackwell’s office.

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