Louisville Metro Council Votes on Redistricting Tonight

by Devin Katayama on October 27, 2011

The Louisville Metro Council is expected to take a final vote on the redistricting map today. The map includes new boundaries for all 26 council districts based on the 2010 Census.

Redistricting is required by state law every 10 years, and this is the first time the merged government has undergone the process. For the past several months, Metro Council’s ad hoc committee on redistricting has met regularly to discuss changes to all districts. Census data shows populations moving eastward in the county. This stoked concerns that minority representation on the council would drop as populations were diluted.

But despite waning populations in western districts, the new map includes six majority African American districts, according to Gerald Hebert, a nationally renowned redistricting expert.

District 1 is among the majority African American districts, though its black population will drop under the new map. Several residents fought the change, but their efforts led to few results. Hebert previously told WFPL that having over 50 percent minority representation usually results in fair representation for that district.

Louisville NAACP President Raoul Cunningham says the redistricting committee has been fair. Cunningham watched the redistricting process carefully and acknowledged his approval throughout the process. Earlier this week, he asked the committee to consider adding residents from District 3, which has around a 64 percent African-American population, to District 6, which has just over 50 percent African-American population.

The redistricting committee made slight changes this week to certain districts per council members’ and residents’ requests. Both councilmen Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Ken Fleming, R-7, say the changes are slight and will not affect the final vote today.

The final ordinance is scheduled for tonight’s full council meeting. If approved, it will be sent to Mayor Greg Fischer. He has the option to sign, request changes or veto the ordinance. If Fischer does nothing, the ordinance will become effective by the next full council meeting.

Click here to see a copy of the maps.

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