Local News

Final Louisville Metro Redistricting Map Expected This Week

The Louisville Metro Council’s ad hoc committee on redistricting is finished hearing public comments and final drafts of all 26 district maps are expected to be introduced to the Metro Council on Thursday.

Public comments taken during six regional redistricting meetings have led to some changes in some new district boundaries, said Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, who chairs the redistricting committee.

“There’s still some tweaking. They’re will be some differences between the 10-C (map) that we have right now and the 10-D that we’ll be filing but it really will be tweaks for the most part,” said Blackwell.

Those tweaks are just slight adjustments and no major changes to maps released to the public are expected, he said. Although when the final Legislative Review Committee (LRC) population numbers were finally received to Metro Government, some shifting was needed, Blackwell said.

Among some considerations was a neighborhood at the bottom of Riverpor. Residents made a good case for why they fit better with Valley Station, Blackwell said. The committee will also consider reconnecting neighborhoods that were split between districts of Councilwoman Vicki Welch, D-13, and Councilman James Peden, R-23, he said.

The LRC numbers also forced slight shifting between council members Brent Ackerson, D-26, Jim King, D-10 and Kevin Kramer, R-11.

The most anticipated regional meeting included Louisville’s western districts where lines and borders weave their way down city streets like a jigsaw puzzle.

Louisville is adding a sixth majority African-American district in its final version. But in a few districts the African-American percentage numbers dropped and this raises some concern among residents, said Louisville NAACP President Raoul Cunningham.

Cunningham, who has closely followed the redistricting process, said residents at the west regional meeting were mostly interested in the redistricting process itself and he expects only slight adjustments, if any, from any new maps. But that may be good because west Louisville’s African-American population has thinned, he said.

“And therefore you need to spread African-Americans more evenly across the six districts to create six minority-majority districts,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham has requested specific precinct numbers for his organization’s own review. He said the committee has handled the process well so far.

An ordinance is expected to be introduced for a first reading this week.

Local News Politics

All 26 Proposed Louisville Metro Redistricting Maps Now Available

All 26 of the Louisville Metro Council’s proposed new districts have been redrawn and released to the public Friday.

Version 10-C refers to the draft number. Earlier this week version 10-A was reviewed and was found to have complied with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, giving fair representation to minorities. The redistricting committee is now beginning to show the new maps in public meetings throughout the city (see following page).

The public is encouraged to attended these meetings to see their new districts and learn about the redistricting process. The maps are a work in progress and can still be changed, said officials. But the deadline set by the committee to have an ordinance filed is now Oct. 13. It can then be voted on two weeks later.

This is well ahead of the legal deadline of the end of the year.

Check out the maps on the following page.

Local News

Redistricting Picks Up, Maps Ready For Public

Louisville Metro Council’s ad hoc Committee on Redistricting has finished drawing final drafts of 26 district maps and will soon take them public.

Six regional meetings are being scheduled to reflect the committee’s confidence in the map released at the final committee meeting on Monday. The county attorney said the drafts are compliant under the Voting Rights Act, but Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, said the draft called 10-B is still changing.

“It is reasonable to assume that after the collective comments from the public we will have at least a 10-C, so people should not take this, put it on the wall and throw darts at it because it’s not done for sure,” said Downard.

Council President Jim King, D-10, joked that the committee didn’t want to draw more than 10 versions of the map, so it began with the supplemental letters (i.e. 10-A). The earlier version, 10-A, was called compliant under the Voting Rights Act by Gerald Hebert–an expert on redistricting who was hired by the county attorney.

What Hebert also found was that the proposed district maps actually add a new black-majority district–District 6.

“Under the proposed plan, which was 10-A, all six districts (1-6) have majority African-American populations,” said Eric Graninger, an assistant Jefferson County attorney.

Local News

Statewide End-of-Course Exams Begin Next Year

End-of-course assessments were authorized in education reforms approved by Kentucky lawmakers in 2009.

The statewide tests measure student achievement in graduation-required courses of English, Algebra, Biology and U.S. History.

Rhonda Sims of the Education Department says districts are also being encouraged to base up to 20 percent of a student’s final course grade on assessment test results.

“It does allow the course work and the assessment to blend together, so the students have some ownership into this.”

State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says districts are being encouraged to base up to 20 percent of a student’s final course grade on assessment test results.

“We wanted a requirement, but our legal staff felt like we didn’t have the authority. There’s some site-based council issues here. So, we strongly worded 20 percent because teachers all over the commonwealth told me kids need to have some accountability for this.”