The City Council is holding a public hearing and a special meeting on redistricting next Monday night, Nov. 15.
Every 10 years, communities go through a redistricting process following the results of the U.S. Census. The goal is to make sure the districts and precincts within the cities are within a certain percentage of population to each other and that the districts are demographically equitable.
Due to some changes and legislation at the state level, Council President Roy Avellaneda said the council is moving forward with the hearings on the new map that was prepared by the city’s Housing and Community Planning Department.
“The reason for the urgency is as such we received a communication from our city solicitor, who stated that the state is a little behind in accepting all the different cities and towns redistricting, and they are asking us to do it sooner than later,” Avellaneda said.
The council’s redistricting subcommittee, which also includes Leo Robinson and Calvin Brown along with Avellaneda, has been working on the redistricting maps along with the planning department, city clerk, city solicitor, and the city diversity officer.
“We will have to speed up the process,” Avellaneda said. “Originally, it was planned for a December 6 meeting, with a little more time to digest the map and information. But unfortunately, with the situation with the state having to pass this, we’ll have to do this next Monday.”
The subcommittee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the regular council meeting to follow at 7 p.m. Redistricting will be one of only two items on the agenda, Avellaneda said.
In order to create cohesive and common interest districts, Avellaneda stated that the map that will be discussed on Monday night recommends the pairing of wards and precincts to help keep established Chelsea neighborhoods together.
Under the reprecincting process, the target population would be 2,549 people in each of the city’s 16 precincts.
The new boundaries would not become valid until the 2022 state primary and general election.