Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Austin’s Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission Finalizes Summer Schedule of Public Forums

Community Given Opportunities to Provide Input on City Council District Maps

The second Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission (ICRC) has set a summer schedule to get input from Austin residents on drawing new maps for the 10 City Council Districts.

The next meeting will take place at 6-8 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, July 27, at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739.

Austin residents on the ICRC have the responsibility of drawing the district boundaries through an open and impartial process. In 2013, the first group of residents on the redistricting Commission drew the City Council boundaries as part of a voter referendum. 

Today, a new slot of 14 community volunteers serves on the ICRC to do the work of redrawing City Council districts based on the 2020 Census data. These Commissioners will serve on the Commission for a ten-year term. One person on the Commission is a college student. Most of the Commission's work will be during its first year when they draw the city council district boundaries. 

Austin's population is larger and more diverse today. Through an application and random selection process, a new group of residents is set to draw the district boundaries to reflect these changes and impact how Austin residents are represented in local government.

The focus of public testimony is to receive information about the unique characteristics of communities of interest from those most familiar with their neighborhoods to help the commission determine areas that should remain intact and/or be grouped.

The goal is to have new district maps approved by the November 2022 election. Draft maps will be developed and made public this fall, and further input will be conducted from residents.

The commissioners will have access to 2020 Census data in late August 2021. The commissioners will use this data and public input to decide how to draw the new district boundaries and best reflect Austin's changes.

The commissioners must use the following criteria to draw the district boundaries:
  • Districts should have reasonably equal populations;
  • District boundaries must touch each other;
  • Neighborhoods or communities kept together as much as possible;
  • Districts should be as compact as possible (i.e., nearby neighborhoods not passed up for farther away ones).
  • District boundaries use existing election precincts and geographically identifiable boundaries as much as possible; and
  • District boundaries must follow federal and state laws
Throughout July and August, the Commission is hosting public forums in each of the 10 City Council Districts. Meetings have already been conducted in District 9 and District 10.

While work on scheduling meetings is still underway, the following ICRC public forums have been confirmed:
  • District 8 - Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 6-8 p.m.,
     Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739. 
  • District 4 - Saturday, July 31, 2021, 2-4 p.m.,
     Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane, Austin, TX 78753.
  • District 2 - Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, 6-8 p.m.,
     Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Dr., Austin, TX, 78744
  • District 1 - Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 1-3 p.m.,
     George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702. 
  • August TBA Virtual Public Forum 
For up to date information, visit the Austin Redistricting webpage and follow the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ICRC Commissioners:
Commissioners are Joshua Blank (District 8), Sara Inés Calderón (D2), Erin Dempsey (D10), Camellia Falcon (D7), Luis Gonzalez (D10, Vice-Chair), Errol Hardin (D1), Shaina Kambo (D9), Prabhu Kannan (D5), Dr. Sterling Lands (D4), Hoang Le (D8), Brigham Morris (D3), Christina Puentes (D7, Chair), Eugene Schneider (D6) and Selina Yee (D1).

View the Commission webpage Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission | AustinTexas.gov
Review how the ICRC was selected: City Auditor Will Conduct Random Drawing to Select the First Eight Members for the Redistricting Commission | AustinTexas.gov

To find City Council Districts in Austin visit this link and type in an address.