AUSTIN, TX (Sept. 7, 2021) – The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) will preview a map that used the 2013 City Council District maps as a proposed base to begin their public mapping process on Wednesday.
The commission will be meeting Wednesday, Sept. 8 to give instructions to its technical line drawer for district maps. The meeting will be recorded and is open to the public. The public will be able to access the visualizations on the proposed districts that the commission will be discussing and a recording of the meeting via this link.
The public is invited to attend in-person and give testimony at the meeting that will be held at the Permitting and Development Center (PDC), 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin, TX 78752, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.
"The ICRC will have a team-oriented approach to reworking district boundaries with our mapping specialist, all open to the public," said ICRC Chair Christina Puentes. "We look forward to a healthy debate based in Census data, the guidelines set by the city charter, and feedback from the public collected over twelve public forums."
After hearing from its Mapping Specialist George Korbel at its Wednesday, Sept. 1 meeting, the ICRC agreed to view maps Korbel created that used the 2013 plan as a proposed base. Existing plans cannot be used in full because of the population deviation with the 2020 Census numbers that showed Austin has grown 21% percent since 2010 from 790,390 to 961,855 people. The new ideal city council district population size would be 96,185.
"I have been asked about whether we start from scratch and simply redraw the city council districts without reference to the existing districts. I thought about this a lot," he said at the Sept. 1 meeting. "My experience is that big change results in confusion for the public and reduces voter turnout. My initial understanding was that the first plan in 2013 that we are using now was based on the provisions of the charter. The testimony at the hearings made clear to me that this is the case. I advise to build on that map.
"We are very time-limited here. We are essentially on a 60-day turnaround. Making major changes would require a great deal of not only consideration, but even more reconsideration," Korbel said.
The public will be able to view the latest visualizations of proposed districts that the Commission will be considering in its meetings at this link.
After hearing from the commissioners, reviewing the public testimony, emails, written messages and voice messages from the public, Korbel will present a finalized map at the Sept. 15, 2021 ICRC meeting, where the commission is currently scheduled to vote to adopt a map.
When the preliminary map has been adopted the Commission will be providing the following ways for the public to view visualizations and give their input:
In advance of the mapping process, the ICRC has scheduled public forums for viewing and discussion of the preliminary maps. The public is invited to attend and give feedback either verbal or written at those meetings at these locations:
Public Forum No. 1
Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Gus Garcia Recreation Center
1201 E. Runberg Lane
Austin, TX 78753
Public Forum No. 2
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021: 6-8 p.m.
3505 W. 35th St.,
Austin, TX 78703
Public Forum No. 3
Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021: 1-3 p.m.
George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center
5801 Ainez Dr.
Austin, TX 78744
Public Forum No. 4
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021: 6-8 p.m.
Via Videoconference on Zoom
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Public Forum No. 5
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill
8656 Texas Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735
To submit feedback directly to the commission about redistricting please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Housing and Planning Department, Attn: ICRC, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, Texas 78767.
Due to rapid changes in scheduling due to COVID restrictions, for the most up-to-date events information from the ICRC please refer to events pages:
Public input forums are recorded and made available after the meetings here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch-atxn-live.
Past meetings and agendas can be viewed on the commission's website at www.austintexas.gov/cityclerk/boards_commissions/meetings/116_1.htm
Interpretation and/or translation services will be available free of charge by advance request in Spanish, Chinese or Vietnamese. Call 311 or email email@example.com to request these services 48 hours in advance of a forum.
To find City Council Districts in Austin visit this link and type in an address: https://www.austintexas.gov/GIS/CouncilDistrictMap/
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 (D3), Brigham Morris (D3), Christina Puentes (D7, Chair), Eugene Schneider (D6) and Selina Yee (D1).
The ICRC board will hold its weekly commission meeting at the Permitting and Development Center (PDC), 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin, TX 78752, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021