10-1 Redistricting

Oct

26
2013

10-1 Redistricting

Stacey     Discussions         3    

How would you like to see the redistricting lines drawn around us?

Your opinions will guide AVANA’s Board of Directors on how to best represent the neighborhood.

Nearby neighborhoods (Mesa Park, Milwood, Walnut Creek Crossing, Balcones Woods, and Great Hills) have contacted us to see how we feel about the preliminary map that Austin’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (ICRC) recently released which keeps most of the nearby neighborhoods together, but places Angus Valley in district 6 together with many Williamson County neighborhoods.

Some support ICRC’s preliminary map, but other support alternative maps such as the Compact Districts Coalition Map which places Angus Valley in a newly drawn district 7, in more of a north Mopac-centric district vs. including us with Williamson County.

More information and links are in the Year in Review slideshow from our general meeting.  And this Austin Chronicle article provides good background information as well as sample maps and links.  Finally, this links to a PDF of the full charter that the redistricting commission is charged with.

Let us know what you think.  And please keep the conversation civil.  Thanks, Stacey Peterson

Comments closed:  If you want to voice your opinion please write to:  AngusValleyAreaNA@gmail.com or to the board members at board@angusvalley.org.  Only the board members will view these emails and with your permission will be posted here.


3 comments

  • Marissa said:

    Oct 26, 2013 3:26 pm

    It does seem odd that we would be lumped in with a group of people that automatically have different services due to the fact that they are in a different county. I’m not sure this would necessarily be to our disadvantage. I wonder what the reasons for drawing the map this way were. I realize they tried to keep populations the same and of course be geographically compact. But different counties? Hmmmm….

  • Christopher Chenault said:

    Oct 26, 2013 5:26 pm

    I had some concern about single member districts, as it puts one section of the city against others. It has been voted in, so it seems that like minded/needs areas would be grouped together. I would agree that we would have rather different needs and services from Williamson county. It appears that Area 6 on the proposed map # 23 is fairly compact, has mostly residential but includes 183, Mopac, Parmer ln. and over to I35 business areas, and includes a large residential area west of 183. It would seem that a compact area, such as this, would be reasonable for electioneering, sufficiently limited that a representative could understand and represent the needs of the area, and physically be able to drive around the area for visual information as needed. Area 7 on the official September released map would be strung out with a significant difficult diversity of needs and services. I assume the council member would represent our needs relative to streets, police, fire station locations, Libraries, schools, etc. Therefore, of the choices available on the included maps, #23 seems the best and most workable.

  • Stacey Peterson said:

    Oct 26, 2013 6:42 pm

    Below is an email exchange I had after the general meeting with Jim Duke, an Angus Valley resident of 40 years. (He gave me permission to post this.)

    Jim: I don’t know about others in the neighborhood but I would prefer to be included with the Williamson County crowd rather than the crowd east of MoPac and east of IH-35. I think that my (and I think the neighborhood’s) interests are better served by that representation.

    Stacey: Mind if I ask why (with an open mind)? Are they more similar demographically and in incomes, family types, etc. Is it economics? Or something else I hadn’t thought of?

    Jim: I thought you might ask for more details. Last night in your presentation regarding the redistricting you showed a slide that said each district should have similar social and economic “objectives” (or characteristics, or something like that, I don’t remember the exact wording), but that political “objectives” are not to be considered. Your comment regarding the Balcones Woods neighborhood clearly indicated that political objectives were a part of their pursuit of a district within which they wished to be included. My statement to you was made simply on the social and economic foundation. I think that the social and economic objectives of our neighborhood are more closely attuned to those south of highway 183 and MoPac than east of MoPac. In lieu of being included in that district, I think that our objectives are more in line with neighborhoods in Williamson County than with the neighborhoods to the east of MoPac. The fact that those neighborhoods are located in another county is immaterial because of the restriction on consideration of political issues.

    With respect to the current proposed redistricting map, I concur with the people of “Old West Austin” that they have little in common, socially and economically, with the people of far north Austin (the District 7 issue). I think that old west Austin should be lumped in with their neighbors to the west, District 10. Then the northern boundary of District 10 would need to be moved north, possibly incorporating neighborhoods north of highway 183 but in Travis County. A revised District 7 would include portions of other districts surrounding it and nearer to the city center. I think the fact that the redistricting commission immediately set as unchanging certain portions of Austin because of minority representation requirements has to some extent obviated the “social and economic” criteria that was called for in the redistricting ordinance. I think that those “reserved” districts could be altered but still satisfy all of the criteria: minority, social and economic.

    My view of our neighborhood is probably colored by the fact that when we moved out here the majority of the residents were either small business owners or professionals, mostly well educated. While the economic base of the neighborhood has changed somewhat to include many retired small business owners and professionals, as the retired persons leave the replacement residents are largely professionals. It is with this view that I make the comments above.