Redistricting Group agenda

Camden Community News readers — If you will only glance at this article, make sure you read the lead paragraph.

If you want a full picture of the work the Redistricting Group is doing, read this entire article. It is good information and lets you know how much your vote matters.

In a November meeting, the City’s Redistricting Group made their presentation to the Charter Commission. During that meeting, a boundary change to our Ward 4 was presented which would reduce the southwest portion of the boundary that “juts” into the Jordan neighborhood. Note: The current boundaries for Ward 4 were determined to be only one person over the 1/13th of the city’s population. 

  • During the meeting, it was pointed out that changing the Ward 4 boundary would move the newly elected Ward 4 council-member LaTrisha Vetaw into Ward 5. Council-members are required to live in the Ward that they serve.
  • This issue was compounded by a change for Ward 5 that would move the re-elected Jeremiah Ellison into Ward 7.

            After differing viewpoints were aired and legal input sought, the boundaries for Wards 4 and 5 will remain as they are now.

            As reported earlier this year, Minnesotans’ high response rate to the 2020 Census resulted in our State retaining our eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Determining the district boundaries for the Federal and State legislatures are the responsibility of the Minnesota State Houses.

            The ward boundaries for City Council members and Park Board officials are the responsibility of the Minneapolis Charter Commission. The Charter is for Minneapolis what the U.S. Constitution is for our nation. A key factor in this effort is to balance the Census 2020 population count as equally as possible between the 13 wards of Minneapolis. The Charter requires that the Ward boundaries are changed only to account for the population adjustments.

            To maintain the integrity of the Commission’s task, a 9-member advisory panel is chosen to augment the 6-member Charter Commission. These 15 people make up the Minneapolis Redistricting Group. As redistricting is only done after each Census (10 years), the Group receives extensive training on the redistricting process to ensure their proposals are legal and fair.

The current Redistricting Group has been working since August to review the updated population maps and the Minneapolis landscape (like interstates, parks/lakes, and housing or commercial zoning). The landscape features are important, as neighborhoods (such as in the Camden Community) are generally defined by a cohesive set of households or businesses. To split a neighborhood can create a split in the collective voice of the people, which is generally felt most often in minority neighborhoods.

The Redistricting Group held listening sessions this past fall for residents and other interested individuals to learn about the work and provide feedback. Ultimately, the Group proposed to the Charter Commission changes that need to be made to meet the laws following the Census.

At this point, the finalized maps will be published and available for public review and comments. The redistricting must be completed by March 29, 2022.