The council of aldermen adopted today a redistribution map of fourteen districts. With 28 approval votes, the card is now heading to Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office for final approval or veto.
Right after the vote was recorded, Board Chairman Lewis Reed applauded the aldermen, calling the moment historic.
“When you think about what you just did in terms of cutting services in half and all of you were able to put your differences aside and do this bill for the betterment of Saint-Louis, it is simply awesome, ”Reed told the meeting. “It’s a historic day for St. Louis, so I just want to thank you all for that. Congratulations to all of you.”
The redistribution process was led by Reed and the Thirteen-member Legislation Committee of Aldermen’s Board of Directors. For weeks, the map was at the center of debates in Saint-Louis, with activists and organizations challenging the transparency of the redistribution process. The first version of the map, released on November 1, had pixelation issues and was not interactive, while the second map, released on November 9, addressed some of these issues, but was still upset with how the process was managed.
Reed pushed back the complaints, saying the process had “more hours of public hearings on this bill than any other bill” he has seen since 1999. The council of aldermen has opened up the possibility to the public to speak and allowed the public to comment on the map. from November 1 to November 20. The mayor has expressed that she is pleased with the amount of public comment given, but has yet to say whether she will approve or veto the card when it hits her desk.
The mayor’s office issued a statement hours after the council of aldermen meeting, saying Jones “appreciates the hard work of the members of the council of aldermen throughout this process, as well as the city councilor and the planning department. for providing their expertise “. The statement added that they will provide more updates as they become available.
St. Louis City Councilor Sheena Hamilton said the card meets legal requirements. On the map, there are seven preferably minority neighborhoods and seven preferably white neighborhoods. Over 85 percent of the neighborhoods were kept together in one neighborhood and intact as well.
Residents of Saint-Louis first voted to halve the number of neighborhoods in 2012, a change the city has not seen in 100 years. The new card will affect the representation of the council of aldermen after the April 2023 elections. The council of aldermen must adopt the card before December 31.
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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