The new map for Dallas City Council districts was up for a vote from members Wednesday.
After a series of possible amendments intended to satisfy resident complaints were rejected by council votes, the final vote was still delayed for another two weeks to try to find compromises to please critics.
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Redrawing lines for the 14 Dallas City Council districts is required every 10 years using results from the census to balance population and racial demographics among the districts.
A redistricting commission worked on the task and submitted the proposed map last month.
Unhappy residents appeared one more time Wednesday complaining about neighborhoods divided in the proposed map, including Parkdale.
“That's unacceptable. We're a neighborhood. We can't be in two different city council districts. it's unreasonable for anyone,” Parkdale Neighborhood Association Leader Casie Pierce said.
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The Dallas Latino population surged in the 2020 census. Attorney Domingo Garcia who was an appointed redistricting commissioner supported a different map with more Latino opportunity districts.
“There should be seven and we have four. And it's basically protecting incumbents,” Garcia said. “We believe it is a violation of the Voting Rights Act and really is a violation of just basic fairness.”
Redistricting map expert Bill Betzen attended nearly every meeting of the Redistricting Commission and he spoke to the City Council Wednesday.
“Right now, the map you are considering today only has two winnable Hispanic districts,” Betzen said.
Councilman Paul Ridley urged approval of the map that was submitted by the Redistricting Commission.
“They worked for approximately six months. They heard from 12 hundred residents of Dallas,” Ridley said.
Eight possible amendments submitted by Council Members were thoroughly discussed Wednesday. Just one moving the Texas Horse Park from one district to another was approved.
“We are the body that makes the decision and I think we need to look at it with open eyes,” Council Member Paula Blackmon said.
Amendments supported by Blackmon, Adam Bazaldua and others were not approved by the majority.
They will have another chance at a June 22 meeting.
Garcia said he expects a lawsuit if the redistricting plan remains essentially unchanged.