This January through March is a busy time for City Council, thanks to the process of redistricting Fort Worth. At last week’s meeting, seven redistricting maps were selected by The Redistricting Task Force as potential finalists to submit to the City Council. Here are the chosen maps + everything you need to know about redistricting in your city.
Let’s start from the beginning
Back in 2016, Fort Worthians voted in favor of an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Council voting members from 9 to 11 — meaning a new 10-district map, each represented by a council member, would need to be in place (the mayor makes the 11th voting member).
Additional districts not only adjust the map for Fort Worth’s population growth, but per an official recommendation from The Task Force on Race and Culture, help the City Council reflect the diverse communities it represents. But here’s the thing about redistricting maps: districts could be redrawn a multitude of ways, greatly impacting voting results and community representation. Public input, legal counsel, and various task forces are key parts of the process to ensure maps are fairly drawn.
What’s happened so far
A Redistricting Task Force was appointed in 2020, which went on to do the following:
- Presented 10 redistricting criteria, divided into low and high priority concerns
- Held software training for residents, enabling us to propose our own redistricting plans
- Posted all submitted maps online, providing an analysis of how well each map met the criteria
- Selected seven out of the 26 maps for final consideration.
- Map X and district breakdown by Pablo Calderon
- Map Z and district breakdown by Fernando Florez — Presented by The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County
- Map Q and district breakdown by Michelle Swindle
- Map M and district breakdown by Rejina Shrestha
- Map U and district breakdown by Paul Wilson
- Map I and district breakdown by Fernando Florez — Presented by The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County
- Map S and district breakdown by Cary Moon — Current District 4 City Councilmember
Next steps + your part
Join City Hall’s public hearing on Thurs., Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. to discuss the seven chosen maps. To speak, register by 4 p.m. that day via email ([email protected]) or by calling 817-392-6156 — comments can be made both in-person and by calling in. View the rest of the redistricting timeline here.