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What criteria will be used to make sure the County Council districts are fair?
Section 3.04 (3) of Cuyahoga County’s Charter establishes principles that must be followed in setting boundaries for County Council districts:
All districts shall be of substantially equal population, compact and composed of contiguous territory and formed by combining existing areas of governmental units, giving preference, in the order named, to townships, municipalities and city wards and precincts.
- Precincts shall not be divided for the purpose of creating Council districts.
- To the degree allowable by federal and state law, consideration will be given to district boundaries that broaden the opportunities for historically under-represented and minority communities to elect representatives to the Council.
- Council may establish additional criteria the Council Districting Commission may use to to achieve a government that is effective, efficient, accountable, responsive, and fairly representative, as long the criteria do not conflict with the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Ohio and applicable federal and/or state laws.
In accordance with this Charter section, the Cuyahoga County Districting Commission established the following criteria and considerations for the 2021 districting process:
Cuyahoga County’s new County Council District Maps must:
Cuyahoga County’s new County Council District Maps should:
Balance District populations so that the number of residents in each of the 11 County Council Districts is within ±5% of the average District population. According to the 2020 Census data, the average district population is 114,983.
- Neither pack nor dilute African American residents.
- Neither pack nor dilute Hispanic residents.
Minimize the number of residents who are shifted to different Districts.
- Keep entire communities within the same Council district. This consideration does not apply to the City of Cleveland, however, because Cleveland’s population is greater than the average District population.