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Districting Commission Background
What is the Council Districting Commission?
The County Charter created a five person Commission, appointed by County Council members, to draw new County Council Districts. By law, none of the Commission members can be elected officials or officers of political parties.
The meetings of this Commission are open to the public and allow public comment/feedback at each session. The Commission took the public’s comments into consideration when re-drawing the Council Districts before a plan was recommended.
The Commission met a total of six times and were presented with eight different plans for consideration before selecting a plan to present to county residents for final comment before the Commission officially adopts the proposed plan.
An independent consulting team was retained by the County to provide the Commission with technical assistance in redrawing the County Council Districts.
This Council Districting Commission is independent of the County Council and the County Executive.
This Council Districting Commission makes the final decision with regards to the new County Council Districts. Neither the County Council nor the County Executive can veto or change the decision of the Commission regarding the new districts.
Note that the State of Ohio is also redrawing the boundary lines for all State House Districts including those in Cuyahoga County. This is completely separate and independent from what the Commission is doing in regards to redrawing the County Council Districts in Cuyahoga County.
In addition, the City of Cleveland and a number of suburbs are re-drawing their ward boundaries. This will not affect the boundaries of the new County Council Districts.
What criteria did the Council Districting Commission have for re-drawing the County Council Districts?
Balance District populations so the number of residents in each of the 11 County Council Districts are within ±5% of the average district population of 116,374. Having a balanced population among the districts, is consistent with a “one person, one vote” philosophy.
To be consistent with federal law, the new County Council Districts should neither pack nor dilute African-American residents. Under the proposed plan, there are four county council districts that have between three-fifths and two-thirds African-American population (District 7 through 10 in proposed plan).
Also to be consistent with federal law, the new County Council Districts should neither pack nor dilute Hispanic residents. Under the proposed plan, almost half of the county’s Hispanic population is in one council district.
Were there any other considerations the Council Districting Commission made when re-drawing the County Council Districts?
Minimize the number of residents that change districts under the proposed plan. In fact, under the proposed plan, just 10.2% of county residents change County Council District.
Do not split any community between two or more council districts. However, the City of Cleveland has to be split due to the number of residents. The City of Cleveland is too large to be in only one County Council District.
If possible, keep Council members in current districts. For example, the current council member that represents District 1, should represent District 1 under proposed plan.
Why the County Council Districts have to be re-drawn
What the new County Council Districts will look like, both geographically and demographically
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