COLUMBUS (WCMH)–The fate of representation in the city hinges on one of three maps presented tonight.
Columbus’ council residential districting commission presented new maps with new data.
These maps incorporate 2020 census data. The commission said feedback was kept in mind when creating options for the nine districts.
Each map has a different vision. One is arranged with districts built north to south, another stretches districts east to west, and the final option is centralized with the goal of keeping certain communities together.
“The three maps are a little, they’re each a little bit different and so that’s what we wanted to solicit. What do residents like about these maps? Which ones don’t they like,” said Monica Cerrezuela who is a part of the commission drawing the maps?
She explained that census data changed their work a lot.
“The city of Columbus grew by 15 percent in the last decade and so that was almost an additional I think 13 thousand individuals that we had to account for each district,” Cerrezuela said.
The goal is to have nine council members from nine different parts of town.
Residents will be able to vote for candidates in all districts, even the ones where they don’t live. This will ensure a representative in each area.
“We’re here because residents voted for this change,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “They want their city legislators to live on every side of our city they wanted to know that someone downtown drove down the same streets that they lived on.”
The feedback on the maps helped the group work to keep area and civic commissions whole in one district as much as possible, and creating an option where north and south Linden remain together.
“This is transformative work, this is important work, this is something that will shape how our community is governed,” Hardin said.
Commission members presented the maps and what could make up each district. Each district will be roughly 100,000 people.
The next steps rely on community comment.
“Tweak the maps a little bit based on the feedback, possibly change them completely. We never know,” said Cerrezuela. “Then in November kind of have 30 days of public feedback, as well. We will not change the maps before we submit them to the council.”
The commission will put the maps to the city council for selection in December. They’re asking city residents to look at these maps now to make possible changes over the next few weeks. The maps will be in place for the 2023 election cycle.