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Austin League of Women Voters Endorses 10-1 Geographic Representation

Photo by Wells Dunbar for KUT News

The Austin-area League of Women Voters says it now supports the “10-1” plan for geographic districts for the Austin City Council.

The plan, supported by single-member district advocates Austinites for Geographic Representation, would create a city council comprised of members representing 10 individual districts, with only one member – the mayor – running city-wide. Currently all council members are elected city-wide.

The League of Women Voters spent a year studying how city council members are elected, and looking at what happened in other large cities that changed from an at-large system to one that was fully or partially district-based.

League president Stewart Snider says the league decided to endorse the 10-1 plan because it thinks the change will benefit voters. He tells KUT News that the proposal “will increase civic participation, and we think it will get people closer to their elected representatives on city council.”

The league is also supporting a plan for citizens to draw the district lines, not elected officials. Both Austinites for Geographic Representation and the disbanded Charter Revision Committee have also called for an independent citizens’ committee to plot the districts.   

Austinites for Geographic Representation are gathering signatures to put its 10-1 plan on the ballot. However, the City Council also has the authority to put its own single-member district plan forward although some council members have said they don’t support putting dueling plans on the ballot.

The issue is expected to go to voters this November.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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