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How Much Might It Cost to Draw Austin's City Council District Maps?

Wells Dunbar/KUT News

Austin is in the preliminary stages of drawing the city’s first geographic city council districts. Although a volunteer-staffed redistricting commission will do the bulk of the work, the process will still cost money. Some cities, like San Diego, have gone through the process. It may help to peek at that city's expenses as an exercise that may give us a rough estimate of what Austin's final redistricting tab might be.

Credit Ann Choi/KUT News
This graph breaks down the cost of redistricting in San Diego in 2000 and 2010. So far, Austin has only allocated $140,000.

The main differences between Austin and San Diego:

  • This will be Austin’s first attempt at drawing district maps since voters approved a change to the city's current form of government (which calls for six council members and a mayor) to a ten-member council that will be elected from the newly drawn districts.
  • In 2012, San Diego went through the redistricting process for the second time in 10 years.
  • Austin’s redistricting commission is made up of fourteen members. San Diego’s had seven.
  • In San Diego, each redistricting process took about a year. The redistricting commission in Austin is preparing to have the city’s new maps ready after about six months.
Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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