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Austin Redistricting Group Asks: How Should We Draw District Maps?

Wells Dunbar, KUT News
The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission filled the stage at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex.

Last November, Austin voters approved a plan to fundamentally change the city’s elections and form of government: Right now, all City Council members run citywide and represent all of Austin. But after the passage of Prop 3, beginning next year, they’ll be elected by district.

The group of Austinites charged with drawing those districts – the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission – held its first public input meeting in East Austin last night. And they got plenty of feedback.

If there was one thing all speakers agreed on, it was that the commission should abide by the best practices – like keeping communities whole, neighborhoods united within districts. But the commission’s task of defining those communities and neighborhoods may be the hard part.

You can listen to KUT’s spot on the meeting in the player above. Interested in having your say? The commission is holding three more public input meetings this month:

Credit Wells Dunbar, KUT News
The sign-in table at the commission's public input meeting. After the commission adopts a final plan, Austin will hold council elections in November 2014.

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.
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