The redistricting process for the Greensboro City Council districts has begun with the appointment of a seven member Citizens’ Redistricting Committee by the City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
While the names of the members of the redistricting committee members have not yet been released, some of the information that they will be going over in great detail has.
As predicted, because of Greensboro’s slow growth in the 10 years since the 2010 Census, the City Council districts are just barely out of compliance according to the strictest standard imposed by the courts.
According to information presented to the City Council at the Aug. 26 work session by La-Deidre Matthews, an attorney with the law firm Parker Poe who has been hired to direct the Greensboro redistricting process, only City Council District 2 is technically out of compliance.
Matthews said that District 2 represented by Councilmember Goldie Wells is 5.01 percent larger than the ideal City Council district, which would make it out of compliance with the standard that no district can be 5 percent larger or smaller than the ideal.
However, it would not be out of a compliance with a less stringent standard that there cannot be more than 10 percent variance between the largest and smallest district.
The smallest district is District 5 represented by Councilmember Tammi Thurm, which is 2.92 percent under the ideal district.
The difference between the smallest and largest district would only be 7.93 percent, which is well under the 10 percent margin.
District 1 represented by Councilmember Sharon Hightower is 3.23 percent above the ideal district. District 3 represented by Councilmember Justin Outling is 2.89 percent below the ideal district and District 4 represented by Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann is 2.42 below the ideal district.
What those percentages mean to the Citizens’ Redistricting Committee is that the City Council districts could be brought into compliance with the more stringent 5 percent rule by simply moving a precinct or two from District 2 to District 3.
But the committee could also decide to bring all the districts closer to the ideal by moving more precincts around. Or it could decide to start over and draw entirely new City Council districts.