Residents in District 1 have overwhelmingly asked the Mayor and Council to keep the existing neighborhood boundaries together in District 1. You can read more about the redistricting proposals here on my blog.
As of this afternoon (5 pm), 53 (fifty-three) residents have submitted written comments to the Mayor and Council on redistricting. The City Council will discuss the matter at tonight’s meeting.
Thank you all for writing to us.
I also want to thank the members of the Redistricting Commission for their hard work as the City continues to work on redistricting. The community’s concerns are related to factors such as the redistricting criterion and the increase in the housing population. The Redistricting Commission members are smart and honest members of the community. They did their best to develop the proposed maps based on the Council-given charge and the criterion they decided to work on.
I am including the residents’ messages below, redacting their names and addresses.
1. Concerning the Redistricting of District 1
I am writing to voice a pressing concern regarding the proposed redistricting of district one. As a resident of the district, I strongly oppose the proposal as it will significantly fragment cohesive neighborhoods in the southern region.
‘Furthermore, this decision would jeopardize a core principle in the city charter dedicated to ensuring the stability and unity of neighborhoods for the sake of communal advocacy and goals.
I would greatly appreciate your consideration regarding this matter, and urge the mayor and council to revisit the stakes of fragmenting a long-time neighborly community for the sake of a voter criterion that inadvertently penalizes the populace for actively engaging in their civil right.
Thank you for your time and efforts,
2. District 1 “Please Keep Our Neighborhoods Together”
As a resident of district 1, my family and I have enjoyed the diversity and cohesion of our district between neighbors. This proposed division is a disadvantage to our community since it will take away businesses that enrich the district’s economic value.
The major disadvantage will be the vote weight; taking away these sectors will demote the district’s strength and influence to imply important changes which can benefit the district.
Please Keep Our Neighborhoods Together.
3. Redistricting proposals
Dear College Park City Council:
Thank you for establishing this year’s Redistricting Commission to ensure equal and adequate representation in our City. And thanks to the Commission for its proposals to address a number of factors. The City Charter specifies the number of criteria for districts, which may at times, compete against one another. So the Commission deserves our appreciation for trying to address these criteria in its proposals.
One somewhat problematic Charter criterion is that districts be based partly on actual recent voters. The 2022 proposals apparently would address this criterion by removing a large portion of District 1 because the district has such a high voting turnout. This is problematic because removing this large portion would fail to address the Charter requirement to consider “commonality of local economic and social interests, preservation of the cores of prior districts, geographic compactness of the districts, and respect for neighborhoods.”
I would suggest that the City regard this latter criterion as more important than equally dividing based on actual recent voters. Elected Councilmembers should represent all residents, not just recent voters, and Councilmembers can represent residents more effectively if the districts are geographically compact and respect neighborhoods. All the proposed maps remove District 1 neighborhoods east of Route 1 and north of Duval Field while adding neighborhoods west of Route 1.
These adjustments would stretch District 1 far more than necessary, adding neighborhoods with less in common with District 1 than the proposed removed neighborhoods. So I hope Council will consider rebalancing these criteria and find a way to approve the proposed redistricting that keeps districts such as District 1 compact and neighborhoods together.
4. To whom it may concern:
As a resident of Daniels Park, I believe it is in the best interest of myself, my neighbors, and the entire North College Park area to continue to be represented as one district. I understand the reasons for the proposed maps, however, I feel they will dilute the representation of our area in a meaningful and negative way.
I respect the commission’s work thus far, but I believe they need to reconsider and address the oversite. Please keep our neighborhood together!
5. District ReZoning
I am writing to you to express my disappointment in finding out that College Park city council has decided to go against its own charter recommendation of keeping districts together. Instead of keeping communities together, unfortunately, communities are going to be divided. I feel this will have a negative impact on communities in college park.