Newspaper article MinnPost.com

Minneapolis Redistricting Group Signs off on Tentative New Wards

Newspaper article MinnPost.com

Minneapolis Redistricting Group Signs off on Tentative New Wards

Article excerpt

With its latest revisions complete, the Minneapolis Redistricting Group is ready to present its proposed ward maps for public input.

To view the proposed map for all 13 city wards, go here (PDF). To view maps of the individual wards, go here (PDF).

Here's a look at some of the latest changes:

The Somali and East African immigrants would get a ward where a majority of its residents are minority members, but in the process, the redistricting commission's proposed plans end up splitting the Somali community between two wards.

The new Ward 6 would have a population that is nearly 34 percent black and 20 percent Hispanic. The ward would include the western end of the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood, which is home to many from Somalia and East Africa, but does not include the eastern end of the neighborhood or the area just south of Interstate 94 that has many African residents.

Members of the Redistricting Group are eager to create a second city ward that has a majority of minority residents to increase the chances of minority representation on the City Council.

"I would put before you that the characteristics of the Minneapolis population have changed quite a bit," said Hazel Reinhardt, a demographer hired by the Citizens Committee for Fair Redistricting, which represents residents from Somalia and East Africa.

"The new realities are not going to take us back to where we were," said Reinhardt, who worked with the African group to create their own version of a new Ward 6.

Ward 6 is currently represented by Robert Lilligren, one of two minority members serving on the Council. He is an American Indian. Ward 6 does not currently have a minority majority. Ward 5, with a majority of black residents, is represented by Don Samuels, who is black.

Members of the Redistricting Group listened to suggestions about how the African community could be kept together in one ward but decided to keep the boundaries as they are for now to give the community at large two weeks to study the new maps before two upcoming public hearings. …

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