Voting matters. When you cast your vote, your vote should carry as much weight as those voting next to you and those voting across the city. This is why redistricting matters.
Austin’s current council districts
Austin’s population is larger and more diverse today. The 2021 Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will draw new district boundaries to reflect these changes to impact how Austin residents are represented.
The residents on the Commission will have access to 2020 Census data. The commissioners will use this data and public input to decide how to draw the new district boundaries and best reflect Austin’s changes. The commissioners must use the following criteria to draw the district boundaries:
Districts should have reasonably equal populations
District boundaries must touch each other
Neighborhoods or communities kept together as much as possible
Districts should be as compact as possible (i.e. nearby neighborhoods not passed up for farther away ones)
District boundaries use existing election precincts and geographically identifiable boundaries as much as possible
District boundaries must follow federal and state laws
Redistricting uses Census information to make sure that each vote is mathematically equal. Each City Councilperson should represent the same number of voters (as closely as possible). In considering the “same number,” demographics are also taken into consideration so that the equal numbers will consider race, ethnicity, income, and other demographics important to fair representation.
When we think about districts, we naturally think about community. What does it mean to share a community with someone? Is it that you share the same interests? Advocate for these same interests? Attend the same schools? Ride the same bus? Do you want a council person who will listen when you bring them these concerns? We think you deserve that. This is why the commission seeks public input.
All these things will be taken into account as the commissioners work to represent your interests in the redistricting process.
Please see here for a few resources on Voting Rights and Redistricting:
Early press coverage of the ICRC’s work. May contain outdated meeting times and locations: