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City of Huntsville presents foundational redistricting plan

Published on October 14, 2021

The City of Huntsville’s redistricting team presented a proposed redistricting plan to City Council during its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

The draft plan will be available on HuntsvilleAL.gov/redistricting for members of the public to review. This draft plan sets the baseline document from which members of the public can submit recommendations for adjustments. Additionally, citizens can submit their own plan for consideration. After careful consideration, Council will adopt a final redistricting plan at its Dec. 16 meeting.

“The foundational plan represents a collaboration between City Council, Huntsville City Schools Board of Education, Mayor Tommy Battle and City Administration,” said Connie Graham, who leads the City’s redistricting team. “To ensure transparency, the plan also includes public input received at town hall events held in each district in August and September.”

See the proposed foundational redistricting plan

To be considered, redistricting plans must meet required guidelines established by Council during its Aug. 12 meeting. The plan presented by the City on Thursday meets those guidelines.

The goal is to create five balanced districts with a deviation of plus or minus 5%. The City’s foundational plan divides Huntsville’s current population of 215,070 people into five districts of approximately 43,000 constituents each, assuring fair and equal representation.

“I’m grateful to our redistricting team for their thorough research in developing this draft plan,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “We look forward to hearing the community’s thoughts and ideas before Council approves a final plan in December.”

Redistricting purpose

Redistricting, a process that occurs every 10 years following a census count, ensures compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the constitutional principle of one person, one vote.

The process also helps ensure fair constituent representation on the Council and Huntsville City Schools Board of Education. There is one school board representative per Council district. It’s important to note, however, redistricting does not determine where children attend school.

Rapid growth

The redistricting process is significant this year after census data revealed Huntsville’s population had grown 20% over the past decade, making it the largest city in Alabama. The growth means all five Council districts grew, though not proportionally.

As currently drawn, each of the five districts had about 36,000 residents in 2010. Today, District 5 has more than 52,000 constituents while District 1 has just under 38,000.

Public participation

The City recently rolled out free software that allows the public to create and submit their own redistricting plans. The redistricting team also created a step-by-step tutorial on how to navigate the process.

Council will hold five public hearings to discuss the foundational plan and present any additional plans received from citizens. The hearings will be held in the 1st Floor Chambers at City Hall, 308 Fountain Circle, Huntsville, on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 19, 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 22, 5:30 p.m.

Those unable to attend but who would like to comment should contact their Council representative. Have questions about how to create a plan using the City’s free redistricting software? Call 256-427-5100 or email redistricting@huntsvilleal.gov.

Council will introduce final redistricting plans at its regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 2 and adopt a final plan Dec. 16. Both meetings start at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the redistricting process and to review submitted plans, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/Redistricting.