Aldermen Presented With Proposed District Changes - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Aldermen Presented With Proposed District Changes

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Some changes may be in the works for the City's Council districts. Proposals were presented to Aldermen by the Metropolitan Planning Commission at a workshop Thursday morning. The city is required by federal law to re-examine and re-align districts if necessary after each ten year census. The goal is to draw districts to have as nearly an equal racial makeup as possible - while maintaining four of Savannah's districts with a majority non-white population.

Areas of proposed change are spread throughout the city and all six districts - but there is a concentration in the downtown and mid-town areas with some movement of neighborhoods between Districts 1, 2 and 5. Even with those changes - three of the city's four protected majority-minority districts are skewed very heavily non-white, One district has a nearly even racial makeup and another skews heavily white.

Concerns of city aldermen differed - from a wish to make all the districts more racially balanced, to worries that the process of re-alignment was making drastic changes in the population mix of some districts. Alderman At-Large Tom Bordeaux says, "My concern is that the districts are drawn with very large percentages from one race or the other, and my only question is whether they can - under the rules, under the guidelines and under any realm of rationality - can they be drawn in a less skewed manner." 2nd District Alderman Mary Osborne says, "My district is drastically changing in its percentage, as was pointed out at the workshop. The first, the second and the fifth have always had a majority non-white population and a high percentage - if you look at every percentage on that scale - 2nd district is 61% - all the others go up as high as almost 80% - that's too drastic a drop and I don't expect mine to be 80% - but I don't expect it to be 61 - we're still working at it and tweaking it, so we'll bring it up."

They do still have about a year to come to an agreement and finalize districts. The aldermen have a meeting planned with the MPC on August 14th to go over their concerns.

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