The Private Redistricting of DeKalb

The Chronicle reports today that the city has begun to redraw ward boundaries.

First of all, what’s the rush?

But City Manager Mark Biernacki said the council will try to get a new map approved before this October. That way, if any sitting council member finds he or she is outside of their ward’s new boundaries, there would be enough time to consider moving, satisfying the city’s rule that candidates must be residents of the ward they intend to run from for at least one year.

“You try to minimize the impact as much as possible,” Biernacki said.

I’m not sure that minimizing the impact for Mr. Biernacki and his fave aldermen is really the point — but even if there is a point, is it more important than taking some time to promote an open process with plenty of public input?


  • How can work on redistricting even be allowed before the census appeal is finished?

  • When did city council vote on a resolution to redistrict this way instead of, say, appointing an ad hoc committee like other municipalities do?

  • Where’s the map?

  • Redistricting Clock is Ticking

    Recently while doing some lookups in Chapter 3 of the Municipal Code, I came across this:


    The wards of the City of DeKalb as heretofore established and as may hereafter be established shall be reapportioned according to population. In the formation of the reapportioned wards the population of each shall be as nearly equal as possible, and the wards shall be of as compact and contiguous territory, as possible.

    The method for reapportionment shall be as follows:

    That whenever pursuant to Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, there shall be taken an actual Enumeration within every ten years in such manner as the Congress of the United States shall by law direct, the City Council shall, by using the census tracts derived from said Enumeration, apportion the population among the wards accordingly. Said reapportionment of population shall be completed within two years following the Federal decennial year and no later than October 1 of the current year (1972) and by that day and month every subsequent ten years hereafter.

    Yesterday John Acardo, DeKalb County Clerk, confirmed that the city must have its redistricting done by October 2012. The Clerk’s office has a redistricting manual for municipalities available.

    Let’s make this an open thread. Feel free to comment on yesterday’s elections, anything.