City Poised To Split Redistricting Process
Drawing wards first and aldermanic districts second to meet short deadline.
The redistricting process has been one of delay in Milwaukee.
First, the U.S. Census Bureau was late in providing the data to draw new districts. Then, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors added weeks to the process by repeatedly rejecting districts drawn by its own Independent Redistricting Committee.
All 19 county municipalities must now adopt their own maps and return them to Milwaukee County in time for the county to sign off on a final map by Nov. 23. Failure to complete the process could open the door to a lawsuit that allows a judge to draw a new map for the spring 2022 elections.
The City of Milwaukee is poised to bifurcate its process to enable it to meet the deadline. It would create a ward map and submit it to the county by Nov. 17. Then it would approve a map of council districts in December.
“That would allow us to have a more spacious public process,” said City Clerk Jim Owczarski to Urban Milwaukee on Tuesday.
The belief is that because the city’s own council districts don’t appear in any way in the spring election, they don’t need to be finalized in time to allow candidates to file for the spring elections.
“We are waiting on an opinion of the City Attorney,” said Owczarski.
The Common Council’s Judiciary & Legislation Committee is poised to review a new ward map prepared by the Legislative Reference Bureau at its Nov. 15 meeting. A special meeting of the full council is poised to be called for Wednesday, Nov. 17 at noon to adopt the maps.
Then, in December, the council would adopt new aldermanic districts. That process could result in more debate because it would change not where someone votes, but who represents them.
The delay would allow more public feedback, including a less abrupt hearing schedule and the ability for residents to design and submit their own maps.
The new aldermanic district maps are first scheduled to be used in the spring 2024 election when all 15 council members are up for reelection. The full county board is up for reelection this spring.
Maps and Statistics
- 2000 to 2010 Population Change by Aldermanic District
- 2010 to 2020 Population Change by Aldermanic District
- 2020 Population Change by Wards
- 2020 Aldermanic District Demographics
More about the Milwaukee County redistricting process
- Op Ed: Muslim Community Needs Representation - Janan Najeeb - Jan 29th, 2022
- City Hall: Council Ends Redistricting With Anger, Tears - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 18th, 2022
- Statement from Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson - Mayor Cavalier Johnson - Jan 18th, 2022
- City Hall: Latino Leaders Could Sue Over Redistricting - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 14th, 2022
- Latinx Leaders Condemn Common Council’s Refusal to Draw New Districts Reflecting Dramatic Growth of Latinx Population; Demand Second Legal Opinion - Voces de la Frontera - Jan 14th, 2022
- Voces de la Frontera Statement on Redistricting Decision - Voces de la Frontera - Jan 11th, 2022
- Statement on redistricting decision - Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa - Jan 10th, 2022
- City Hall: Milwaukee Starts Over On Redistricting, Only To Adopt Same Map Again - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 10th, 2022
- Statement by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett: - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 14th, 2021
- City Hall: Council Halts Redistricting After Latino Pushback - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 14th, 2021
Read more about Milwaukee County redistricting process here
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