DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroiters are getting the first idea of what the new City Council districts could look like. The Council’s Planning Commission, along with the Election Commission, Monday unveiled four different draft maps.
The maps divide the city into seven districts that by law must be as equal in population as possible, contiguous and compact.
City Planning Commission Director Marcell Todd said several steps were taken to make sure the maps comply with the federal Voting Rights Act and do not dilute the voting rights of minorities in the city, including the Latino community in Southwest Detroit and the Bangladesh community near Hamtramck.
“We didn’t want to risk that, so we went back and we changed to map to make sure that those populations, wherein they were grouped, would be entirely included within one district,” Todd said.
Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said Council will hold at least four public hearings in various communities before Council selects one map.
“I think that they’re sensible,” said Jenkins. “They did a good job of trying to divide the population up evenly. So, it remains to be seen.”
The first public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Liberty Baptist Church on Detroit’s West Side.