The first of several public meetings was held on Tuesday night to discuss redistricting for Richland County Council. Redrawing the boundaries has become necessary due to 10 years of population growth represented in the most recent census, and most likely all districts will need to change.
Ideally, each district should be balanced in terms of black and white voters and should be made up of about 35,000 residents. The most significant population growth has taken place in the Northeast Richland district which now has more than 55,000 residents. Districts 1 and 7 are also over the ideal number, while others such as District 4, 5 & 6 now have too little population.
Race is an important factor in redistricting because it's illegal to gerrymander boundaries to maximize minority representation or to deny those voters the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice.
This is a critical issue for folks represented by the Richland County Council, so I urge you to participate in these public hearings and join in the conversation. For a schedule of upcoming meetings go to our website and click on the Big Red 10.