HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville City Council wrapped its penultimate public hearing on its redistricting proposals, taken from data in the 2020 Census.
A few small changes in the proposed map saw little concern from those who attended. Changes involved neighborhoods switching across district borders, which the city’s redistricting staff says is only done for balancing populations evenly.
The current proposed lines would give districts 1, 2 and 4 about 43,000 people each. Districts 3 and 5 would contain about 42,000 residents.
A noticeable adjustment announced was that Oakwood University in northwest Huntsville would have all its land be moved to District 5 after previously having a small area in District 1. The council clarified that and other switches don’t hurt or help any district in future elections, and it avoids any signs of gerrymandering.
City Planner and head of the city redistricting staff Connie Graham said the city doesn’t expect any sudden changes between now and the final public hearing, citing a relatively relaxed process of public input has both ensured trust and improved how the city draws the lines.
“People will email us and that will start a conversation and then pretty soon their neighbors are emailing us,” Graham said. “And that way you find out about what it is exactly that a neighborhood or a community’s interest is and if they’re not happy. So most of all, the changes that we have made so far have been handled through that process.”
The council’s final public meeting for redistricting is slated for November 22 at 5 p.m. inside City Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The council will finalize plans in a meeting on December 2 and will adopt them on December 16.