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    OKC Council votes against adding wards – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-11-09 18:46:54 –

    Members of the Oklahoma City Council will discuss current maps of the city’s eight districts during the meeting on Tuesday. Now that new census data is available, we need to redraw the boundaries of the wards to equalize the population of the sections. (JR screenshot)

    Oklahoma City – Two resolutions aimed at increasing participation and representation in the city government for Oklahoma City residents were defeated at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

    Voting for each item was 3 to 5, and councilor Barbara Young was absent.

    The Oklahoma City Council redraws ward boundaries to equalize ward inhabitants, following the 2020 U.S. Census, which shows that the city’s population has increased by 17.4% over the last decade. is needed.

    Three council members, JoBeth Hamon, Nikki Nice, and James Cooper, resolved to ask the mayor-appointed Residents Committee to help draw new boundaries, and a second to increase the number of wards by at least two. I presented a resolution.

    They were the only ones to vote in favor of the proposal.

    Hamon said a more direct public opinion on the constituency change efforts from the beginning would “alleviate distrust of our process.”

    The first resolution was provided by city officials by appointing a committee of four residents from different neighborhoods in each of the eight wards before the city council voted for the new ward boundaries in April. I asked them to review the maps and make recommendations for those maps.

    “The more voices in the conversation, the stronger the product will be in the end. The product will act as a government,” Cooper said. “I love its transparency and surveillance.”

    As an elected official, Cooper said he prefers not to be the one who draws the boundaries of the region he represents.

    City council member Mark Stonecipher expressed his dissenting opinion.

    “Especially in Norman, Oklahoma, when we look at the issues that one of these committees had, we’re not going to give up the responsibilities and obligations that are part of this process,” said Stonecipher. “So I vote against the resolution.”

    City officials will use mapping software to create a new map, equalize the population between wards within plus or minus 2% of the average ward population, and provide it to city council members in January. The staff will update the map in March based on the opinions of the general public.

    “This is a very simple process, less than six steps,” said city council member David Greenwell. “There is no hidden agenda for this.”

    Hamon said he was concerned that the increase in Latinos “minimized, abandoned, and completely ignored their voices.”

    Sam Wargin Grimaldo, a lifetime resident of South Oklahoma City, also agreed. “It’s part of a city that is often forgotten or ignored,” Grimaldo said. “I need an accurate expression.”

    The city center in southern Oklahoma City is divided into five districts, “effectively diluting and depriving them of their voting rights,” he said.

    “I fully agree,” said Todd Stone, a city council member.

    Community and government affairs manager Jane Abraham said the last increase in the number of wards was in 1966, from four to the current eight. The committee considered expanding to 12 wards in 1990 and 10 wards in 2014.

    “Most recently, in 2018, a group of citizens approached the city council on expansion,” Abraham said.

    Since the city moved to District 8, the population has increased by 312,890. Today, each ward covers approximately 620 square miles and contains more than 85,000 people.

    By comparison, Tulsa has nine council members, each representing about 46,000 residents and about 200 square miles.

    “It’s time to realize that we are a growing city and we need better and closer representatives,” said Hamon. “I’m the densest in the city and have the smallest geographical footprint, but I’m having a hard time getting to every corner of the ward on a regular basis.”

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    OKC Council votes against adding wards Source link OKC Council votes against adding wards

    The post OKC Council votes against adding wards – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma appeared first on Eminetra.

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