The virtual town hall will take place June 18 at 6 p.m. Applications are open through Sept. 1 for the panel of certified public accountants who will select the commissioners and through Sept. 30 for those interested in serving on the commission.
Based on new U.S. Census Bureau data that will be delivered to states in 2021 as well as public input, the 14-member commission will redraw Austin’s 10 council districts ahead of the November 2022 City Council elections.
Commissioners must meet a series of requirements to serve, including being registered to vote in Austin for at least five years and voting in three of the last five city elections.
Those requirements were put into place when a group of citizens brought a petition in 2012 to change the city charter and institute the city’s “10-1” City Council district structure. City Auditor Corrie Stokes said city staff now must hold to those requirements as the process plays out to select the commission and redraw the districts.
“Those restrictions were designed by those citizens at the time, so it’s not something we necessarily have influence over, but it is our responsibility to follow those requirements when recruiting commissioners,” Stokes said.
Commission members must adhere to a set of guidelines when redrawing the council’s boundaries, including keeping neighborhoods together as much as possible and drawing each of the ten districts to be reasonably equal in population size. According to statistics from the 2010 census, the 10 existing council districts range from a population of 77,650 in Southwest Austin’s District 8 to 82,381 in Northwest Austin’s District 10.