Williamson County sets up redistricting committee ahead of census data release

Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

In preparation for the redistricting process at the county level, Williamson County commissioners voted Nov. 17 to form a three-person redistricting committee to begin looking at the process and how the county should move forward.

“The reason I wanted to get started now, and I know we don't have a census until April 1, but I felt like if you guys could start meeting now you can lay out a game plan.” County Judge Bill Gravell said.

The three members are Commissioners Cynthia Long of Precinct 2 and Valerie Covey of Precinct 3, who will also chair the committee, as well as George Strebel, who works with Williamson County Graphical Information Systems.

Gravell tasked the committee to look into legal representation to guide the county during the process, whether additional committee members will be needed and a plan for the new redistricting process.

While the 2020 census data will not be available until April 1, Gravell said he would like to get the conversation started so the county is prepared to begin the redistricting process when it begins.


The committee will only advise on redistricting at the county’s four precinct levels. Individual jurisdictions such as cities and schools will have to do redistricting at their own levels, and any redistricting that happens at the state level will be done by state legislators, officials said.

Commissioners added they anticipate the population in the county to be about 625,000 following the 2020 census, up from about 422,000 in 2010.

When a concern about gerrymandering, or the manipulation of boundaries to favor one party, was brought up during public comment, Covey assured the public that would not occur in Williamson County. Covey, who was part of redistricting efforts in 2010, said it was a smooth process in working with data experts to draw lines legally.

She added there are several rules that they have to follow as far as not separating groups of people and ensuring representation at the state level also falls in line.

“There's all kinds of technical pieces of drawing the lines that have to be taken into consideration,” Covey said.
By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

A medium sized black and white dog.
Two overcapacity Georgetown animal shelters are offering free adoptions through June 20

The shelters have teamed up to help with an overflow of adoptable dogs and cats.

Volunteers of Austin Vaccine Angels gathered after becoming fully vaccinated. (Courtesy Jodi Holzband)
Grassroots groups aimed at vaccine outreach look toward the future

For the past five months, grassroots volunteer groups have been working to connect thousands of Central Texans to COVID-19 vaccines.

The two intersection improvement projects cost $875,350 and took seven months to complete. (Courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County celebrates completion of projects along Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Georgetown

Williamson County held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of two key intersection improvement projects.

Washington Prime Group Inc. owns six area shopping centers, including The Arboretum. (Courtesy The Arboretum)
Owner of Austin-area shopping centers files for bankruptcy; entertainment complex coming to Cedar Park and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes Tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Weird Homes Tour ends; Z’Tejas to close Arboretum restaurant and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

The safety and mobility project, which will widen D.B. Wood Road, will begin construction in 2022. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown hosts open house, seeks public feedback on D.B. Wood Road widening project

The City of Georgetown is hosting an open house in person and online where they will present information and take questions regarding the D.B. Wood Road safety and mobility project.

One of the most recent city projects being completed through the use of eminent domain is the Northwest Boulevard Bridge project, an I-35 east-west overpass bridge that connects north of Rivery Boulevard with FM 971. (Fernanda Figueroa/Community Impact Newspaper.
Updated: Georgetown has used eminent domain on 6 city projects since 2016

By acquiring the land, the city has been able to complete six road and wastewater projects.

A continuous flow intersection allows vehicles to cross to the left side of the roadway to make a left turn. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT seeks public input on proposed changes to I-35 in Georgetown

The state agency is proposing major changes between SE Inner Loop and RM 1431, including adding a continuous flow intersection at I-35 and Westinghouse Road.

The front of a small health clinic.
Outpatient clinic opening at end of June in Georgetown

The new clinic will provide care for individuals recovering from debilitating injuries or illnesses, including long-term effects of COVID-19.

A photo of inside a main room of Arbor Academy
Project-based private school in Georgetown now enrolling for August opening

Arbor Academy aims to provide a smaller community for students.