Residents of Houston City Council's District C will have the opportunity provide input on the process of drawing new district lines during a May 3 town hall meeting set for 6 p.m. at Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd., Houston.
District C Council Member Abbie Kamin will lead the meeting alongside city officials.
The city has to redraw the lines of its council districts every 10 years to take new demographic data into account from the decennial U.S. census. According to the city's redistricting website, priorities for drawing new lines include maintaining equal population numbers across the city's 12 districts, having easily identifiable geographic boundaries, not breaking up county voting precincts, preserving relations with incumbents and constituents, and avoiding the diminishing of voting power by demographic concentration or dilution.
District C—which covers the Heights, Garden Oaks, Montrose and Meyerland, among other areas—is overpopulated by 15%, according to a March 29 redistricting presentation to the Houston Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. Meanwhile, District H—which is adjacent to District C and covers Woodland Heights, Northside Village and Northline—is underpopulated by 17%, prompting speculation that parts of District C could be redrawn into District H.
During an April 25 redistricting meeting focused on District H, residents said they wanted their neighborhoods to be kept together when lines are redrawn and for the city to take diversity into consideration.
Residents who are interested in drawing their own map as feedback can do so with the help of a computer at the Houston Planning and Development Department’s office at 611 Walker St., Houston. The offices are located on the sixth floor. All proposed plans must be submitted by July 20 in writing. Plans should be based on the 2020 census data and cover the entirety of the city.
At the May 3 meeting, officials also plan to provide updates on District C’s capital improvement projects, upon which residents will also be able to give feedback.
A meeting for District G—which covers River Oaks along with the Energy Corridor and Memorial area—will have the opportunity to give feedback May 12 at 6 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 10221 Ella Lee Lane, Houston. A final town hall will be held virtually May 25, after which a draft plan will be created with the new lines. Public hearings for the redistricting draft will begin in July.