Redistricting notebook: How do current Bloomington city council districts split up neighborhoods?

A second meeting of Bloomington’s redistricting commission was held last Monday (July 25).

Map of six current Bloomington city council districts overlaid with boundaries of neighborhood associations. The image links to a dynamic map.

The meeting included a look at some maps drawn by the public and one map created by a commissioner.

Deliberations were light on substantive issues, and did not offer much insight into the factors that commissioners will see as most significant, when they recommend a new district map to the city council.

The main takeaway from the July 25 meeting was the scheduling of an additional meeting,  for Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The next meeting had already been scheduled—for Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Under the new city ordinance, the commission has until Sept. 7 to make its recommendation for six population-balanced city council districts. Redistricting work for the city council has to be done every 10 years, in the second year following the decennial census.

It’s the city council that will make the final decision on the new districts, and the decision has to be made before the end of the year. The timeframe for the work of the redistricting commissioners has been compressed, because they were not seated by the city council until mid-June, almost 18 months after they were supposed to be appointed. Continue reading “Redistricting notebook: How do current Bloomington city council districts split up neighborhoods?”

Column: Independent of politics, drawing new city council districts for Bloomington is not easy as pie

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

That’s a famous quote from the late Carl Sagan, an astronomer who popularized scientific thought on topics like the place of the human species in the universe.

It is somewhat surprising that of Sagan’s 600 published scientific papers, none include a mention of Bloomington, Indiana, as the exact center of the known universe.

Compensating for Sagan’s error of omission are two key notions from that famous quote—“pie” and “from scratch.” Those two ideas have some current relevance in Bloomington’s civic life.

Both ideas are relevant to the work of the city’s redistricting advisory commission, which met for the first time this past week.

The commission was supposed to be seated 18 months ago, at the start of 2021, but was not appointed until mid-June of this year.
Continue reading “Column: Independent of politics, drawing new city council districts for Bloomington is not easy as pie”

Third option floated for possible redrawing of Monroe County council boundaries

A third possibility for new county council district boundaries is now getting consideration from the four-person committee that has been appointed to make recommendations on new precinct and district boundaries for Monroe County.

It’s simple to describe the third county council district option, which was floated at Monday’s committee meeting: Transfer Clear Creek Township from District 3 to District 1.

That’s the proposal labeled Option C in the graphics accompanying this article.

At its Thursday meeting last week, the committee batted around two other possibilities for balancing out the populations of the four county council districts. The populations are a bit out of kilter after the 2020 census. Continue reading “Third option floated for possible redrawing of Monroe County council boundaries”