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DCCCD Seeks Public's Input, Plans for Redistricting

 

June 8, 2001

(DALLAS) - As the population of Dallas counted has grown by leaps and bounds - more than 10 percent during the decade between census surveys in 1990 and 2000 - the Dallas County Community College District has grown, too. Now DCCCD must develop and carry out a redistricting plan, with the help of citizens who support and benefit from educational opportunities that the district provides.

Citizens are invited to send their comments or to submit a written redistricting plan to DCCCD by Thurs., June 21, at 7:30 p.m. (by the conclusion of the meeting) to Dr. William Wenrich, DCCCD chancellor and secretary to the district's board of trustees, at 701 Elm St., Suite 400, Dallas, Texas 75202. They also are asked to attend a public hearing about the proposed redistricting plans on Thurs., June 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room C-100 (the food and hospitality dining room in Building C) at El Centro College, located at Market and Elm streets in Dallas. Persons who would like to share their comments with the DCCCD board of trustees can register before the meeting to address the group.

"The DCCCD board of trustees wants citizens to share their ideas and concerns about redistricting," said Wenrich. "We want people to come to the public hearing and to tell us what they think about the illustrative plan, as well as other plans submitted by citizens. Together, we can carry out redistricting and ensure that our constituents are well represented."

Individuals who would like to submit their own plan for redistricting must meet the Thurs., June 21, deadline. Current and proposed maps, criteria for redistricting and guidelines for submitting the written plan are available on DCCCD's website at www.dcccd.edu; just click on the "Redistricting" link for details. Any plan should show the total population and voting age population for African Americans, Hispanics and Anglos/other for each proposed single-member trustee district. If a plan is submitted without a population breakdown, the district may not have sufficient information to give the plan its full consideration. Each plan also should redistrict the entire Dallas County Community College District.

During its June 5, 2001, meeting, the DCCCD board of trustees established and approved the following criteria for the redistricting process:

  • Where possible, easily identifiable geographic boundaries should be followed.
    Communities of interest should be maintained in a single district, where possible, and attempts should be made to avoid splitting neighborhoods.
  • To the extent possible, districts should comprise whole voting precincts. Where this is not possible or practicable, districts should be drawn in a way that permits the creation of practical voting precincts and ensures that adequate facilities for polling places exist in each voting precinct.
  • Although DCCCD recognizes that existing districts must be altered to reflect new population distributions, any redistricting plan should - to the extent possible - be based on existing districts.
  • Districts must be configured so that they are relatively equal in total population according to the 2000 federal census. In no event should the total deviation between the largest and smallest district exceed 10 percent.
  • The districts should be compact and composed of contiguous territory. Compactness may contain a functional, as well as a geographic, dimension.
  • Consideration may be given to the preservation of incumbent-constituency relations by recognizing the residence of incumbents and their history in representing certain areas.
  • The plan should be narrowly tailored to avoid retrogression in the position of racial minorities and language minorities as defined in the Voting Rights Act with respect to the effective exercise of their electoral franchise.
  • The plan should not fragment a geographically compact minority community nor should it pack minority voters in the presence of polarized voting, thus creating a liability under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

"By following these criteria, DCCCD also will comply with the Voting Rights Act and related laws," explained Wenrich. "And guidelines for participation will help residents participate in the redistricting process."

For more information, call Barbara Corvey, DCCCD's liaison to the district's board of trustees, at (214) 860-2471.