Redistricting

Redistricting Mapping Software Training

An important feature of the redistricting process is the opportunity for interested residents to use a software program to prepare their own proposed district maps in accordance with the City Council’s adopted criteria. 

  • Log into the software and create an account. 
  • When attending the training, please bring your own laptop computer if possible. We will have a limited number of computers available at each training session.  
  • Before using the software, it is helpful to view the following presentations provided by ESRI. If possible, training participants should also view the presentations before attending training.

 

Redistricting Training Schedule

During July and August, training sessions and open houses were held throughout the city. Additional training sessions are currently being planned, and will begin in late September.  Dates and details will be shared once they are confirmed. 

 

The first software training session for interested residents took place on June 24 at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods.  

If you weren’t able to attend the June 24 training:

 

If you are having difficulty using the software, please contact staff at CouncilRedistricting@fortworthtexas.gov.

If you would like to request a training session for your organization, please send the information to FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov. Staff will contact you for more details.

 

Community of Interest

What is a community of interest?

A community of interest is “a local population with shared socio-economic characteristics and political institutions that would benefit from unified representation.” Communities of interest may include neighborhoods, groups of neighborhoods, school attendance zones, and similar geographic areas.

Why is a community of interest important?

Keeping communities of interest together is an important principle of redistricting. At the recommendation of the Redistricting Task Force, City Council adopted Resolution No. 5375-04-2021, which establishes communities of interest as a high-priority criterion for redistricting.

Even if you are a registered organization with the city of Fort Worth, in order to assure that you are contained within a single council district, please complete this form to be declared a community of interest.  

The deadline to register your Community of Interest was September 15.  A complete list of communities of interest will be posted later this month.  If you missed the deadline and have any questions/concerns, please email FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov and staff will respond.  

 

Redistricting Task Force  

In August 2020, the City Council appointed a Redistricting Task Force and charged them with “Evaluating the criteria and procedures by which the City Council has redrawn Council district boundaries in the past and, accordingly, advising the City Council about redistricting criteria and procedures that the City Council should use in the future.”

Task Force members include: 

  • Lorraine Miller, Chair  
  • Salvador Espino representing District 2
  • Graham Norris representing District 3
  • Craig Allen representing District 4
  • Bert Williams representing District 5
  • Linda Kennedy representing District 6
  • Tony DeVito representing District 7
  • Tracy Scott representing District 8
  • Kent Bradshaw representing District 9
  • Bill Schur and Teresa Ayala, appointed by Mayor Price.

Please send any questions and comments for the Task Force to FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov.  

 

Background on the redistricting process

In 2016, Fort Worth voters approved an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Council members from nine to 11 following the completion of the 2020 Census. The Task Force on Race and Culture in December 2018 recommended the goal of ensuring that the City Council reflects the diverse communities that it represents.

In March 2021, the Redistricting Task Force presented 10 criteria for redistricting. The task force also suggested that software training be provided to residents who are interested in the redistricting process, and that proposed redistricting plans submitted by residents be analyzed and presented to the City Council.

The group urged transparency in the redistricting process by requiring all map drawing to occur at public meetings, with computer screens visible to all parties.

Beginning with the June 24 training session, city staff will provide software training for interested residents, using unofficial population estimates pending the release of official population counts. During this period, residents may also register communities of interest for redistricting purposes.

In addition, the task force requested a joint work session with the City Council, to be held sometime in the fall after the U.S. Census Bureau releases block-level population data from the 2020 census. The Census Bureau is expected to release these population counts by Sept. 30, 2021. 

 

After months of meetings and public input, the Task Force presented their recommendations to the City Council.

 

High Priority

  1. Approximately equal size: Population of largest district less than or equal to 10 percent more than population of smallest district.
  2. Compliance with U.S. Constitution, Voting Rights Act, Texas Constitution, and other applicable laws, with no packing or minority voters, no fragmentation of minority communities and no retrogression in ability of minorities to participate in electoral process.
  3. Create minority opportunity districts, in compliance with federal law, to reflect growing diversity of City. Such districts – in which African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities collectively represent fifty percent or more of the voting-age population – are intended to create opportunities for fair representation rather than to promote electoral outcomes. Electability is a function of many factors, including candidate qualifications appeal to voters, voting-age population, voter registration, and voter participation as well as demographics characteristics.
  4. Contain communities of interest in single districts, with community of interest defined as “a local population with shared socio-economic characteristics and political institutions that would benefit from unified representation”. Communities of interest may include neighborhoods, groups of neighborhoods, school attendance zones, and similar geographic areas.
  5. Contiguous territory. 

Low Priority

  1. Compact districts, with goal of Polsby-Popper ration greater or equal to 0.050. If any proposed district yields a compactness score that is less than 0.050, then a detailed justification must be stated.
  2. Identifiable geographic boundaries, such as streams, railroad tracks, and highways. To the extent possible, dwelling units that are located on opposite sides of the same residential street shall be assigned to the same district.
  3. Contain while voting precincts.
  4. Contain while census blocks or block groups.
  5. Do not consider place of residence of incumbents or potential candidates. 

 

Redistricting Video

Meetings

 

Redistricting 101 information

 

Interim Report 

10 recommended criteria for redistricting

High-priority criteria (not in any particular order):

  1. Districts should be approximately equal size. The population of the largest district should be no more than 10% greater than the population of the smallest district.
  2. Redistricting should be completed in compliance with the U.S. Constitution, Voting Rights Act, Texas Constitution and other applicable laws, with no packing of minority voters, no fragmentation of minority communities and no retrogression in the ability of minorities to participate in the electoral process.
  3. The process should create minority opportunity districts, in compliance with federal law, to further reflect the growing diversity of Fort Worth.
  4. The new district alignment should contain communities of interest in single districts. Community of interest is defined as “a local population with shared socio-economic characteristics and political institutions that would benefit from unified representation.”
  5. Districts should be contiguous territory.

Lower-priority criteria, in no particular order of priority:

     6. Compact districts, with the goal of attaining a Polsby-Popper ratio of >0.050. Learn more about the Polsby-Popper ratio. 

     7. Identifiable geographic boundaries

     8. Contain whole voting precincts

     9. Contain whole census blocks or block groups.

     10. New districts should not take into consideration the places of residence of incumbents or potential candidates.

The task force also suggested that software training be provided to residents who are interested in the redistricting process, and that proposed redistricting plans submitted by residents be analyzed and presented to the City Council.

The group is urging for transparency in the redistricting process by potentially requiring all map drawing to occur at public meetings, with computer screens visible to all parties.