Redistricting

Background on the redistricting process

In 2016, Fort Worth voters approved an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Councilmembers 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.

Task force members

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.  

   

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% more than population of smallest district.

2. Compliance with the 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 50% 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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Contain while voting precincts.

9. Contain while census blocks or block groups.

10. Do not consider place 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.


    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

    The city will be holding a series of training sessions for residents to learn how to draw maps that will add two new council districts. There will be two types of training:

    • Basic training. This training is for anyone who would like to learn how to use the redistricting software or who has started to use it and needs some extra help.
    • Advanced and collaboration sessions. This training is for anyone who is ready for advanced training. Residents are also welcome to attend these sessions to provide input on proposed maps, even if they do not choose to draw a map themselves.

    To make sure enough staff is scheduled at each session, registration is requiredRegistration closes at noon the day of each training session; if there are no registrants, a class will be canceled.

    All training will take place 6-8 p.m. Here is the schedule and the links to registration for each class :

    Monday, Oct. 11. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Advanced training and collaboration session. 

    Tuesday, Oct. 12. Golden Triangle Library, 4264 Golden Triangle Blvd. Basic training. 

    Wednesday, Oct. 13. Rockwood Golf Course, 1851 Jacksboro Hwy. Basic training. 

    Thursday, Oct. 14. Handley-Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St. Basic training. 

    Monday, Oct. 18. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Basic training. 

    Wednesday, Oct. 20. Northwest Library, 6228 Crystal Lake Drive. Basic training. 

    Monday, Oct. 25. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Advanced training and collaboration session. 

    Tuesday, Oct. 26. R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road. Basic training. 

    Wednesday, Oct. 27. Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St. Basic training. 

    Thursday, Oct. 28. Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd. Basic training. 

    Monday, Nov. 1. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Advanced training and collaboration session. 

    Monday, Nov. 8. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Advanced training and collaboration session. 

    Monday, Nov. 15. Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Advanced training and collaboration session. 

    Submit questions about training or schedule a training session for your organization. 

     

    Previously-held training

    During July and August, training sessions and open houses were held throughout the city.

    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.

     

    Communities 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 Sept. 15. A complete list of communities of interest will be posted later that month. If you missed the deadline and have any questions/concerns, please email FWConnection@fortworthtexas.gov and staff will respond.  

     

    Redistricting Video

    Meetings

     

    Redistricting 101 information