Software training for redistricting map proposals begins this month

Published on June 18, 2021

an overview photo of a City Council meeting in progess

A series of training sessions beginning this summer will allow residents to try their hand at redrawing Fort Worth’s council district boundaries using population data from the 2020 census.

Training sessions will begin in the coming weeks, part of a years-long effort that will result in the City Council being reconfigured from nine to 11 members.

The schedule has been divided into two phases:

  • Pre-redistricting phase, running through the Census Bureau’s release of 2020 census results in late September and a joint City Council work session with the Redistricting Task Force.
  • Redistricting phase, which should be completed before the July 2022 deadline for candidates to establish residency within the council districts that they wish to represent.

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. The first monthly software training session for interested residents will be at 6 p.m. June 24 at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave. Participants are encouraged to register for the free training and to bring a laptop computer. Staff will also have a limited number of computers available for use during the training. Submit questions about the training and redistricting. 

Additional training sessions will be scheduled for July and August.

In addition to the training sessions, information will be available online. 

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.

Learn more about redistricting.

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Photo: The Fort Worth City Council’s reconfiguration from nine to 11 members will be based on census data to be released this fall.

 


 

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