Detroit City Council will aprove one of four plans for redistricting the city by Feb. 17. That means city residents have just a short time to put in their votes for where lines should be drawn and which communities should be included in which districts.
The redistricting process is mandated under Detroit's new City Charter, which went into effect Jan. 1. It will allow city residents to elect their representatives by district, rather than at-large. The move could bring a Latino representative to the body to the first time, and will likely result in some changes to the distribution of city services.
Dividing a city of 713,777 residents and 148 square miles into seven equal but still compact districts could prove difficult, however.
Under the new rules, Council members will have to live in the district they represent. One of the plans puts four City Council members in the same district, meaning they would have to move or face a reelection fight.
Pugh told the Free Press incumbency should not be a factor in choosing the right map for Detroit.
"I'm not taking into consideration where any council person lives and I don't think the discussion should be about where we live," he said. "I'm going to try to keep it focused on getting input from the community. And I'm not talking vocal minority but a good representation of the community."
Pugh also told the Free Press on Monday that he would not seek reelection to City Council at the end of this term, his first.
City Council on Monday released four draft maps, put together with help from Data Driven Detroit. Compare the four versions below:
Infographic by Chris Spurlock
City Council took community input at a Tuesday night meeting and will hold further meetings for public comment on the redistricting process before a final vote.
UPDATE: Tuesday, 3:22 p.m. -- City Council will hold four more public meetings to gain community input on the proposed maps.
Following is the final schedule for the four public hearings on the proposed City Council districts:
NORTHWEST - Friday, February 3rd at 10:00 AM at Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. Seven Mile Rd. (between Telegraph Rd. and Lahser Rd.)
CENTRAL - Monday, February 6th at 7:00 PM at Second Ebenezer Church, 14601 DeQuindre (south of E. McNichols Rd. and east of I-75)
SOUTHWEST - Tuesday, Feb 7th at 7:00 PM at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, 1358 Abbott St. (enter from Porter St.)
EAST - Friday, February 10th at 2:00 PM at St. Maron Center, 11466 Kercheval Ave. (at the corner of St. Jean and Kercheval)
Don't be shy; vote in the poll below and tell us what you think about Detroit's new districts in the comments.