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San Antonio City Council redistricting committee draws up final maps for approval

On Thursday, the full council will vote on the new maps with changes to address the 100,000 new residents who moved to San Antonio since 2010.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio’s city council districts are redrawn to account for the latest U.S. Census numbers.

Due to unprecedented growth, the council’s redistricting committee is making some changes for who represents different neighborhoods around the city.

Some proposed changes met opposition from residents and one of San Antonio’s business leaders.

The San Antonio River, for example, could have been a dividing line.

Richard Perez, CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, was against a proposal to move parts of downtown, including Mi Tierra and part of H-E-B’s headquarters, from District 1 to District 5.

“It didn’t seem to make a lot of sense because the historic downtown has always been one entity, at least since the 1970s,” Perez told KENS 5.

Last week, Perez asked the city’s redistricting advisory committee to keep the pieces of this district intact.

“The downtown is often referred to as the heart of San Antonio, and when you start cutting the heart up, that makes the heart may not be as powerful as it can be,” Perez said.

Although district one’s boundaries grew north, the committee accommodated Perez’s request.

Since October, assistant city attorney Iliana Castillo Daily worked alongside the 23-person committee to redraw the districts.

The biggest shift included many parts of District 8 on the northwest side being moved into District 7.

“District 1 and District 5 had to grow a lot; they had the least under the ideal population size given the 2020 census data,” Castillo Daily said.

According to city council documents, the ideal population is 143,494 people in each of the 10 council districts.

When cities redraw maps, Castillo Daily says they must be within 10 percent deviation between the biggest and smallest district. The latest map has 8.84 percent deviation.

“They have done excellent work and have come to a compromise that I believe is in the best interest of not just downtown San Antonio, but the entire city,” Perez said about the committee.

For many citizens, Castillo Daily says it won’t impact things such as police response times or school zones, among the most frequently asked questions during this process.

“What it does impact is who represents us at City Hall and how I get in contact with them, and who I get to vote for to represent me,” Castillo Daily added.

Castillo Daily is “cautiously optimistic” the city council will approve the new map in its meeting on Thursday.

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