The population in and around San Antonio is booming — so much so that an advisory committee has created a draft of a new City Council district map based on the 2020 U.S. Census numbers.
Assistant City Attorney Iliana Castillo Daily joined Leading SA on Sunday morning to explain it all.
“So one of the most valuable and precious rights we’re guaranteed through the U.S. Constitution is the right to representation, right,” Daily said. “Many of us went to the polls, whether it was the early voting, as you guys previously talked about, or yesterday. That’s what it comes down to, right: so that my vote where I am, whether I’m voting here, we’re talking about City Council or whether it’s voting for a congressional leader or a state representative, it matters as much as the person living in a different or neighboring district.”
In previous cycles, the redistricting of lines was done by attorneys working directly with City Council or city staff, but there is a big change this year.
“This is the first time the City of San Antonio has used a citizens advisory committee. So the members of the redistricting advisory committee are all our neighbors, all fellow members of the public here in San Antonio who are doing the map drawing,” she said.
On top of balancing the population district by district, there is a goal of equity and community.
“We cannot reduce or diminish the strength of the voice in San Antonio, for example, the Latino vote or the African-American Black vote. We can’t do that. There are other legal principles and goals, but that’s where neighbors who are sitting at the table and doing the math,” she said. “The big goal of theirs, has been communities of interest.”
As San Antonio continues to grow, it seems like the foreseeable districts will be based on the 2020 population numbers.
“The advisory committee is bound by the 2020 Census data, right. And that’s what told us the 1.43 million approximate number, and they have to use that. There was some discussion about planning for the next 10 years, and they can do that to the extent that it still follows the other guidelines that I mentioned, the legal and then the priorities that they have. But it’s really about those 2020 Census data, and it’s not simply about the amount of growth, but where the growth has happened,” sh said.
You can find more on the draft plan and the future redistricting minutes here.