San Antonio – You might not move from your home Thursday, but you could still move out of your council district.
In order to re-balance the population of the city’s 10 council districts after a decade of lopsided growth, the San Antonio City Council has to approve a new map using the population numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census.
For the first time, though, the city council outsourced the job of drawing the map to advisory committee composed of 23 council appointees. After five months of hearings and map drawing sessions, the committee’s final draft is scheduled to go before city council for a vote Thursday morning.
The final map would change the boundaries of every council district except Districts 2 & 3, and bring the total deviation in population between the biggest and smallest districts down from 34.6 percent to 8.8 percent.
The total deviation has to be under 10 percent when compared to the ideal district size of 143,494 residents. In general, districts on the city’s North Side had to shrink, while those downtown and on the West Side had to grow.
District 5 would still be the city’s least-populated and District 8 the most-populated under the proposed map, but the difference between them would be about 13,000 people rather than 50,000.
Although council members could amend the proposed map from the dais, they are expected to give a straight “yes” or “no” vote.
“They want to give weight to their work. Right? So if we’re going put them together, then what is it for?” Assistant City Attorney Iliana Castillo Daily said of the council’s expected deference to the committee.
The committee has met 15 times since November, though it started in earnest in January.
For residents who are drawn into a new district, there’s no difference what services or resources you can access, but you would call a different council member with any issues.
Though the new map will determine what council race voters cast ballots in for the May 2023 election, city staff say the council members will decide at what point they make the handoff for fielding constituent issues from the redistricted areas.