Two plans for redistricting St. Bernard presentedMay 9th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: News
The St. Bernard Committee of the Whole, a group that represents all meeting committees in the parish, held its meeting on May 3, to hear two preliminary redistricting plans. The redistricting plans are the result of the population changes shown in the 2010 census data, and will bring the parish into compliance with federal regulations for these districts.
2000 to 2010 Census Numbers
The 2010 Census data shows that St. Bernard Parish has a total of 35,897 residents. That number has decreased from 67,229 confirmed residents in the 2000 Census, a net loss of 31,332 in ten years. This loss has cause a disproportionate number of residents to occupy the various districts. By federal law these districts must fall with-in a 10 percent deviation from any other district.
“Federal law is such that you divide the [overall] population and get the ideal size district,” Cedric Floyd said. Floyd is with Data Center, a firm providing the analysis for the St. Bernard Parish redistricting.
That ideal number for St. Bernard parish is 7,179 residents per district.
However, based on the current data, District C has the lowest population with 6,525 citizens. The largest district is D, which holds 7,974 of St. Bernard’s residents. As such, the deviation between District D and District C is 20.17 percent according to Floyd, far above the legal limit.
“I have two different proposals, [which involve] moving the district lines as little as possible, while falling in line with Supreme Court law,” said Floyd.
Plan 1 would resolve the population deficit in District A by moving residents in precinct 21 south of Livingston Avenue into District A. District A currently holds precincts 10-16, and precinct 21 is currently in District D. This redistricting will move approximately 470 people according to Floyd.
Also as part of plan 1, District C would take in residents near Tournefort Street, while the other half would remain in district B.
Plan 2 included a proposal from Data Center to have District A absorb part of precinct 23.
“While District B would have the rest of precinct 23 and a part of precinct 30,” Floyd said.
Councilman-at-large-east Wayne Landry voiced logistical concerns in both the plans, which would draw lines splitting residents on certain roads. A particular example is the line near Judge Perez that effectively cuts certain roads in half.
“If we can work on the north-side of Judge Perez, near Murphy Oil, as much as we can [then] plan 1 looks like the least radical,” Landry said.
Floyd and Data Center will present a new version of the plan to the public,—a plan that will attempt to incorporate the councils concerns—at a series of public hearings to take place in the coming months, where residents will be allowed to voice their own concerns and propose alterations to the St. Bernard Redistricting Plan.