MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — For the first time, four of Mobile’s seven city council districts will have a majority of African-American voters, under a preliminary redistricting plan by Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
The mayor’s administrative staff began meeting Tuesday with city council members to discuss the proposed map. After getting input, the mayor will present a final proposal to the council next month. The council has until August to approve a plan.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Stimpson. “It’s a fluid conversation based on the input we get from the city council, as well as the public.”
Under Stimpson’s proposal, District 7, on the city’s northwest side, moves from a majority white district to a majority black district. Districts 1, 2, and 3 remain majority African-American.
The plan divides the city into seven equally populated districts with anywhere from 26,200 residents to 27,600. Ten years ago, the last time the city completed its mandatory redistricting, District 1, the city’s least populated had 3,600 fewer residents than District 7, the city’s largest.
The new districts were developed by a legal team and the city’s mapping staff.
In general, the city’s overall population, and African-American population, is drifting to the west.
As a result, Stimpson’s proposal moves most of the affluent Spring Hill neighborhood, east of McGregor Road, from District 7 to District 1.
In an effort to balance population, all areas west of the Dog River currently in District 4 could move to District-3. District 4 will likely gain a quadrant bordered by Grelot on the north, Knollwood on the east, Cottage Hill on the south, and Hillcrest on the west. That area is currently in District 6.
Under the mayor’s proposal, District 3 will have the city’s highest percentage of black voters (73%) while District 6 will have the least (26%).
“Every city councilor has various areas and constituent groups he doesn’t want to give up,” said Stimpson. “But at the end of the day, the population has migrated west so there’s going to be changes.”
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