The Charter Commission has begun its work on the 2012 redistricting process. As you may recall, I helped lead the Charter amendment process back in 2009 to do away with the old, broken Redistricting Commission, and instead empower the Charter Commission to redraw Minneapolis' ward boundaries.
The Charter Commission now has a first draft of new boundaries to share with the public, and will be holding public hearings on these draft maps on Februrary 29th and March 1st. Find out more here.
Additionally, Common Cause MN has put together a website that allows you to draw your own version of a City ward map. They are organizing two related trainings. A February 4 training will be held from 10am-noon at the Humphrey School, and will focus on how redistricting works at the local level. A February 18 training will be held from 9:30am-12:30pm at UROC, and will show attendees how to draw their own maps using this innovative software.
As I have noted previously, the Second Ward will have to get smaller in this redistricting process. Due to a combination of factors - including many new housing units (over 800), a relatively low housing vacancy rate (4.7%), and population losses in other wards - have left the Second Ward with about 4,000 more people in it than the average ward. This means that something like a third to a half of a neighborhood will have to be redistricted out of Ward Two and into a neighboring ward.