The chance for Minneapolis residents to participate in the redistricting of city wards and park districts is almost a reality.
The Charter Commission and its Redistricting Advisory Committee have just opened their new web pages that invite public participation in the process. Check out the process here.
In the past, the redrawing of political boundaries in Minneapolis has been done by a panel appointed by the political parties and the City Council. Voters replaced that system in 2010, handing the duties to the Charter Commission, which is appointed by the chief judge of Hennepin County District Court.
The new web pages do not yet have the software that will allow citizens to view the proposed maps and to suggest changes. The software, Mapitude, is the same program being used by the Legislature and Hennepin County. Once the software is integrated with city and census data, it will be ready for public participation.
Barry Clegg, chair of the Charter Commission and Advisory Group, expects the system to be fully functional in a few weeks. Meanwhile, web pages visitors can get a feel for the process. Clegg also says the Geographic Information Systems consultant should be on the job within days.
The last time political boundaries were re-drawn in Minneapolis, the city employed two GIS consultants, one for DFLers and another for Republicans. The new process will share one.
Emails about redistricting can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.