Unique chance to draw maps

The Palmdale City Council took public comment and heard an update on the process of reviewing and redrawing the boundaries for its four Council districts.

Palmdale is in the midst of a redistricting process—done each 10 years—using the latest population data from the 2020 Census.

“You want each council member to represent—more less—the same amount of residents,” Consultant Kristin Parks of National Demographics Corporation said.

Four community workshops—one in each district—have already been held to gather input, in addition to the efforts of the demography consultant hired by the city, National Demographics Corporation. Following the most recent hearing, two more will be held before any new maps are approved.

Information gathering included input on identifying communities of interest and areas bound by common social or economic features that should be considered as the district boundaries are drawn.

“We do need to pay attention to race and ethnicities in regards to the Voting Rights Act,” Parks said, to avoid diluting the voting power of protective classes. These considerations, however, cannot be the sole factor in determining the district lines.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.DrawPalmdale.org to create their own district maps using the tools provided there. There are electronic options and means to print paper maps, for those who prefer that format. Paper maps may be submitted to the City Clerk’s office.

Palmdale’s Neighborhood Houses are offering opportunities for community members to contribute their thoughts and maps, as well.

“The sooner that you can participate, the better,” Parks said.

Maps and other input may be sent to redistrict2021@cityofpalmdale.org

Several people speaking up during the Wednesday meeting said they had difficulties with the software to create maps online. Those issues should be addressed with new options available on the website, City Clerk Shanae Smith said.

The maps and other public input will be considered by the city’s 11-member Advisory Redistricting Commission to create maps that fairly represent the city’s population and meet all state and federal requirements.

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