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Syracuse Independent Redistricting Commission releases first draft map of Common Council Districts

The first draft map of the Syracuse City Council Districts by the Syracuse Redistricting Commission
Syracuse Redistricting Commission
The first draft map showing all 5 of the Syracuse City Council Districts by the Syracuse Redistricting Commission

The Syracuse Indpendent Redistricting Commission has released its first draft of its council district maps and is confident residents will see where public input and suggestions were taken into consideration. Members say the districts were redrawn to be more contiguous in an effort to keep certain neighborhoods intact. Commission Chair Molly Lizzio says the five proposed districts all have populations of about 30-thousand or less.

“So that was an important part to make sure that the districts were well distributed. So, we were all looking at those numbers around like 29,000 when we were playing around with some of those mapping software. That was the number we were looking for under and over, that deviation."

She adds that District A would represent the most southern parts of Syracuse. Lizzio acknowledges its overall territory may appear deceivingly larger.

“Like the very tip of the city around the Valley, it's just not as much population and so you can go a lot further down because like in the North Side it's a really concentrated population where, down in the Valley, they just have less population. So, it can look a lot bigger but, they still have around the same population as all the other districts.”

Brenda Cruse-Malone is Afro-Latino and feels the process in Syracuse is transparent and fair with plenty of room for public input. However, she cautions the focus shouldn't be entirely about the districts.

"I think it's a good process because I think the term that comes to mind is 'communities of interest.' People really realizing that they have common interests they could share and utilize common resources and respect each other maybe and work together. Cause I think that's something that's been lost. You know, you have your population here and there and reality is that we're all one population, we're all one community."

The Redistricting Commission has a website and a Facebook page. They will hold a series of public meetings starting this weekend to gather feedback. The first will be held Sunday at 3 at the Westcott Community Center.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.