Voters in Syracuse paved the way to possibly having their Common Council districts reshaped for the 2023 Election. More than 11,000 residents voted in favor of Proposition One… that’s a 76% to 23% margin. Common Council President Helen Hudson says the process is ten years overdue, so she appreciates the strong support from residents.
"We know within the [last] twenty years, we've had a really huge influx of new Americans, and most of them are packed into District One, which is overpopulated. So we need to start looking at how we can reshape some of these districts and give people representation."
Hudson says residents often have several councilors representing portions of the same street and can’t easily determine who represents them. Hudson says the next step is to engage with citizens in public hearings to gather their input about the creation of an independent commission.
"We're going to be looking at civic involvement, how often you voted, demographics, racial makeups... We're going to be looking at a whole gamut of things to ensure that everyone gets the representation that they deserve."
Community members who would like to be on the independent commission for the redrawing of city district lines will be able to apply in the future. Hudson says people will be directed to send resumes to the city auditor to keep the process independent, since the auditor has no stake in the drawing of lines. City lawmakers are looking at other cities like Austin, Texas as models for redistricting.
This story has been updated with copy corrections.