A Duncanville Redistricting FAQ

REDISTRICTING FAQ

See the Proposed Maps
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is redistricting happening?

A: All cities with single-member city council districts must engage in “redistricting” every 10 years following the Federal Census to ensure that all districts continue to have roughly equal populations and follow all state and federal laws. The City of Duncanville’s five single-member city-council districts each represents a separate district within the city. Based on a review of the new 2020 federal census data, these districts are out of balance in that they do not have sufficiently equal populations, and therefore the City of Duncanville must redistrict.

Q: What is the Voting Rights Act?

A: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) prohibits voting practices, policies, or procedures that have a discriminatory purpose or effect on racial or language minorities; this section applies nationwide and is a permanent provision of the VRA. To be in compliance with Section 2 of the VRA, districts must provide voters with an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.

VOTING RIGHTS ACT (VRA)

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was originally passed in 1965 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or color. It has been amended several times, and now also prohibits discrimination based on membership in certain language minority groups.

Q: How can I share my opinion?

A: On December 7, 2021, the City will hold an open public hearing in which the City’s consulting team will present information, and the public will have a chance to ask questions and share their thoughts, which will be documented in the public record and considered before final maps are ultimately adopted. You can view the public meeting schedule and other information related to the redistricting process on the City’s website.

Q: What districts will change?

A: Council will determine the new district lines based on several adopted guidelines (Link of adopted resolution (088 & 089) from city council meeting), public input, and recommendations from a professional consultant. Every district CAN change, but every district is NOT required to change. Some districts may see no change at all.

Q: Can you move the district line over one street? Why do the lines appear uneven?

A: The criteria/guidelines adopted by the Council on November 30th established a set of guiding principles for adding or changing district lines. These guidelines included changing lines based on Census Tracts.  Census Tracts are geographical areas for which the census bureau releases data.  Census tracts are relatively permanent ‘units of analysis’ that are delineated for the purpose of presenting decennial census data.  It was determined by City Council that any Changes to the district’s lines shall closely resemble these census tracts. Per the guidelines, City Council determined that best practice would avoid deviating from breaking up or fracturing these established census tracts.  As such, any changes, additions, or deletions will be based on whole census tracts.

Q: When does this take effect?

A: The new districts will go into effect immediately upon adoption.

Q: Does every city get redistricted?

A: Under the Voting Rights Act, every city with single-member districts is constitutionally mandated to do an assessment following the U.S., which occurs every ten years. Every City where a population increase or decrease creates a significant enough imbalance in its districts must redistrict. The goal is to have each district have as close to the same population as every other district.

Q: Why did my area not get redistricted?

A: All the districts were assessed for population shifts. Redistricting focuses on ensuring that all districts have similar population sizes. The Council must also consider the demographics of its current districts, and how any changes to its current districts will affect the demographics of the new districts. Redistricting every district might create more problems than it would solve.

Q: Who can I talk to about my district?

A: There are several resources on the world wide web addressing Local, State, and National districts.  If your inquiry is about the City of Duncanville, you can reach out to our Public Information Officer or our City Secretary at the emails provided below. You may also call the City directly at 972.780.5000. The City of Duncanville has also provided links and contact information to the State and Federal websites on our City Website.

Q: How Do I vote in the next election?

A: Just like you have every year. Depending on the final plan adopted, your district may or may NOT change. If it does change then you will vote for the candidates running in the district you are in.

Q: Did my Councilmember Change?

A: Only if you are in a district whose boundaries have been changed. Otherwise, you will continue to vote as you have for the last ten years.

Q: What about the School, County, State, and National Elections? How am I Impacted?

A: Each entity or political subdivision is responsible for conducting its own redistricting effort.  Check with your local school district, state representative’s office, or Congressional office for more information. We have provided links below for your convenience.

Q: Will the City redistricting affect where I vote for my council member (Precinct)?

A: No. The new districts currently being proposed do not impact county voting precincts.

Q: What were the redistricting criteria and guidelines adopted by the City Council on November 30, 2021?

  • Each district should contain roughly the same number of people.
  • Easily identifiable geographic boundaries should be followed.
  • Communities of interest should be maintained in a single district, and attempts should be made to avoid splitting neighborhoods.
  • Councilmember districts should be composed of whole voting precincts. Where this is not possible or practicable, districts should be drawn considering county election precincts. Avoid splitting census blocks unless necessary.
  • Although it is recognized that existing districts will have to be altered to reflect new population distribution in the City, any districting plan should be based on existing districts.
  • Districts must be configured so that they are relatively equal in total population according to the 2020 federal census. In no event should the total population deviation between the largest and the smallest district exceed ten percent as compared to the ideal precinct size.
  • The districts should be compact and composed of contiguous territory. Compactness may contain a functional, as well as a geographical, dimension.
  • Consideration may be given to the preservation of incumbent-constituency relations by recognition of the residence of incumbents and their history in representing certain areas.
  • The plan should be narrowly tailored to avoid racial gerrymandering in violation of Shaw v. Reno.
  • Each district should contain roughly the same number of people;
  • Easily identifiable geographic boundaries should be followed.
  • Communities of interest should be maintained in a single district, and attempts should be made to avoid splitting neighborhoods.
  • Councilmember districts should be composed of whole voting precincts. Where this is not possible or practicable, districts should be drawn considering county election precincts. Avoid splitting census blocks unless necessary.
  • Although it is recognized that existing districts will have to be altered to reflect new population distribution in the City, any districting plan should be based on existing districts.
  • Districts must be configured so that they are relatively equal in total population according to the 2020 federal census. In no event should the total population deviation between the largest and the smallest district exceed ten percent as compared to the ideal precinct size.
  • The districts should be compact and composed of contiguous territory. Compactness may contain a functional, as well as a geographical, dimension.
  • Consideration may be given to the preservation of incumbent-constituency relations by recognition of the residence of incumbents and their history in representing certain areas.
  • The plan should be narrowly tailored to avoid racial gerrymandering in violation of Shaw v. Reno.

https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/faq

Q: Who is my representative; where can I find information about the legislative district that I live in?

A: In Who Represents Me? enter an address to obtain information on the representative, senator, or member of Congress who represents that address. Additional information about the district is available on that website.

Q: Where can I find a more detailed map of my district?

A: DistrictViewer provides the ability to view maps interactively. The further you zoom in, the more map features you see.

Q: What if I have further questions?

A: If you have further questions you may contact, David Kees, Executive Assistant to the City Manager at 972-780-5007.