Hundreds Pack Dallas City Hall For Redistricting Meeting

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –  Community members packed the Dallas City Council chambers Saturday for a special meeting to discuss a redistricting plan that will carve up the city’s 14 council districts.

About 75 residents signed up to voice their opinion on roughly seven different versions of the map. City officials even had to open an overflow room because of how many residents showed up.

The hottest trigger point Saturday, though, has remained the drawing of the city’s majority black districts. Even four current black council members have been divided on the issue.

But they are all fighting for maps that will maintain four districts with a majority of black voters so that their representation won’t be diminished.

“My goal is to have four winnable seats. That’s what I’m trying to do,” District 8 Councilman Tennell Atkins said.

Because of the large crowd, the mayor limited each speaker to one minute at the podium, which angered some who felt they were being silenced.

“Mr. Mayor, I’m disappointed. I’m not going to tolerate it,” said public speaker Roy Williams.

Many who spoke discussed the importance of keeping neighborhoods with similar interests and identities intact. There were also accusations tossed around, alleging council members are being motivated by their desire to keep their districts.

Within a matter of weeks, though, the council will have to vote through one map, which will then be sent to the Department of Justice for final approval.

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  • darrell

    im not trying to be racist here and i understand the black communities concerns about possibly loosing districts while hispanics gain districts. the change in district representation is caused by population shift over the last 10 years. many blacks, because of jobs, improved finanacial status or other reasons have escaped the inner cities and moved to the suburbs or other cities out of the area. you cant expect to have the same percentage of representation with fewer people to represent. i had thought all these years that efforts of black community leaders was to improve the lot and status of black citizens. has that changed? was their intent to keep them restricted to their control so that they could maintain their power base out of greed or selfserving interests? sounds to me like thats what the black leadership expected to happen. so which is, are you trying to improve the situation for blacks or are you trying to keep them down and under control for your own political purposes?

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  • Glenn15

    Right on target. In fact, there are more African-American council persons today then ever. Of course, many are in the suburbs. Because of the shift from the inner cities to the suburbs, many suburbs now have African-American mayors and council persons. You will never hear this from the inner city African-Americans fighting for four districts. It does not matter though. If the four district seats are held by African-Americans this 10 years wait until the next and there will be no-way you will have 4 districts. Fact is, South Oak Cliff will be prominently Latino in less than 20.

  • Shelly Zimmermann

    can super man really stop a bullet?

    • darrell

      shelly, how could not know the truth of the question you ask? its relative to dynamic deminsional shifts associated with airfoil design vs resistance upon the sub-atomic elements. depending on the core temperature of the subject host object we can calculate the energy/mass ration needed to deduce the byproduct of the angle. see, there is your answer.. so simple.

  • gross

    Better bring lots of hand sanitizer to clean yourself from all the slime:

  • Bill Betzen

    The real elephant in the room yesterday at City Hall was a chart that was handed out to all 350+ people in attendance. You can find it at

    It showed 15 critical numbers for each of the 11 maps being considered. Those included compactness as measured by perimenter of the average districts and the ethnic distributions. Sadly it appeared that council members wanted to avoid the comparisons presented in that chart. Why would they not want to see which plans really provide the maximum minority representation?

  • darrell

    Bill, good chart.
    other than the VAP percentage (voting age population percentage) which is less in the proposed 3 african american districts as opposed to the 5 hispanic ones there isnt a lot of difference. without actual proposed district maps overlayed over the breakdown of population from the 2010 census can you make an accurate judgement on the fairness of population distribution to determine each district.

  • Ellen Childress

    Who is actually “minority” now? Are Hispanics minority? Are African Americans? Asians? White? Native Americans? Who? How is it defined? For what purposes.
    I have a dream . . . . that some morning we will all wake to find that we have become one beautiful, creamy latte color while we slept ! No more divisiveness over color ! But then there is culture, isn’t there? Or religion? Or politics? Or wealth? The human race is doomed to fight over everything it would appear. And I grow weary of watching the battles.

  • James P.

    What about people groups? When will we as a city realize that Race is prehistoric? People groups is where we are at now. We can no longer collect correct and true data based on the color of someones skin. However we can collect facts and valid information based on that persons language, residency and other common traits.

    • darrell

      i have tried 14 different times to give you an example of why that isnt possible. for some reason the censors of this particular article have their head up their (ass) and keep censoring it out for no explainable reason. lets just say you cant do it because chaos would soon happen resulting in deaths and riots as the city burned around you.

  • sandra crenshaw

    Bill thegoal of the voting rights act is for disadvantaged population to ELECT persons of their choice. Your figures include non citizens. You cannot determine if the population has the strength to VOTE if the population. If you drew your districts on like neighborhoods, they would result in the same percentages plus or minus.
    I resent your unwillingness to allow the disadvantaged communities make their own self determination as to where they want to be and the white poplulation elect who they want to elect. That is democracy. What you are trying to do is expressedly prohibited by Congress redistricitng in proportion to a percentage of VAP that includes noncitizens.

    • darrell

      sandra, let me fill you in on a few facts about those numbers. first, they come from the census conducted by the federal government for 2010, not bill.
      More importantly, Obama violated the constitution again by removing control of the census from the Department of Commerce, where it is supposed to be, to White House Control.
      That white house in turn ordered all households counted disregarding citizenship all together. of course this is political to create an inflated minority representation of mostly hispanics. GREAT FOR GETTING VOTES. also, conduct of the census was turned over intitialy to the group known as ACORN.
      the 2010 census is illegal. it should have been challenged.
      the intention of the obama administration and the elite of the DNC is to continue with their implementation of Soviet style Socialism with a Greek style Liberal agenda.
      neither worked in russia, and its failing in greece.
      hows that hope and change thing looking now?

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