Madison City Council members met Thursday to discuss the 2022-23 redistricting plan. Council members on the Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee recommended Concept Map 7a which would keep all University of Wisconsin residence halls in District 8.
The Redistricting Committee held the meeting to address concerns about the newly-proposed maps that would have split up District 8 which currently contains the UW Residence Halls and many UW student apartments.
According to District 8 Alderperson Juliana Bennett, the previously proposed maps misrepresent the student population.
“These maps are by no means acceptable to representing UW-Madison students,” Bennett said in reference to previous proposals.
For example, Concept Map 5a would put the Lakeshore Residence Halls in District 5, splitting the student vote into two districts.
According to the Cap Times, redistricting happens once every 10 years following the census. The boundaries of districts that elect public officials are redrawn to reflect changes in population.
Committee Chair Justice Castañeda said the list of communities includes college students, existing neighborhoods and neighborhood associations.
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The council discussed the effects of redistricting on students of color as well.
According to a blog post from Bennett, splitting up the UW student population does not create more opportunities for people of color to be represented on the city council.
Bennett said she preferred either Concept 7a or 7b, along with other elected officials and committee members.
The Redistricting Committee will submit a final draft of the alder/ward district plan to the Common Council by Oct. 12.
A list of all proposed concept maps can be found here.