PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council members will be breaking a sweat this summer, even though they’re on recess until September. It’s because city lawyers told them late this week that they must redistrict pronto, to reflect shifts in population.
This is an exercise that happens every ten years, after census data comes out. The City Charter requires that Council redraw boundaries by September 9th, so that each of ten councilmanic districts has about 10% of the population, or roughly 152,000 people.
Some, like districts in West and Northwest Philadelphia have lost population. The 8th district is down 10,000. Eastern neighborhoods, from South Philly up through the Northeast, have gained. The 1st district is up more than 15,000 residents.
Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez saw gains in her 7th district, which zig-zags across Hispanic neighborhoods like North Fifth Street as well as white neighborhoods along Roosevelt Boulevard in the lower Northeast.
“We want to protect, based on the legal definition of redistricting, one person one vote. We want to protect neighborhoods,” Quinones-Sanchez says.
She says right now, communities like Oxford Circle are represented by three Council people.
Reported By Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio