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Decatur City Commission to discuss redistricting

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Decatur City Commission to discuss redistricting

Decatur City Hall.
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Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Monday, Oct. 3, for a work session at 6:30 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. The regular meeting will be held in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, as well as Zoom.

The work session will focus on the employee equity team and the city’s equity action plan.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the agenda, click here.

This meeting will be held in-person. Members of the public wishing to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting may attend the meeting in one of two ways:

1. Attend in-person by coming to Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St.

2. Register in advance at https://zoom.us/j/91485674317. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

NOTE – This meeting will utilize virtual meeting technology. We cannot guarantee it will operate as planned. If your participation must be a matter of public record, attend the meeting in person or email your comments to City Manager Andrea Arnold at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3rd.

Members of the public may also view the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

During the regular meeting, the city commission will discuss an update on redistricting. There is enough of a difference in the population of the city commission and Decatur School Board districts to require redistricting. The voting districts must meet the one person-one vote requirement, City Manager Andrea Arnold wrote in a memo.

“The concept is that districts within a political entity not be so disproportionately populated as to diminish the voting strength of any of the citizens. i.e., The voting strength of citizens in one district should not be greater than the voting strength of citizens in another district just because there are fewer people in one district enjoying the same amount of representation compared to a more populated district,” Arnold said.

If the population deviation from the ideal district population is over 10% it means redistricting is needed. The city’s ideal district population is 12,464 and the total deviation is currently 11.41%, based on the 2020 Census.

After meeting with the State Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, the city has proposed districts with a total deviation of 0.16%, or a difference of 20 people.

“The proposed district map extends District 2 east along existing boundaries of East Ponce de Leon Avenue and East Howard Avenue from N. McDonough Street to N. Candler Street,” Arnold said. “By doing this, the District 1 population would be reduced by 701 for a total of 12,474 and the District 2 population would increase by 701 for a total of 12,454.”

The city commission will first adopt the amended maps on Nov. 7 and the final adoption of the districts will be on Nov. 21.

The city commission will also consider substituting gender-neutral pronouns in the city’s charter. The city contracted with Municode in March 2021 to review Decatur’s code of ordinances for use of gendered language and provide recommended modifications “as part of its efforts to support equity and inclusion in the community,” City Clerk Meredith Roark wrote in a memo.

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