Q: Why does the City of Mobile have to change council district boundaries?
Redistricting occurs after each decennial census so that political representation reflects population growth and change. The last redistricting effort took place in 2010. The Code of Alabama 1975, Section 11-44C-90 sets forth redistricting procedures that include a process where the City must review and, if needed, redraw the district boundaries based on the 2020 census population with the purpose of balancing the population of each district.
Over the past 10 years, Mobile has lost population and seen a steady migration to the west. As a result, the districts as they exist today do not have an equal population and must be redrawn.
Q: What data does the City use for redistricting?
Data from the Federal Census Bureau is published after each census and used for redistricting. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Census was delayed and extended on several occasions. This also resulted in the redistricting process starting later than it might have otherwise. After the 2020 Census data was received, Mayor Sandy Stimpson's administration began working to put together a first draft of the proposed new district lines. In addition to the City's legal staff, assistance has been provided by Jim Rossler - an experienced attorney who oversaw Mobile's last two redistricting efforts
Q: What is the next step in the process?
Under the Zoghby Act - the state law that established Mobile's current form of government - Mayor Stimpson's office is required to present a final draft of the proposed new district boundaries to the members of the Mobile City Council no later than February 12, 2022. At that point, the Council will have six months to gather public input and make any changes to the draft they see fit. To approve those changes, the council must have a supermajority vote of at least five (5) members. If no changes are sought or a supermajority can't be reached, the new district lines in the administration's final draft will be adopted.
Q: When will the new district boundaries be in place?
Once a final redistricting plan has been approved, the new district lines will be in place for the City of Mobile's next municipal election, which is scheduled for Aug. 26, 2025. Council members seated during that election will represent the recently redrawn districts.
Q: Why is the City redrawing the current districts if annexation is a consideration in the future?
The current redistricting process is underway because, by law, it must follow the timeline established in the Zoghby Act. Mayor Sandy Stimpson's administration will also be presenting a proposal to the Mobile City Council to annex properties to the west of Mobile's existing corporate limits sometime during the first 100 Days of his current term. If the City Council approves the annexation proposal and the affected residents vote to join the City of Mobile, we will have to go through another redistricting process.
Q: Does the proposed redistricting plan comply with federal and state laws?
Yes. The Redistricting Plan proposed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson's administration complies with all applicable federal and state laws including the Voting Rights Act.
Q: Does this redistricting plan affect school zones or polling precincts?
Public school zones in our area are set by the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners and will not be affected by this redistricting effort. Polling locations for municipal, statewide, and national elections are set by the Mobile City Council or the Mobile County Probate Court and will not be impacted.
Q: Will public input be considered?
Absolutely. We have created this dashboard specifically for public input on the City of Mobile's redistricting effort. It includes a form to submit feedback, the latest drafts of the proposed district boundaries and important information about upcoming community meetings. It also includes an interactive map that allows anyone to view and compare the existing council districts, the proposed council districts and any relevant data about Mobile's population and racial demographics.
Q: How can I get involved?
You can check this dashboard for regular updates and follow along with the progress reports in the nightly and weekly newsletters written by Mayor Sandy Stimpson and the seven members of the Mobile City Council. You can sign up for any of those newsletters by clicking here. We will also be providing periodic updates on the City of Mobile's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this feedback form to share your comments.
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