PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan.
26, 2011) – The city will host a series of meetings in late January and
early February to encourage public involvement in redrawing Peoria’s City
After each census, the
city is required to adjust its district boundaries to ensure roughly equal
population in each district. Peoria’s rapid growth during the last decade
guarantees that the districts will look much different than they do now.
City officials will
hold a public meeting in each district on the following schedule:
Acacia District –
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., City Hall Pine Room, 8401 W. Monroe St.
Pine District –
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sun Valley Elementary School
library, 8361 N. 95th Ave.
Palo Verde District –
Monday, Feb. 7, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Oasis Elementary School library, 7841 W.
Willow District –
Monday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Oakwood Elementary School library,
12900 N. 71st Ave.
Ironwood District –
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Desert Harbor Elementary School library,
15585 N. 91st Ave.
Mesquite District –
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunrise Mountain Library, 21109 N.
At each meeting, city
officials will discuss the redistricting process and ask for residents'
thoughts. There also will be time for questions and answers. Folks who are
unsure about which is their district can consult an interactive map at
Peoria and its
demographic consultant are using input received at these meetings, as well as
from stakeholder interviews and citizen kits, to develop alternatives they can
present to citizens in April or May – and to the City Council in June. The city
must send its preferred option to the federal Justice Department for approval.
“We encourage and
desire citizen participation in this process,” says City Attorney Steve Kemp.
“This is a very open and transparent process in Peoria, and we encourage people
to get involved.”
Districts must be
contiguous and compact, and they must keep together communities with strong
identities, such as Desert Harbor or Vistancia. These considerations present
some challenges for Peoria, given the city’s length from north to south and its
narrow neck between Bell and Beardsley roads.
Under the Voting Rights
Act of 1965, Arizona is one of 17 states in which redistricting decisions also
must protect the ability of minority voters to influence the electoral process.
The Acacia District, for example, is a minority-influence district, which means
city officials will have to demonstrate that they have done all they can to
retain the same proportion of Hispanic residents in the district. This could be
a significant challenge, considering that many in Acacia’s Hispanic population
have prospered and moved on over the years.
plan is unlikely to receive approval from the Justice Department until late this
year. Council packets for the 2012 election, which are expected to be made
available in mid-2011, will be based upon the Council-approved redistricting
plan, even though that plan is subject to change. City Council seats for the
Ironwood, Mesquite and Willow districts are up for election in 2012.
Residents who would
like to have their names added to a “Citizen Redistricting Contact List,” or who
would like more information about the process, can contact the City Clerk’s
Office (623-773-7340 or
firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit