CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, the City of Corpus Christi City Council held a special session talking about redistricting, or drawing district lines based on population changes from the recent census. That could change which incumbents residents will vote for or against in the upcoming midterms. City council invited residents to speak about changes that could affect them.
Julie Rogers was in attendance on Monday, and said what’s most important to her are communities of interest, especially those who live in opportunity zones, or lower income places with a smaller population where investors are encouraged to build businesses.
“There are people on those maps….it’s not just lines,” Rogers said.
District 5 Councilman Gil Hernandez, who serves the South Side of Corpus Christi, said they’re proposing a new map of districts based on communities of interest, such as those who live in the same school district.
He said every district should have about 63,000 residents, but since his district has about 77,000, he is losing some voting precincts. Some of those include Precinct 17, which is behind Lowe’s; Precinct 119, which is around the country club; and Precinct 32, which is around Kohl’s.
“I have to lose voting precincts in order to balance it out again,” Hernandez said.
Precinct 17 is being proposed to go to District 4, which is overseen by Greg Smith. He said District 4 could be losing Ocean Drive from Louisiana Avenue to Airline Road, which would go to District 2.
“District 5 and District 4 have grown much more than the other three districts, so as we allocate funds out and different resources on there, the districts need to be in balance by population,” Smith said.
Smith says the map will be done March 8, and they will approve of it on March 22. On March 29 it can be revised if needed.
However, residents like Tim Dowling are afraid the council will draw lines in their favor.
“The other thing they might look at is where are my donors? Are my donors moving to another district?” Dowling said.
The City Council is holding community input sessionsstarting Tuesday to hear about residents’ concerns and individual district sessions starting on Wednesday, beginning with District 2.