New map gives city councilmembers another option with redistricting deadline approaching

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Back in February, Mayor Sandy Stimpson first introduced his redistricting proposal which would increase the percentage of black voters in District 7 to about 51% which some argued wasn’t enough to give voters the chance to elect a candidate of their choosing.

“The election of that individual of choice meant that their had to be an appropriate number of voting age population,” said Beverley Cooper with Stand Up Mobile.

Since then, a coalition of community groups introduced their own map which would increase that percentage to 53%. Now city council members William Carroll, Ben Reynolds and Cory Penn have introduced their own map.

“It still shows 53%. The difference is that it doesn’t break up the Springhill community divide it,” said District 1 City Councilman Cory Penn.

District 1 City Councilman Cory Penn says they started developing this map after hearing concerns from residents during council and community meetings over the last several months.

“Anytime we hear as council members or for me anyway I want to listen and I want to bring solutions so I believe this is a solution to everyone’s concerns and I feel it’s the best solution,” said Penn.

Beverley Cooper with Stand Up Mobile says the map is a step in the right direction.

“Just the fact that they put the work in our opinion was really an important step,” added Cooper.

With the deadline looming there are some concerns about how next week’s vote will go.

“If there are concerns or considerations on the part of the community as well as the councilors that we’re at a point where this is the 9th hour and we can only say do the right thing,” said Cooper.

This newest map will be introduced as an ordinance during tomorrow’s city council meeting with the vote scheduled to take place on August 9th which is three days before the deadline. Any map will need at least five votes to be made official. If the council can’t reach five votes then the mayor’s map will go into effect.

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