Redistricting workshop held in East Tampa
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02/25/10 Rob Piccirillo
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Chuck Smith, Rob Piccirillo, John Greene


photo by Ben Coletti

Last night, the Hillsborough County Planning Commission held a public workshop on City Council redistricting in East Tampa. The purpose of the workshop was to give citizens the opportunity to analyze five newly proposed re-drawn city districts and engage public opinion.

Like so many other cities, Tampa’s population is ever-changing. People move in. Neighborhoods grow. People move out, leading to less people in a given area. This is why, under Florida Law, districts must be redrawn every four years. Economic Research Manager for the Tampa Planning Commission Suzi Dieringer discussed her role on the Tampa Planning Commission and the purpose of redistricting every four years.

Dieringer says there is a science behind redistricting, in order to ensure the new districts are redrawn as equally as possible.

Dieringer says the second thing they did after coming up with five alternatives was to look at the ethnic and minority data for each alternative to make sure they weren’t causing any regression in the minority populations.

Dieringer says that once she has collected all the data, she will summarize it, and then present the entire package to the planning commission at its March 8th public hearing. She says the commission is free to adopt whichever plan they think is best; however, she will make a recommendation based on the math and the public opinion. The process then moves to the supervisor of elections where the redrawn districts are made official. Tampa citizen John Green asked: How will redistricting affect voter registration?

If you would like to know more about redistricting, you can attend the Tampa Planning Commission’s next workshop, which will be held this Saturday at 11am at the Seminole Heights Branch Library, 4711 Central Avenue. Or, you can voice your opinion at the commission’s public hearing on March 8th.

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