Earlier this week, the City of Austin's Independent Redistricting Commission came into fuller focus. Of 60 qualified applicants, 8 names were randomly chosen to be on a 14-person panel. The following are your first commissioners:
Carmen Llanes Pulido
Read more to find out what's next to mamke sure we have single member district elections November of next year.The partial commission will have its first meeting next Friday, May 31. It's first order of business: selecting the rest of the commission. It is up to these 8 to flesh out the rest of the commission, based on the other 52 pre-selected qualified applicants and a group of diversity considerations including race, geography, sex, and student-status.
Some of diversity is already selected through that random drawing. Five of Eight are female and Six of Eight are Hispanic. Only one is classified as white and one is American Indian. Geographically speaking, five of eight live in Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4. Two live in Precinct 1 and one lives in Precinct 2.
There are currently no African American or Asian members of the panel, so one can expect that deficiency to be remedied in the remaining six selections. There's also not a student, so it is possible that a student will be selected, too, especially if Travis County precincts are used as a metric for geographical diversity — both students on the list of 60 live in Precint 3, which currently has no members.
There's no official date set as a goal for selecting the remaining members of the commission. If older proposed schedules are any indication, however, that's likely to be accomplished in the next couple months.
A final redistricting plan would probably be adopted sometime between December 2013 and April 2014. Elections are set for November 4, 2014.
(Also of note, Redistricting Commissioner Rachel Farris used to write one mean blog about politics.)