City Council Representatives Hold Special Community Mtg to Discuss Redistricting


POSTED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 9:39pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 9:41pm

Its a hot topic in El Paso, City Council has to decide the new district boundaries.
District 3 City Council Representative Emma Acosta and Steve Ortega from District 7 held a joint meeting to hear people's comments. City Council is considering 4 different maps to re-set city district boundaries.
City Representatives Steve Ortega and Emma Acosta came here mostly to listen.

" We want the individuals, the constituents to tell us what they think their boundaries should be," said City Representative Emma Acosta.

" A lot of people don't wanna change the representative, thats a way of life. Things gotta go on," said El Paso resident Ray Mendoza.

No matter what though, there's going to be change.

" People are reluctant to give up their representative that represents them but unfortunately we have to expand the number of residents, and constituents in each district because the city has grown,” said Acosta.

In fact the city has grown by 100,000 people since the 2000 U.S. census. That's at least 20,000 new people for each district.

"We want to take everyone's opinions into consideration," said Acosta.

Still some people are skeptical about the purpose of these meetings.

"City Council does not answer to voters, they do what ever they want," said a constituent.
One resident,a local teacher, said even though constituents are able to speak up, he doesn't understand how City Council will incorporate a person's opinion.

" I'm not so sure that my opinion is gonna be taken into consideration, I'm not exactly sure how they do that,” said Mark Santilli.

Ray Mancera from LULAC prefers map 3.

"It has the smallest deviation 1.4 p% and it also takes the Willows from South El Paso and I think that's gonna be the biggest change because you have the most affluent area in El Paso together currently with the south side of El Paso which is the poorest in the nation which doesn't make sense,” said Mancera.

After all the meetings take place, City Council can tweak certain maps according to what their constituents want, then vote to choose just one, and submit that for approval from the U.S. Justice Department.

The next joint meeting for District 3 and 7 is Wednesday at the San Juan Senior Center at 6:30pm.

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