The Old Fourth Ward is split into two different Atlanta City Council districts under the latest map being considered by the council as part of its redistricting process.
“Unfortunately we had to divide the Old Fourth Ward into districts 2 and 5 to meet the needed demographics and population shifts,” said Councilman Kwanza Hall, who represents District 2. “We have to adhere to the guidelines of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prevents historically black voting districts from being diluted in terms of their voting strength.”
Hall said most of the Old Fourth Ward would be in his district, with the remainder in a district currently represented by Natalyn Archibong.
“District 2 was a critical issue because its population increased substantially over the last decade, while many other council districts declined,” Hall said. “So we had to determine how to redistrict population among districts that were majority white and others that were majority non-white.”
After holding and several committee meetings on new district boundaries, , thus starting the process all over again.
“Several council members were concerned about the demographic makeup of their redrawn districts,” said Yolanda Adrean, who represents District 8. “This new map makes some great progress in terms of complying with the Voting Rights Act.”
Cities, counties and states are required by law to redraw and adjust their electoral boundaries when a new Census is completed, to reflect new population numbers and demographics.
In order to account for 2010 census data, each of the city’s 12 districts must have a population of 35,000.
City planners developed three maps for consideration. However, on Monday, the council decided to consider its own council-drawn map.
Another public hearing will be held 6 p.m. Monday in Atlanta city council chambers. The council will vote on the maps at a later date, then forward the results to Mayor Kasim Reed for approval. The maps then have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.