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Providence City Council Ward redistricting hearings start today

Ward Redistricting

The Committee on Ward Boundaries will hold the first of four public hearings February 14th at 6pm at Nathan Bishop Middle School.

The Committee is seeking public comment on the proposed redistricting of Providence. Ward boundaries are evaluated every ten years, following the decennial census, so that the fifteen wards accurately reflect changes in the city’s population. A map of proposed ward boundary changes may be viewed as a .pdf online here. Current boundaries are outlined in red, and the proposed boundaries are colored as indicated by the map legend.

All hearings will begin at 6pm and are scheduled is as follows:

Both oral and/or written testimony is welcomed from members of the public. Comments also may be submitted no later than February 22nd to: Committee on Ward Boundaries, c/o City Clerk, 25 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903.

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4 Responses to Providence City Council Ward redistricting hearings start today

  1. Jef Nickerson February 24, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    GoLocalProv: Tempers Flare Over Providence Redistricting Proposal

    I don’t understand this:

    According to some residents, the new boundaries would devastate the South Side of the city. Darrell Lee, a developer from the South Side who has been an outspoken critic of the plan, said his neighborhood would be cut out of any economic development opportunities arising from the 195 property, even though Sanchez would keep the neighborhood surrounded by the hospital.

    Why, why would the South Side get cut out of economic development opportunities (and be “devastated!!!”) if their Councilor no longer represents the Jewelry District? Could it be that their Councilor won’t be able to do any Quid Pro Quo for an area he no longer represents? In a functioning democracy, I don’t see how this could matter, in a city run by machine politics, I guess I do.

    Shouldn’t we be more concerned about the idea (real or imagined) that a neighborhood and her people will get shut out if their Councilor loses control over a geographic area than about the Councilor actually losing that geographic area?

    Furthermore, if the 3 East Side Wards lost population, shouldn’t we be thinking maybe about having fewer East Side Wards?

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with Yurdin’s Ward spreading to cover all of Downtown, in fact, I’ve advocated for Downtown to be covered by one Ward rather than the four that split it up now, but expanding Ward 1 doesn’t really solve the issue of Downtown being governed from elsewhere.

    I imagine that Yurdin’s loyalties will still be centered in Fox Point and that gives undue influence to Fox Pointers over the Downtown. If the voters in Fox Point don’t like something Downtown, and Yurdin wants to keep his seat, then he’ll need to bend to the Fox Pointers wishes, regardless of what people Downtown or in the rest of the City want.

    I’d prefer to see a Ward centered on the Downtown that grabs at the periphery of Downtown until it is large enough to be a Ward. So the Ward would be something like all of Downtown, the Jewelry District, Capital Center, and the Hospitals. Then grab areas like the (as I call it) Near West Side along the highway, South Main/Water Street (since the East Side Wards need to shrink), up towards University Heights, etc., until it was Ward sized.

    Really, what I would like to see is the whole Ward system re-evaluated from the ground up. Less Wards, at-large wards, etc.

  2. Jason February 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    While I agree with your plan for Downtown, that will never happen. It would essentially require getting rid of someone else’s district (as those these things are “owned” by current representatives). Plus, the political power required for something like that basically can’t happen until there was a single representative. It’s all very circular and ridiculous.

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