What Is Redistricting & Why Is It Important?
Redistricting for the City of Wichita is the process of making revisions to City Council boundaries. Redistricting is important in order to help ensure that each City Council District represents roughly similar numbers of residents. It also is the process of making changes to the City Council District boundaries, and may result in areas of the City being included in a different Council District than they were previously.
How & When Does City of Wichita Redistricting Occur?
Charter Ordinance 173, adopted in 1998, requires the City Council to appoint a Commission of Electors every ten years in July, following the release of census results. The Commission's task is to examine the current plan of City Council Districts and make district boundary revision recommendations to the Council by September 30, 2022. The City Council must reestablish district boundaries, taking into account the Commission's recommendations, by December 31, 2022.
The Charter Ordinance does not state specific requirements regarding the size and composition of the Commission of Electors. These matters are left to the discretion of the Council. The ordinance does require that the Commission "have at least one elector from each district." In 2012, 2002, 1998, and 1992, City Council Members made one appointment each to the Commission. The Mayor made a seventh appointment, who served as the Commission's Chair and reported its final recommendation to the City Council. In 1990, the Council appointed fourteen members.
The Charter Ordinance requires that boundary lines for each City Council District be established in a manner that:
- Approximately one-sixth of the City's total population is allocated within each district, with no district having more or less than a five percentage point (5%) deviation from the one-sixth population figure
- Reasonably compact areas in each district are maintained
- Election precinct lines set by the County Election Commissioner are followed
- Use of any partisan data is avoided
- The integrity of "broadly cohesive areas of interest" is maintained
How Do Wichita Council Districts Compare?
The City has continued to increase in geographic size and population since the 2010 Census results were used for the 2012 redistricting. The 2020 Census shows a total City population of 397,532, an increase of 15,164 from 382,368 in 2010. The target population to balance every district evenly, therefore, would be one-sixth of the total, or 66,255. In order for the five % deviation standard to be met, the population of each district must fall within the range of 60,542 to 69,568.
The following table indicates the degree to which the current districts comply with the Charter Ordinance standard. Only District IV falls within the target range set by the ordinance. The districts range from a low of 95% of the target in District III to a high of 107% in District II.
|Percent of Target Population
The Commission of Electors will propose revisions to current district boundaries that provide an appropriate population balance among districts and that take into account the requirements of the Charter Ordinance. It may also consider other factors such as natural boundaries, the boundaries of local neighborhood associations, the likely magnitude and direction of future growth over the next ten years, and the manner in which the core area and Central Business District should be represented.
2022 Commission of Electors
The City Council must appoint a Commission of Electors every ten years, following the census. The Commission's task is to "examine the plan of districts" and to recommend district boundary revisions to the Council. Each city council member appoints a representative from their district and the Mayor also has an appointee. Look up your Council District.
|Council Member Bryan Frye, District V
|Joseph "Tex" Dozier
|Council Member Brandon Johnson, District I
|Council Member Maggie Ballard, District VI
|Mayor Brandon Whipple
|Council Member Mike Hoheisel, District III
|Vice Mayor Becky Tuttle, District II
|Council Member Jeff Blubaugh, District IV