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Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin announces that the redistricting process for city council is beginning....City Council will be reduced for the 2025 election for mayor and city council per the 2020 Census... By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio'

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Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin

 

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor, associate publisher


CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland City Council has selected Triad Research Group as the external group to lead and determine recommendations for its upcoming redistricting process, Council President Blaine Griffin announced via a press release Thursday to

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader.

 

City council will lose two council seats, dropping it from 17 members to 15, Griffin said.

 

The redistricting process has proved to be controversial in the past as council members at issue were forced to run against council colleagues.

 

"Two of our primary goals are to have natural boundaries and to keep neighborhoods together," said Griffin, councilman for Ward 6, which includes Fairfax, Larchmere, Little Italy, Woodland Hills, and parts of Buckeye-Shaker, University Circle, North Broadway, Slavic Village and Union-Miles."Community involvement will also play a key role in redistricting. We are eager to begin the work now to allow us time to get this right – and deliver maps that accurately reflect the needs of Cleveland's diverse neighborhoods."

 

Cleveland reached a population peak of 914,000 in 1950. But by the 1960s the economy had slowed, and residents fled to the suburbs. Crosstown bussing and the now defunct schools desegregation case of the 1980s and 1990s furthered White flight to suburbia.

 

The 2020 Census reveals a current city population of roughly 362,000, down by some 10,000 since 2010.

 

Currently the 17-member city council consists of eight Whites, one Hispanic and eight Blacks who represent wards on the majority Black city's largely Black east side with community activists concerned that Black leadership in the city dwindles each time redistricting takes place.

 

The Triad team is led by Bob Dykes, a long-time data analyst and statistician. He will be joined by Dr. Mark Salling, a  demographer and former Cleveland State University Professor of Urban Affairs as well as Kent Whitley, an urban planner, political consultant, and organizer.

 

Dykes has nearly 40 years of research and consulting experience and previously served as Council's redistricting consultant on three occasions, first in 1981 when the council was reduced  from 33 to 21 , and later dropped from 21 to 19, and in 2013 it dropped from 19 members to 17 after the election that year.

City Council must drop two seats  by 2025 as a result of population loss reported in the 2020 Census, from the current 17 seats, Griffin said.

Cleveland voters, in 2008, approved  a charter amendment that calls for the number of wards to be determined by population and mandates that wards be odd-numbered, comprising approximately 25,000 people, and not exceed a maximum of 25 wards or a minimum of 11 wards.

The City Charter mandates that City Council complete a redistricting process based on the results of the Decennial Census, but due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, data needed by states and local governments for redistricting from the 2020 Census was not available until August 2021, Griffin said. This delay, he said, prevented the city council from undertaking the redistricting process in 2020 – which would have impacted the 2021 municipal elections.

 

City Council leadership is now engaging in the process to ensure potential candidates and residents are aware of the boundaries well before the 2025 municipal elections.

Over the summer, Triad Research Group will meet with council members to discuss neighborhoods and natural boundaries. Triad will also conduct research, including but not limited to reviewing Census track reviews and compiling and analyzing GIS data to help draw boundaries.

 

Potential redistricting maps will then be shared with community members in advance of council  taking a vote on the  proposed map. Additional details about the community involvement process and opportunities for resident feedback will be shared in the near future, Griffin said, and a council vote on the issue is expected by the end of the 2024 calendar year.

The filing deadline for potential candidates for 2025 city council elections is June 11, 2025 and the primary election for wards with more than two candidates is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2025. The  general election for mayor and city council seats is scheduled for Nov 4, 2025.

 

Mayor Justin Bibb, the city's fourth Black mayor and its second youngest, has already announced that he will seek reelection to a second four-year term in 2025.

 

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

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