Redistricting Petition CIty of Dallas
CItizens of Dallas
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Dear Department of Justice:
On behalf of the undersigned, please enter into the Minority Report the following concerns that we have regarding the redistricting map that the Dallas City Council has approved for submission.
The citizens of Dallas were asked to provide input in what we were assured would be an open and transparent process. Taking this invitation at face value, we attended public forums and expressed our thoughts regarding redistricting. The repeated preference of citizens was for compact districts that unite communities of interest. Now that the process has run its course, we are presented with a fait accompli in the form of a redistricting map that not only ignores citizen input but also that of the Redistricting Commission. The Mayors private bargaining out of the public eye and immune from public input has resulted in a map that fails to meet either the needs of the citizens of the City of Dallas or the requirements of the United States Department of Justice.
With community assets being separated from their residents, the entire fabric of Oak Cliffs communities are being decimated. An egregious example occurs in the heart of Oak Cliff where, in the Wynnewood area, neighborhoods are districted apart both from each other and from their shopping center. Virtually across the street from Wynnewood Village, Kiestwood neighborhoods are split away from Kiest Park and joined instead with the VA Hospital. This deplorable indifference to considering and respecting our communities of interest occurs throughout District 3, as far north as Pinnacle Park and as far south as Mountain Creek.
The Voting Rights Act should be applied citywide, and not exclusively to southern Dallas where we are perpetually being saddled with all of Dallas not-in-my-backyard challenges. Recent examples are Oak Cliff fire trucks being allocated elsewhere and the DHA attempt to front load Permanent Supportive Housing applicants into Cliff Manor. Why isnt North Dallas District 10 that contains Hamilton Park and a sizeable Black voting age population, redistricted into a winnable Black seat? Why isnt Northwest Dallas that contains a substantial Hispanic voting age population, redistricted to contain a winnable Hispanic seat? Dallass diversity is citywide and redistricting should reflect that reality.
The DOJ has filed suit challenging the redistricting map cobbled together by the State legislature. The Dallas City Council has approved a redistricting map that includes such substantial defects that there is no reason to think it will be immune from DOJ challenge. In addition to shattering public trust in the redistricting process, adopting that map in the face of the above-mentioned defects will potentially cost the City of Dallas massive legal fees to defend it at a time when the City is cash-strapped.