Gainesville city commissioners discuss redrawing district lines

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -A month after Governor DeSantis vacated Alachua County school board member Diyonne Mcgraw’s seat because she lives outside her district, Gainesville city commissioners started the process of redrawing the city’s districts.

A new software was introduced at the meeting that will allow residents to submit their own district maps for consideration.

According to commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, a timeline proposed in the meeting agenda is not the timeline commissioners are using for the time being. He said an updated timeline will be posted in a few months.

This meeting is commonly scheduled following the census, but the recent census numbers are delayed due to Covid-19.

Commissioner Hayes-Santos said he still has a time frame in mind to set the new district lines.

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“The goal of this is to have an open and transparent process, having the public be able to submit maps that they think are fair districts as well. And then have those new districts up for the fall 2022 elections is my goal,” Hayes-Santos said.

Mayor Lauren Poe said that this brings the community in on the process and can give everyone a voice who wants one.

“The value is going to have is making it available for as many as our neighbors that want to present maps, tell us why they think it works, and then we just - cause we’re all ultimately the ones that are legally obligated to make the decision,” Mayor Poe explained.

Hayes-Santos clarified that redrawing the districts in the city is not related to the current school board controversy surrounding Diyonne Mcgraw. However, he explained that it’s important for officials to live in the district they are elected, because it is imperative to have fair representation in the community.

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