Peoria's redistricting process is in effect

Posted 11/8/21

Census 2020 has brought a redistricting process to the city of Peoria.

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Peoria's redistricting process is in effect

Posted

Census 2020 has brought a redistricting process to the city of Peoria.

With a large increase in population comes a series of decisions by Peoria city government that are required to reorganize how citizens are represented with each district, and some city residents are even getting a closer look at how the process works.

According to the 2020 census, Peoria has seen a significant increase in population. It is a federal requirement to start a redistricting process following a census, but due to COVID-19, that process faced delays.

City workers and residents are now deciding how they should redistribute their council boundaries by the end of 2021.

Peoria has six districts in total: Acacia, Ironwood, Mesquite, Palo Verde, Pine and Willow.

Peoria’s new population is 190,985, meaning there has been an increase of about 35,000 since the 2010 Census.

Mesquite district, the largest in Peoria, has become the most populated section compared with the other five sections.

Since North Peoria has grown in population, its district boundaries are likley to change the most.

This will bring all districts back to equally distributed.

Most likely the five of the six districts will gain 6,000 people while Mesquite will lose around 15,000 people, to create an evenly distributed city, officials said.

The public plays an important role in the redistricting process. On the Peoria website it shows a detailed video describing how people can get more involved in this process.

It states that, “Peoria residents will be able to create and submit their own district maps to the city for consideration.”

This opportunity allows the public to be involved and help the government make important decisions that affect all Peoria residents. The redistricting committee is also holding open houses -- virtual or in-person meetings for even more community engagement. Since this process started later than usual they are allowing more people to get involved and have a say before the upcoming deadline by the end of 2021.

Redistricting is a necessity for the city of Peoria after the 2020 census because it is important for each district to be evenly distributed. This process is a good way for the city to be divided properly with equal populations in each district.

Mayor Cathay Carlat has asked residents to get more involved in the process.

“I encourage all citizens to become involved in the important redistricting process," she said.

Carlat added that she is excited for this citizen-centric project that gives voters a voice in the democratic process.

She is keeping the public informed and showing them the importance of staying up to date during this process. The residents of Peoria are a huge part of the democratic process since they elect the city council members, she said.

“The boundaries will change for all people but where and how remains to be seen,” Spokeswoman Kristina Perez said.

Editor's note: Madison Vega is a student at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Jounalism and Mass Communication.

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