The proposed ward map for the City of Oklahoma City was released on Tuesday.
In the map below (click for a larger version), the current wards are in color, while the proposed boundaries are outlined in the brownish-black dotted lines.
A lot of the population growth has come in the far northwest part of the city, so you can see Ward 8 (Patrick Ryan in bright green) has been chopped up quite considerably. A chunk of Ward 8 constituents will move into Ward 1 (Gary Marrs; light blue) under the proposed plan. On the eastern side of Ward 8, some residents will move into Ward 7 (Skip Kelly; yellow). Ed Shadid in Ward 2 (pink) will gain some residents in the southwestern part of his ward from Ward 1. He will lose some residents at the northeast end of the ward to Kelly.
Meanwhile, Meg Salyer in Ward 6 (dark blue) and Pete White in Ward 4 (purple) will swap some people on the southern parts of the existing Ward 6. Larry McAtee in Ward 3 (dark green) will lose some residents along Reno Avenue to Gary Marrs in Ward 1.
David Greenwell in Ward 5 (dark red) on the far south side will lose some residents to White and McAtee on the top left and top right of his existing ward.
The city also set a public meeting for discussion on the proposed changes to ward boundaries, which happens once a decade to allocate population fairly across the city.
The public meeting will be at 6 p.m., Aug. 9, in the City Council Chamber on the 3rd Floor of City Hall, 200 N. Walker.
In the meantime, you can leave your comments on the proposed map below.
The Census Bureau has released a new set of state maps that detail some of the recent data from the 2010 Census.
Here’s Oklahoma (click for larger version):
For a PDF of the same map, click here.
You can see other states here.
UPDATE: We have taken down this page with the interactive before/after maps. I apologize for any inconvenience. (8/15/11).
We’re in the home stretch of redistricting in the state House and Senate. I had a story today about the major changes to Senate District 43 that straddles Oklahoma and Cleveland counties.
With the help of Web Editor Nick Tankersley, I came up with a series of sliding redistricting maps on NewsOK that include party voter registration.
(Click on the image to go to the page)
In these maps, purple precincts are competitive. Light blue leans Democratic and dark blue is heavily Democratic. Light red leans Republican, while dark red is heavily Republican. I computed these categories by comparing the percentage-point difference in Republican voter registration to Democratic voter registration in each precinct.
I’ve added some links to this slightly extended and updated version of Sunday’s story on Senate redistricting:
BY PAUL MONIES
Some fast-growing suburbs of Oklahoma City and Tulsa won out in the latest legislative redistricting process that largely protected incumbents in the Senate.
For the first time, the Senate will have a district focused on the fast-growing Hispanic population. The Capitol Hill neighborhood on Oklahoma City’s south side will be part of Democratic Minority Leader Andrew Rice’s downtown district.
Redrawn boundary maps released in the closing weeks of the Legislature will have political implications in elections for the next decade, redistricting experts and lawmakers said.
“This is not a map that was drawn for the convenience of Democratic incumbent lawmakers, but there’s nothing illegal about that. This is politics,” said Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. “You used to have a lot of senate districts come into the suburbs and pick up population and keep the rural lawmakers in place. The polarity has totally flipped now. All these districts are being pulled so deeply into the suburbs that suburban voters can dominate them.”
Republicans command majorities in the House and Senate, but differing approaches to the mapmaking in each chamber were evident last week as the plans were first considered.
At one point, Democrat Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, jokingly suggested senators could find a mentor in the House to resolve problems with the Senate map.
“In the House, people sat down and worked it out,” said Democrat Sen. Tom Adelson of Tulsa. “In the Senate, the Republicans seemed like they wanted to jam the boot in your neck.”
Adelson and Sen. Tom Ivester of Elk City were among two Senate Democrats who saw their districts change drastically under the new Senate map. Several Democratic senators in the northeastern part of the state also saw major changes.
But the moving of incumbents wasn’t limited to Democrats. In all, three GOP senators no longer live in their districts: Sen. Jim Reynolds of Oklahoma City; Sen. David Myers of Ponca City; and Sen. Rob Johnson of Kingfisher.
Myers, who is term limited in 2014, said he has no complaints. His mostly rural district lost more than 9,800 residents in the last decade.
“There’s just no way you could maintain that many senators in my rural area,” Myers said. “Since I was term-limited, who do you think they picked on? But I’m not unhappy. It’s a good district and will give me a chance to see some new folks in the next few years.”
Reynolds takes office as Cleveland County treasurer in July, so a special election will have to be held in District
33 43 under its current boundaries. In 2012, the district will move south to McClain and Stephens counties.
Adelson’s District 33 shifted from a mostly downtown Tulsa area to one in the southern and southeastern GOP suburbs. His house was placed in Republican Sen. Brian Crain’s redrawn district.
Adelson, who considers Crain a friend, said he plans to run for reelection in Crain’s District 39.
“I think I could compete,” Adelson said. “Some of those precincts have good Democratic numbers.”
Ivester’s district flipped from the southwest to one stretching from western Oklahoma to Canadian County. It now includes Republican Sen. Rob Johnson’s house in Kingfisher. Johnson plans to move to his redrawn district, which now includes parts of Edmond.
Long odds for Democrats
Senate Democrats said they knew they faced long odds in getting districts redrawn to their liking. But Adelson said the hiring of a GOP political consultant poisoned the process. Karl Ahlgren was paid more than $127,000 for his redistricting advice to the Republican leadership since spring 2009, according to Senate financial records.
“Redistricting is political by nature, but at least people have had some modesty about it in the past,” Adelson said. “Their people were not interested in preserving the voice of Oklahomans, they were interested in increasing the Republican market share for personal benefit.”
Ahlgren’s firm, AH Strategies, ran the campaign of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who defeated Adelson in the 2009 mayoral race.
Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, the chairman of the Senate Redistricting panel, said the process can be emotionally charged.
“This is probably the most personal thing we do in the senate,” Jolley said.
Ahlgren has had a succession of consulting contracts with the Oklahoma Senate under current and former Republican leaders. Ahlgren, a former assistant secretary of the senate, also worked for U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn and former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles.
“As such, his knowledge of Oklahoma and the local communities of interest was valuable to the process,” Jolley said. “Members of both political parties consulted with Mr. Ahlgren and any allegations that Mr. Ahlgren actually drew lines are simply false. Lines were drawn under the direction of senators directly to the technical staff.”
The Senate spent $165,500 on redistricting in the last three years, said Jarred Brejcha, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman. That included Ahlgreen’s contracts, software and payroll for other employees.
In the House, former Republican Rep. Larry Ferguson served as an informal advisor to the redistricting process for “historical context” but was not paid, officials said. Including software, payroll and travel, the House spent $175,000 on redistricting since August 2010, said John Estus, spokesman for House Speaker Kris Steele.
Because any new map must comply with the federal Voting Rights Act to protect minority representation, that’s the first place mapmakers start, Jolley said.
“We had to draw those districts before we could do anything else, and we had to draw around those districts and that resulted in some funny looking maps in Oklahoma city and Tulsa,” he said. “That made the process more difficult but at then end of the day we’ve got maps that make sense that I believe the majority of members of both parties hopefully will support.”
The Senate map largely preserves Oklahoma City Sen. Constance Johnson’s District 48, a seat long held by an African-American. Still, Johnson said Friday on the Senate floor she wasn’t happy with losing part of her district to fellow Democratic Sen. Charlie Laster of Shawnee. Johnson said she may explore filing a lawsuit over the Senate plan.
In Tulsa, Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre’s District 11 lost more than 11,000 people since 2000. To retain the majority-minority status of that district, additional Hispanic precincts were moved in. McIntyre does not plan to run for reelection.
Rice said creating a new Hispanic majority-minority district in Oklahoma City isn’t yet a requirement under federal law. But he said Senate redistricting leaders wanted to be ahead of the demographic changes on the city’s south side. Rice gave up several urban neighborhoods in his current District 46 to make that happen.
“It’s sad to lose them, but I’m excited to get new parts of downtown and the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which has such a rich history and is evolving in interesting ways,” Rice said.
Rice said his hope is that part of town could eventually be represented by a Hispanic senator.
I’ve uploaded a new interactive map of the Senate’s redistricting plan released this afternoon.
Also, here’s the data, courtesy of Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Senate Redistricting Staff.
On the map, zoom in to see if your house has moved into another senator’s district.
If you see any errors or omissions, let me know.
The Oklahoma Senate released its new plan for redistricting this afternoon. You can read the press release here.
Senate redistricting leaders and staffers also released the shapefile data behind the plans. (I will post that later.)
Here’s some very quickly rendered maps of the new plan (red outlines) with the old lines layered below (black outlines).
What do you think of the plan? Drop me a comment below.
State map (click each map for a larger version)
To use it, you’ll need to unzip it and have access to a GIS program such as ArcGIS or QGIS. Or you can set up a free account at GeoCommons. They have some good instructions here. To make this kind of map more useful, you’ll need to add some information to it, such as demographic information or voter registration information. (I’m working on adding some of that data in GeoCommons, but can’t promise it will be up very quickly.)
Meanwhile, redistricting over in the Senate has been a little more contentious. But here’s hoping they follow the House’s lead on transparency and release the data behind the plan they’re working on.
Click for map
Newly posted on the Oklahoma House website this morning.
Here’s the statewide map (minus the Panhandle):
Here’s the inset for the urban areas:
They’ve also got plenty of smaller, more detailed maps on the site here. I’ll have more on this later.
But here in Oklahoma, so far all the public has seen from the redistricting efforts of the state House and Senate are some static PDF maps dealing with congressional redistricting from the House. The Senate hasn’t publicly released any maps.
Transparency has been the big buzz word this session. But all the redistricting work has gone on behind closed doors.
A new House map is expected to be unveiled Friday.
Oklahoma should join other states and release the data and the geographical files, typically called shapefiles, for all to see.
Here’s what Texas offers:
Florida goes one better, and lets the public draw their own maps using a tool called MyDistrictBuilder.
Here’s why the data is important: With the map shapefiles, you can layer other important information like voter registration and demographic information on top of each redrawn district to get a fuller picture of the represented areas. The Texas Tribune put out some good maps earlier this week doing just that.
From Sunday’s paper:
BY PAUL MONIES
Published: May 1, 2011
Minority children are now the majority among children in 11 Oklahoma counties, including Oklahoma County, the state’s largest county.
That’s a big change from a decade ago, when just four** Oklahoma counties had “majority-minority” child populations.
Hispanic children and children of two or more races accounted for most of the state’s under-18 population growth in the last decade, according to an analysis of census data by The Oklahoman.
Also, the racial gap has widened between children and adults, another indication of a demographic shift that could change the face of Oklahoma. In almost half of the state’s counties, the gap between the share of white adults and white children exceeds the statewide average of 17 percentage points.
William Frey, a demographer at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, calls the differences between child and adult populations a “racial generation gap.” Oklahoma ranked sixth in the United States for the largest racial generation gap. Arizona was first.
“Change in the nation’s child population over the 2000s show the sharp distinction between the country’s aging white population and its growing, youthful new minority populations,” Frey said in a recent report. “These gaps could signal emerging cultural and political divisions across generations.”
Overall, 44 percent of Oklahoma’s children were minorities in 2010. That compared to 27 percent of adults who identified themselves as minorities. In 2000, minority children made up 35 percent of the child population. Almost 23 percent of adults were minorities.
For the analysis, minorities were anyone not identifying themselves or people in their household on census forms as white. Hispanics can be of any race, according to U.S. Census Bureau definitions.
Some of the demographic changes could be attributed to how people report race and ethnicity, said Patricia Bell, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State University.
“Some of that is not necessarily population growth or change, it’s re-identification where people identify themselves differently,” Bell said. “Sometimes when you have a couple who are of different races, they leave the race of a child blank on the form and the Census Bureau makes the assignment.”
Other changes could come from migration or differences in birthrates in rural or poverty-stricken areas, Bell said. Some white and black college graduates with children have left the state for job opportunities in the last decade. Also, the Hispanic growth in Oklahoma has been rapid, but the share of Hispanics in the state remains lower than neighbors such as Kansas and Texas, she said.
“It can be a combination of migratory patterns for women and children as well as birthrate,” Bell said. “People who have a multiracial background are more likely than before to identify themselves in some category that they didn’t use before.”
Changing child demographics
In the last decade, the number of children in Oklahoma increased by 4 percent to almost 930,000. By contrast, the adult population grew 10 percent to 2.82 million.
Oklahoma was among 27 states that had increases in their child populations.
Among children in Oklahoma, the growth was uneven across the state. The child population grew in 36 counties and fell in 41 counties.
The child populations in Canadian, McClain, Marshall, Logan and Wagoner counties all grew by more than 20 percent. It fell by more than 20 percent in Tillman, Grant and Cimarron counties.
Since 2000, the number of Hispanic children (of any race) grew by more than 62,000, or 89 percent.
At the same time, the number of children of two or more races grew by almost 27,000, or 49 percent, and the number of Asian children increased by 4,400, or 41 percent.
The number of American Indian children grew by more than 6,300, or 7 percent.
To contrast that, the state’s population of white children fell by nearly 57,000, or 10 percent, during the last decade. The number of black children fell by more than 6,700, or 8 percent.
In his report, Frey said similar shifts are happening across the country.
“Slower growth among whites owes in part to their lower fertility rate — about 1.9 births per white woman, compared with 3.0 births per Hispanic woman — as well as a relatively low contribution to population growth from immigration,” he wrote.
Child advocates said the demographic shifts among children have policy implications in Oklahoma.
“If we want a progressive, educated and healthy workforce, we have to look at the demographics within our state and assure that we have the needs to move forward to where we want Oklahoma to be,” said Linda Terrell, executive director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.
Terrell said one of the biggest needs is educational support for bilingual programs. She cited a recent case of a woman in Cleveland County whose daughter had been treated for chronic earaches. Once a translator became involved, it turned out the woman wasn’t following medicine instructions.
“Once we got that language barrier taken care of, the baby was better,” Terrell said. “That’s just one kind of extra supports we need to make sure our children are cared for properly.”
**The four counties in 2000: Adair, Cherokee, Harmon and Muskogee.