City votes to remap districts more evenly

By Eric Heisig

The Champaign City Council voted Tuesday night on a redistricting map to go into effect this year.

The vote was split between two proposals out of the twelve that were originally presented. The chosen plan received six votes, the other received two, with Ken Pirok, Dist. 5 Council Member, being absent from the study session.

The Council voted on this matter before it is usually done because of rapid growth in population.

According to a special census taken in 2006, the city of Champaign grew by 7,702 persons. This caused the districts to become unbalanced, with District 5 having over 19,000 people, with the other four districts having between 13 and 16,000 people.

The new plan tried to get every district as close to 15,050 people as possible, yet none have exactly that many people.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“Some are closer than others, but none hit the mark,” said Bruce Knight, planning director.

According to the plan, District 1 will have 15,039 people, District 2 will have 14,756, District 3 will have 15,361, District 4 will have 15,028 and District 5 will have 15,070 people.

The plan the Council adopted was drawn by Vic McIntosh, Dist. 3 Council Member. McIntosh said he tried to change the current districts as little as possible, since the city will have to redistrict again in a few years.

“I think we need to watch exactly how many precincts we split,” McIntosh said during the discussion of the plans.

Marci Dodds, Dist. 4 Council Member, said it was important to have this process be as nonpartisan as possible.

“I want to try to keep the (district) lines as clean as possible,” Dodds said.

Dodds also expressed the need for a strong central district, and said she feels Dist. 4 has been that in the past. Dodds said she will try to be protective of that role now and in the future.

Members of the Illinois Student Senate were also present at the meeting to give their input on the redistricting plan.

Frank Calabrese, junior in LAS and member of the Illinois Student Senate, expressed his approval for one of the proposals that he felt benefited the University the most.

The plan was not chosen by the Council.

The new districts will be voted on in a future council meeting. Champaign City Council holds its meetings on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.