City of Champaign pilots public engagement website, begins redistricting process


By Lisa Chasanov, Summer Editor

As a result of population growth observed in the 2020 United States Census, Champaign’s city council is evaluating the potential for updated district boundaries throughout the city, according to a statement by the city of Champaign. The redistricting will aim to distribute the city’s population more evenly across all five districts. 

As part of the evaluation process, the city will invite members of the public to submit redistricting map proposals through its new public engagement website, Engage Champaign. According to the city of Champaign, these proposals will be accepted through July 19, 2023.

On the Engage Champaign website, members of the public can access more detailed information regarding the city’s redistricting process before creating and submitting their proposed maps. The website features a mapping tool which will allow residents to adjust their district boundaries and “instantly see the resulting changes to population and demographics,” according to the statement.

According to the city of Champaign, the 2020 Census found nearly 9% population growth in Champaign from 2010 to 2020 — increasing from 81,055 to 88,302 residents. 

“Illinois law requires that adjustments to the district boundaries be completed prior to the filing deadline of the next district election cycle, which is November 2024 for the April 2025 election,” the statement said. “The City of Champaign is working well in advance of that deadline and it is anticipated the City Council will approve changes to the Council district boundaries later this year.”

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    The Engage Champaign website will reportedly also include customizable surveys, polls, rankings and other tools. The city said that it will encourage residents to visit the website frequently in order to share their feedback on the redistricting process and learn about other city business.

    “The new Engage Champaign website was developed to provide an enhanced, centralized platform to gather public input and increase engagement with Champaign’s residents concerning City projects, services, and initiatives,” the statement said. “New opportunities for public input and engagement will be posted on the website on a regular basis.”

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