ST. LOUIS – The Board of Aldermen Legislation Committee has released a second draft of the new districts in St. Louis. They must reduce the number of wards from 28 to 14 under a charter amendment passed by voters in 2012.
The new lines would apply for the 2023 aldermanic elections. It will reduce half the number of aldermen representing St. Louis.
More details of the 14-ward redistricting map have been revealed today. The new charts detail each new ward’s boundaries that run around each neighborhood. Each district has about 21,500 people in it.
This is just a draft and the representatives admit that changes still need to be made. Lewis Reed admits in a statement that this is still a work in progress. There are areas where the shapes of the wards still need to be refined.
Board President Lewis Reed said last week that the biggest challenge is to make sure the proposed map doesn’t get thrown out due to gerrymandering. He said the latest Census data shows 44% of St. Louis City’s population is white and 43% is Black.
The lawmakers are looking for an equal balance in the number of wards representing each group. There are seven African-American majority population wards and seven White majority population wards. When possible they are trying to keep neighborhoods intact.
There have been some changes since the first draft was leaked last week:
- The Southhampton neighborhood will now remain in one ward instead of being split in two.
- The Bevo area went from spreading among three wards to two wards.