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Proposed Huntsville redistricting plan raises questions

Redistricting happens every ten years, and the new plan is causing concern.
Credit: City of Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The City of Huntsville released the draft of its 2022 redistricting plan, and it's raising some questions. 

Huntsville is the fastest growing city in Alabama, so it's important that these districts are in the best interest of the community, and some community leaders are concerned. 

There are five total districts and each one has around 42,000 people in it. Redistricting happens every ten years after the Census. Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle says that in 2010, we went through redistricting, and the first initial plan is a starting point. 

It's the racial diversity in the districts that's raising questions. 

Benard Simelton, North Alabama NAACP president, says, "We have to make sure that the lines are redrawn where I have an opportunity to elect the person of my choice, and not put me with a district that's heavily one way or the other." 

District One is North Huntsville, and African-Americans make up almost seventy percent of the entire district. Simelton says these are the things that we should avoid. "What happens is, a lot of times they try to pack all African-Americans in particular, into one district so that we cannot create a district, or a city council where we can have two or three majority-minority districts." 

RELATED: Activists demand fair representation ahead of Alabama redistricting special session

This is not the final plan, and Mayor Battle is encouraging you to give your thoughts and opinions before the December deadline. He says, "We will have the final vote in December. In between now and December, there will be a lot of people who have input into it, and as they have input into it, the plan will melt into the community's plan."

Click here for software that allows you to create and submit your own redistricting plans.  The redistricting team also created a step-by-step tutorial on how to navigate the process.

RELATED: What is redistricting? Why does it matter?

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