The city’s Redistricting Commission — charged with redrawing the city representative districts — is narrowing down the proposed maps that will be presented to City Council for consideration, likely changing representation boundaries throughout the city.

Of the 18 proposed maps submitted, the commission selected four maps for further editing and discussion ahead of a final report that will be submitted to the City Council in April.

The maps that made the final cut were submitted by members of the city’s Redistricting Commission. During the March 16 meeting, commissioners voted down the other map submissions which were largely submitted by members of the public, including the three options submitted by the League of Women Voters.

The commission will meet again Wednesday, March 23 to make edits to the maps submitted by Vice-Chair Commissioner Isabel Carrillo, Commissioner Gilbert Esparza, Commissioner Bob Burns and Commissioner Cynthia Renteria.

Voting boundaries for elected officials at the local, state and federal level are redrawn every 10 years following the release of decennial U.S. Census data. The new boundaries for the eight city representative districts will be redrawn to reflect changes in the city’s population.

The population of the city of El Paso in 2020 was 678,815, according to data released in August. The figure represents a 5% increase over the prior census in 2010.

The goal is to have each district’s population be evenly divided within the total population of the census data. Doing that may require compacting District 1 on the West Side, retaining most of District 2 in the West-Central area, reducing portions of District 4 in Northeast El Paso and moving District 3 to south of Interstate 10. Other proposals include shifting District 3 to north of I-10 and extending districts farther east.

The commissioners will continue to edit the maps during the Wednesday meeting. Commissioners may revisit any of the 18 maps that were submitted before taking a final vote on recommendations.

There will be another meeting March 30 before the commission finalizes the report that it will submit to the City Council.

Get involved

Where: The City Redistricting Commission will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at 300 N. Campbell St. in City Council Chambers. Public comment will begin at 5 p.m.

Virtually: Call (915) 213-4096; enter 207 028 620#

Watch online via the city’s website, or the city’s YouTube channel.

Masks are strongly recommended for attending the meeting in person.

To see information about the redistricting process visit ElPasoTexas.gov/ShapeEP.

Cover photo: This is one of the four proposed city representative district maps being discussed by the El Paso Redistricting Commission. This map was submitted by Isabel Carrillo, vice-chair of the commission.

Elida S. Perez is a longtime community and investigative reporter. Her experience includes work as city government watchdog reporter for the El Paso Times, investigative reporter for El Paso Newspaper...