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Buffalo Council Council Redistricting: Jillian Hanesworth and Rusty Weaver on The Public Good

Presenter(s): Tanvier Peart
Date: July 5, 2022, 10:30-11 am

Join us on The Public Good. This week we’re talking with Poet Jillian Hanesworth, Buffalo’s Poet Laureate and social change artist, along with Dr. Rusty Weaver, Director of Research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab.
Once every 10 years, the Buffalo Common Council is responsible for approving a redistricting map for council districts based on the most recent Census data. This year’s proposed map, however, was created with little public notice, contribution, or input. On June 14 after local advocates began speaking against the updated redistricting maps, the Council announced a June 28 public hearing. Over 100 people attended the hearing both online and in-person, a majority of whom spoke up against the reapportionment plan, arguing it is not inclusive, unfair, and gerrymandered.
In An Open Analysis of Common Council Redistricting Plans, Rusty states new districts are “close replicas” of their status quo counterparts and that it “misses opportunities to achieve greater district compactness, better preserve neighborhoods, and advance racial equity.” In this analysis, he published a second proposed redistricting map which he concludes does a better job keeping neighborhoods in-tact and enhance voting power for all residents of Buffalo. The Common Council has until July 30 to adopt a redistricting plan. 
Jillian and Rusty will discuss the redistricting process, citizen reactions to both proposed maps, and what the Common Council should do going forward.

The proposed new Common Council District: map

Alternative Common Council District: map 

Watch the June 28 Common Council hearing, here

Read An Open Analysis of Common Council Redistricting Plans and learn more about Poet Jillian Hanesworth.
Listen in on Tuesdays at 10:30 am on Power 96.5 FM or Mix 1080 AM, or watch the video on our Facebook page.