ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mayor Richard Berry this afternoon signed into law a new map of City Council districts that puts incumbents Isaac Benton and Debbie O’Malley into the same district.
It was narrowly adopted last month on a party-line vote of the council, with Republicans in the majority.
The next step could be litigation. Opponents of the map — particularly residents in older urban neighborhoods — have hinted that they will challenge the map in court.
Benton’s future is unclear. The council legislation says he may keep his seat through the 2013 election. That, too, could be challenged in court. O’Malley is likely to keep her seat because it was Benton’s district that was moved (technically) over to the West Side to create a new seat.
Here was my last rundown on the issue.
The mayor’s announcement is below.
Mayor Signs Redistricting Legislation
New Council Seat for the Westside
ALBUQUERQUE – Today Mayor Richard J. Berry signed legislation creating new City Council Districts. As a result the growing Westside now has three full Council Districts.
This process takes place every ten years and is based on population counts. The process is mandated by federal law. The Redistricting Committee, made up of representatives from each of the nine City Council Districts, followed the criteria established by City Council Resolution R-10-109 as well as constitutional principles and judicial decisions governing voting rights, population considerations and other established guidelines. Research & Polling, a local consulting firm, provided technical assistance to the Redistricting Committee and the City Council and was responsible for drafting the map that ultimately passed through the comprehensive process.
“I support having three full council districts on the Westside; Map L-1 accomplishes this and that’s good news for our growing community” said Mayor Berry. As a Mayor I supported a center city district, which Map L-1 accomplishes as well. I believe Map L-1 honors many vital assets in our City including the International District, Nob Hill, Uptown Area, Balloon Fiesta Park, and our Downtown core, just to name a few. This has been a long deliberative process with significant public participation and I would like to thank all those involved for their input.” said Mayor Berry.
The new district map was recommended by the City Council Redistricting Committee, passed with a majority vote of the City Council prior to reaching the Mayor for his signature.
The new district map can be viewed at http://www.cabq.gov/council/documents/OC33.pdf/view