by Fernando Florez March 29, 2016
FORT WORTH HAS HAD A NINE-MEMBER CITY COUNCIL GOVERNING THE CITY SINCE 1925 – FOR OVER NINETY YEARS!
UNITED CITIZENS UNITED FOR A
FORT WORTH 10-1 CITY COUNCIL
Charter Election May 7, 2016 Campaign
This is a well kept secret that very, very few people know. For us, it’s big and we must “drop this bomb” on the voters and keep repeating it until every voter in the city knows it!
How can those advocating the status quo defend their position? We are on the right side of this issue and poised to exploit it if we are successful in getting the word out and motivate enough voters to vote. We can get the word out by email to our contacts, social media, and with a campaign organized similarly to when a candidate we support is running for office. (With mailers, walkers, telephone banking, etc.)
Why a 10-1 instead of the present 8-1 city council electoral plan? At the heart of this is our constitutional right to have a democratic-representative form of government, where people have a stronger voice in their local government versus an oligarchy, a form of government in which power is vested in a few. We’ve always had the latter, while the city’s population has increased by many thousands percent. Those who have been working at the grassroots level for several decades have seen first hand how the impact of an ever- increasing population and the correspondent decline in the quality of representation is having on our neighborhoods. They know that city council representatives simply have too many people in their district to represent. That figure is now over 100,000 people per district, and it will increase even more as the city is projected to reach one million in population in less than a decade. For city council members it has always been about “incumbent protection” and satisfying the establishment,” whose goal is to deny certain groups political power, rather than doing what is in the best public interest. There is no data nor are there any results from any studies that have been made about what is the optimum number of people a municipal city council district should have.
What we know now is that a 10-1 electoral plan is logically much better than an 8-1 simply because there will be less people per district to represent. We need to send a strong message that we’ve had the same electoral system in place for over ninety years and the districts are getting too populated to have effective neighborhood representation.
A 10-1 plan, as opposed to staying with the same 8-1 plan, therefore would help alleviate this problem.
CitizensMapFW.org Hispanic Outreach member and
Morningside Neighborhood Association Vice President,
He brings his redistricting experience as the former Chairmann of the Redistricting Committee United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County.
Fort Worth, Texas 76110
reprinted with permission of author.