As you may know, Kansas City, Mo is in the process of redistricting the 6 council districts. You can read more about the process here, but basically, a committee has been appointed to draw new district boundaries based on U.S. Census figures. At this point, there are two new maps being presented, and a series of public meetings has been set up to get the public comments and feedback. In both maps, the 6th/4th district boundary, currently set at 79th street, has shifted north. One map, titled Rev Map 1, presents the new boundary at 59th street between State Line and Troost. The other map, titled Map 5, has set a more jagged boundary that cuts through 66th Terrace between State Line and Holmes. Both of these revisions would place Oak Meyer Gardens – currently in the 4th district – into the 6th district.
While I don’t have a strong opinion about which district we are placed, I do believe that Oak Meyer Gardens should be included as a whole in either one district or the other. The Map 5 proposal bisects our neighborhood down 66th Terrace, so the northern half of OMG would be placed in the 4th district, and southern half of OMG would be placed in the 6th district. I believe this could hurt our ability to organize and get the attention we deserve with the city council (although one could argue that we might get TWICE the attention since we would would be represented by twice as many council members ;)).
In response, I attended a public hearing at the Swope Park Community Center last night and voiced my opinion about the matter. In addition to my argument that cutting though our neighborhood would not be good, I also noted that in both new maps, most all boundaries are drawn on major thoroughfares. That approach generally seems to avoid the problem of cutting through neighborhoods. I proposed that this particular boundary be redrawn at either Gregory or 63rd street.
What do you think? How would the newly proposed boundaries effect Oak Meyer Gardens? Do you have a preference on placement of our neighborhood in the 4th vs 6th district? Voice your opinions in the comments of this post.