For more information on the count in Conyers from the 2010 Census, click here or go to:
Rockdale sees growth, racial changes (March 17, 2011)
Conyers is redrawing its city council districts after receiving the 2010 Census data that showed residents flocked to subdivisions on the edges of the city, and moved away from the older central districts of the city.
The population in the city limits grew from around 10,000 to 15,000 in the last decade. The number of white residents shrank from 6,231 or about 58 percent in 2000 to 4,539 or about 30 percent, in 2010. The number of black residents grew from 3,572 or 33 percent in 2000 to 8,598 or about 57 percent in 2010.
Chief Operating Officer David Spann said the city had received the 2010 Census data several weeks ago. With the services of consultant Linda Meggers, who formerly worked for the state on reapportionment, city staff scrambled to hammer out a reapportioned district map so it could be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice in time for this fall’s city council elections. Georgia is one of the states under the 1964 Voting Rights Act and must submit district and city boundary changes to the DOJ, which has 60 days to review the maps.
Under the proposed map, District 1, which is the district of current Councilman Cleveland Stroud, covers the northwest portion of the city with 2948 residents and about 65 percent black residents.
District 2, which is the district of current Councilmen Chris Bowen and Vince Evans, covers the eastern portions of Conyers including the Georgia International Horse Park and northern portions of the city with 6145 residents and 58.95 percent black residents.
'District 3, which is the district of current Councilman Gerald Hinesley, covers the middle slice of historic Conyers with 2920 residents and about 52 percent black residents.
District 4, which is the district of current Councilman Marty Jones, covers the portions of the city south of I-20 and of the railroad track, has 3179 residents and about 49 percent black residents.
City attorney Mike Waldrop said, “We expect DOJ will be very pleased with this (map). Hopefully it’ll sail through with flying colors. The concern is with the number of people that have to do this, there’s going to be a backlog.”
If the proposed maps are not approved in time, the city will use the district maps from 2009 – the last time the DOJ approved changes to the district – which is based on 2000 Census data.
Waldrop explained that the districts are Constitutionally required to be balanced in the number of people per elected representative. For Conyers that means about 3,000 in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and 6,000 in District 2, which has two council seats. Under the Voting Rights Act, the DOJ also looks for districts that do not dilute the African American vote and a preserves a majority – 60 percent or greater – of black residents.
Spann said the districts also had to include the residences of incumbent councilmen. “You can’t district someone out of their seat,” said Waldrop.
Other goals in drawing the districts included stability of the districts.
Waldrop said public comments on the proposed districts would be “considered.” However, he doubted if there was any other viable way to draw the district map.
“Unless someone has a better suggestion of how to do it in a better way that still accomplishes all the principles we have to follow…
“At one point, we weren’t sure there was a solution to the riddle,” Waldrop said. “When we found one that accomplished all the things we had to look at, we were thrilled. I’m not sure there’s a second solution out there that wouldn’t completely destroy the map.”
The city will hold public hearings on the proposed maps at the June 1 and June 15 City Council Meetings, 7 p.m., 1194 Scott Street.
The seats of incumbent Councilmen Marty Jones (District 4), Gerald Hinesly (District 3) and Vince Evans (District 2 Post 2) are up for election this fall.
The migration patterns that emerged from the 2010 Census data were surprising, said Spann.
“The migration is not anything what we expected it to look like. The districts that lost so much and the districts that gained so much were surprising. The ones that lost so much were historically your older areas where you might not have anticipated anyone migrating out of.”
Waldrop added, “The racial balances were not unexpected. What really surprised us was how the population had redistributed itself within the city.”
(May 23, 1:12 p.m.)The city of Conyers will hold two public hearings on on a newly redrawn city council districts to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice ahead of the fall city council elections. The public hearings will be on June 1 and June 15, 7 p.m., 1194 Scott Street, second floor, in the city council chambers.
Chief Operating Officer David Spann said the Census had recently released the city's numbers, about three or four weeks ago, and hoped the proposed redistricting map would be approved by the DOJ in time for this fall's city council elections. He pointed out nearly all cities and municipalities were facing redistricting. Without the assistance normally provided by the state, which is looking at resdistricting state Senate and House districts, there was a backlog of muncipalities needing redistricting services.
Check back to www.rockdalenews.com for the full story.