It’s coming to City Council. What’s up with that? Which council districts are set to be gaining or losing territory, and where most likely? And why?

25 thoughts on “REDISTRICTING

  1. BrianTH

    The why is that the Supreme Court has said governments much be elected on a one-person, one-vote, which requires reapportionment after a Census (and no, this doesn't apply to the U.S. Senate, but it does to state and local governments).

    You should be able to take this data and figure out which districts are going to have to be bigger or smaller:

  2. Anonymous

    I've heard 1 has to grow; the puzzle is does it take over Manchester, or does it cross the river to the Strip.

  3. MH

    The why is that the Supreme Court has said governments much be elected on a one-person…

    I think “And why?” refers to why certain areas gain population (relatively).

  4. Bram Reichbaum

    Aye. It's one thing to say a district will grow or shrink because it has to, it's another thing to say, “Manchester is going here, South Point Breeze is going here, let's draw a line here through Dowd's district and…”

  5. MH

    I wonder if Dowd will keep his little fjord across the Mon into Oakland. I don't know if it helps or hurts him electorally, but it sure looks funny.

  6. rich10e

    return the four south/central oakland districts to the fold. Give two to Peduto and two to Lavelle. Oakland is broke into 3 council districts none of which has oakland as it center. peduto has Shadyside;Lavelle the Hill and Kraus the South Side. Its not like three is better than one!!

  7. MH

    Unless they just decide to start over, 1 is going to eat part of 6 and 9 is going to eat a big chunk of 8 and a small bit of five.

  8. BrianTH

    Thanks, Chris!

    So 33967 is what they should be (pop. divided by 9). Currently:

    1: 31492
    2: 33099
    3: 33270
    4: 34249
    5: 35418
    6: 35837
    7: 34385
    8: 39259
    9: 28695

    Only one I really missed was 4, so I feel good about my guesses.

    As for how the borders get drawn–lots of ways to do it, of course, but 1 and 6 can swap some North Side turf and get close, then add in 7's excess and a bit of the over the river 3 to top off 6. 2 & 4 can also adjust their border and get close, and again maybe take some 3. 3 gets topped back up with most of 5's excess–could be a big chunk of the south of the Mon 5 at that point. 8 gives 9 what it needs, plus the last bit of 5's excess, and you are done.

    Or you can redraw the whole thing radically.

  9. BrianTH

    Oops, had that wrong at the end–I think 8 & 9 (meaning 8) have to give something to 5 to make that all work. But the little bits here and there can obviously done in lots of ways

  10. Anonymous

    What do you get when you put a doctor, 2 lawyers, a grad student, 3 City employees, 1 state employee and the Councilwoman defeated by the current Mayor in the same room?

    9 hacks trying to redistrict the City. May God help Pittsburgh.

  11. Anonymous

    Which “hacks” have a future political interest in how the districts are drawn. May we start the speculation with Acklin?

  12. Bram Reichbaum

    All nine of them have interests — they wear them on their sleeves, and that's the beauty of it. BrianTH, now that you have some data, I'm sure some of the committee would appreciate a non-partisan proposal or two being put into circulation. Just to be fair and thorough, you might want to consider not only population shifts but glance over at shifts in Likely [springtime Democratic] Voters.

  13. MH

    you might want to consider not only population shifts but glance over at shifts in Likely [springtime Democratic] Voters

    For example what would happen if you re-ran this year's primary except with 800 or more voters from District 8 now voting in District 9? It's a good bet we'd be pondering how Councilwoman Prater-Holliday will do on the job.

  14. Anonymous

    “The first thing you have to do is draw 2 districts that are majority-minority and then fill in the rest.”

    So where does this gerrymander take us?
    What are the demographic shifts in the minority communities like the hill look like 10 years out? I think there are only 2500 registered voters in the Hill for example…

  15. Redraw the Lines


    Most reapportionments are a jagged balance between “least harm” and “maximize political advantage.”

    These things are baselined with an allowable deviation such that it is unlikely to have 9 districts each with identical population.

    Technology allows for reapportioners to get within 3% or less deviation from some number, in this case, 33,967, but you're going to see some deviation, especially where a small deviation allows for “least harm” or more aptly, “least change.”

    District 1 has seen the least change of all districts over the past two reapportionments largely because of geography, but I agree that it will have to add some territory, unless a larger deviation is tolerable.

    If, on the other hand, “maximize political advantage” is the prevailing consideration, then sadly there are multitude of ways to achieve that especially if you appointed a mathematician and a lawyer to the panel. Gerrymandering, in the computer age no less than the paper age, require BOTH a mathematician to crunch the numbers and an attorney to provide legal cover.

    Oh wait, Shields appointed an attorney and Peduto appointed a mathematician.

  16. TT

    ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz. Boring. What are you doing down at occupypgh? Smoking weed and making excuses? You should be protesting UPMC and Highmark. Their behavior is unacceptable!

  17. Bram Reichbaum

    TT: No weed. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted because they endanger everything we're fighting for. However a couple of hookahs make an appearance, and the kids are into these “mocha cappuccino” and cherry flavored blends.

    We protested UPMC I hear the other day (and I missed it — we have to go back eventually) and we were at the Highmark building protesting PNC's use of billions in TARP money to buy another bank and further consolidate the banking industry, while extorting $50 million from our broke city in the form of tax increment financing (TIFs).

  18. BrianTH

    Just to be clear, I wasn't predicting the outcome of the redistricting process–that's a political question. My “proposal” was just a think-piece, basically along the lines of “How could you get the districts back to their target number without doing too much to disrupt the current outlines of the districts?”


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