AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin City Auditor is seeking applicants for the redistricting process, calling specifically for women and minority groups to increase the diversity of the applicant pools to better reflect the rich diversity of the Austin community.
Austinites can apply to serve on one of two opportunities to redraw the Austin City Council districts and shape Austin’s future.
The 14-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will redraw the boundaries of the council districts, says the city auditor. The Applicant Review Panel will select 60 of the most qualified applicants for the redistricting commission. Three independent auditors with CPAs will be selected to serve on the panel.
One of the main eligibility criteria for the Commission includes Austin residents who have been registered to vote in Austin for five or more years without interruption and have voted in at least three of the last five city general elections. The full guidelines are available here.
“My office has initiated an extensive outreach campaign that not only includes advertising, but many virtual engagement and online communications with, Latinx, Asian-American, and African-American communities,” City Auditor Corrie Stokes said. “We responded to the pandemic by moving all of our meetings online so we can provide information about redistricting and answer questions. It’s important the Panel and especially the Commission reflect Austin’s diversity, so we encourage people from communities of color and more women and people identifying as non-binary to apply."
According to the city auditor, as of July 28, approximately 74 percent of qualified Commission applicants are white and 66 percent are male, 32 percent selected female, and fewer than two percent selected non-binary or self-describe. For ethnicity; three percent selected Black or African American; 11 percent selected Hispanic or Latinx; five percent selected Asian, and seven percent selected self-describe. No applicants selected Native American/Alaskan Native or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
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For the Panel applicants, 34 people have applied; of those 35 percent meet the minimum qualifications. Fifty-eight percent of qualified applicants selected female and 42 percent selected male. Sixty-seven percent of qualified applicants selected white; zero percent selected Black or African American; 17 percent selected Hispanic or Latinx, and 17 percent selected Asian.
“The redistricting effort was initiated by citizens and approved by Austin voters. I am calling on all Austinites to step up to the challenge and apply for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and the Applicant Review Panel. In particular, my call goes out to women and members of the minority communities in Austin,” Stokes said. “Commission members will continue to make history as the second citizen-initiated, independent entity to redraw the boundaries for the 10 City Council districts.”
The deadline to apply for the Redistricting Commission is Sept. 30 and Sept. 1 for the Applicant Review Panel. Residents can apply online.
For additional information, residents can call 512-974-2805, ask questions on SpeakUpAustin.org, email, or find more information on social media.