Tuesday saw the first of two public hearings at the Broward County Commission about redistricting in the wake of the 2010 Census -- deciding how the county's nine commissioners will split up their constituencies in an attempt to meld geographical equity with a little well-intentioned gerrymandering: The current districts, which look a little wonky, supposedly make it easier for black communities to elect and keep black leaders, for example. Click the thumbnail at left for the current map.
A number of proposals were submitted by Cuban-Americans for a Better Florida, which sought to demonstrate fair distribution of population while rigging up a district that could get Hispanic leaders elected.
On Tuesday night, though, the commission voted to move forward with three maps, none of which was provided by the Cuban organization.
One was from Robert Strum, and another was a version of a staff map modified by Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who stretched the bottom edge of his own district west to Ravenswood Road to take in a little more of southern Fort Lauderdale. Another was from Sue-Ann Robinson Caddy, president of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, a group of lawyers.
All plans have to adhere to a few basic goals, the most important of which is to make each district roughly equal in population (case law, the county says, indicates that a 10 percent deviation is acceptable). Last year's "fair districting" amendments 5 and 6, which attempt to curtail the smooshing of boundaries for the political benefit of those engineering them, have also been voluntarily adopted by the commission, in principle at least.
In the interest of not boring you to tears and with a mind toward more coverage as the commission moves forward (a second hearing is on the way), we'll give you these three maps and let you draw your own half-baked conclusions about whether it's a good idea to split all these communities down the middle with little rivers and flagpoles of constituency that are sure to confuse everyone.
Here's the list of which commissioner represents which district.
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