Sugar Land City Council has taken action to ensure compliance with federal law for the redistricting process. This includes:
- Appointment of a Redistricting Advisory Committee
- Approval of resolution 23-19, establishing criteria for use in the 2023 redistricting process, creating a framework to guide redistricting plans and assists city efforts to comply with all applicable federal and state laws.
- Where possible, easily identifiable geographic boundaries should be followed.
- Communities of interest should be maintained in a single district, where possible and attempts should be made to avoid splitting districts.
- To the extent possible, districts should be composed of whole voting precincts. Where this is not possible or practicable, districts should be drawn in a way that permits the creation of practical voting precincts and that ensures that adequate fac ilities for polling places exists in each voting precinct.
- Although it is recognized that existing districts will have to be altered to reflect new population distribution, any districting plan should, to the extent possible, be based on existing district.
- Districts must be configured so that they are relatively equal in total population according to the 2020 federal census. In no event should the total deviation between the largest and the smallest district exceed ten percent (10 percent). The City will attempt to achieve a deviation that is less than ten percent under the data released by the Census Bureau.
- The districts will be composed of contiguous territory and should be compact.
- Compactness may contain a functional, as well as geographic dimension.
- Consideration may be given to the preservation of incumbent-constituency relations by recognition of the residence of incumbents and their history in representing certain areas.
- The plan should be narrowly tailored to avoid racial gerrymandering in violation of Shaw v. Reno.
- The plan should not fragment a geographically compact minority or community or pack minority voters in the presence of polarized voting so as to create liability under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,52 U.S.C. § 10301.
It is the intent of the City Council to preserve the eligibility of incumbents to complete their current term of office.
Committee Meetings and Public Hearings
Outside legal counsel will prepare several redistricting plans based on state and federal law as well as guidelines adopted by City Council.
Public hearings will be held during the redistricting process to receive public comments on the proposed redistricting plans; meeting dates and times will be published on the city website.
The public will be invited to comment on redistricting plans as they are developed and/or submit other redistricting plans for council consideration. Redistricting plans submitted must meet the established criteria and guidelines.
The committee is scheduled to make its recommendations to City Council on Aug.15. City Council is scheduled to hold a workshop on Sep. 5 to discuss the committee's recommendations and receive comments from the public.