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Government

Council Slows Redistricting Pace

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Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.
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Urban League president Gwen Grant tells the council if it redistricts without data on ethnic distribution it will face a voting rights lawsuit.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-914421.mp3

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council put the brakes on its last minute rush to redistricting Thursday.

Cathy Jolly spoke for the majority of the council early in the first public hearing on charter-mandated redistricting when she said: "I really believe that it's quite ridiculous, to be honest with you, that we are sitting here today at the last minute telling the public to come down here and put something together with an election looming."

Jolly asked that the city manager and city attorney come up with an alternate plan that includes authenticated data on ethnic distribution to satisfy federal civil rights laws.

The council did hear public testimony. Some from the growing Northland wanted redistricting as quickly as possible, but midtown African Americans feared a conspiracy to water down their vote.

After consulting with legal staff, the council adopted Jolly's resolution and put the process on hold. Sharon Sanders Brooks commented, "We were on a fast train to a voting rights violation case if we had proceeded with this process."

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