Arlington’s city government is accepting applications for a redistricting task force as leaders prepare to assess the 2020 U.S. Census and modify its political boundaries, as well as multiple boards focusing on promoting diversity and creating equity.
Applications are open until 5 p.m. July 6 for nine appointed seats for the redistricting task force. It will include two ex-officio members who represent the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens. City Council will make appointments during its Aug. 3 meeting, according to a city press release.
Arlington has five single-member districts, while three council members and the mayor serve the city at large. Leaders will update district lines so that each has around the same number of residents. The task force will meet several times between August and February to assess redistricting data, expected to release by Sept. 30.
The appointed body will field community input, study current district configurations and prepare recommendations for the City Council’s consideration. The task force will work with Bojorquez Law Firm, which has been the city’s consultant on redistricting matters since 2000.
Council is expected to approve updates to single-member districts before the next general election May 7.
Those interested in applying must be eligible to vote in Arlington, cannot owe any delinquent payments to the city and must not hold a publicly elected office. Applications are available on the city’s website, arlingtontx.gov/boards/forms/390/apply.
The Unity Council, created last summer to study city issues and assemble a racial equity plan, will continue as a 10-member standing group to monitor the report’s implementation and make more recommendations on equitable policies and practices. The group will include one youth representative.
The group’s 132-page final report, presented in February to the City Council, included 57 recommendations in education and workforce development, policing and criminal justice. housing, health and economic disparities. Officials have made progress on 34 of the recommendations, according to a council presentation in early June.
In addition to monitoring implementation and making additional recommendations, the standing Unity Council will provide biannual updates to City Council and Arlington’s chief equity officer, a newly created position.
Community Relations Commission
The Community Relations Commission, which combined forces with the Unity Council last year, will exist as a nine-member body tasked with promoting city programs and services to residents and organizations. Other duties include promoting positive aspects of competing for city contracts among historically underrepresented businesses, as well as promoting, developing and fielding communication about community events.