James Chides Council as New District Maps are Approved

From Prime Buzz & the KC Star:

The Kansas City Council voted 11-1 in favor of a new redistricting map that follows the recommendations of a citizens advisory committee.
Councilman John Sharp was the lone dissenter. He argued the map is detrimental to many 4th and 6th District residents, neighborhoods and community organizations. He said there would have been a way to tweak the map to respond to those concerns, but the advisory committee and city council were unwilling to consider any changes to respond to constituents. He said the map as designed is clear gerrymandering, and does not create districts that are geographically compact.
Sharp warned that opponents of the map may launch an effort to overturn the map or to put it on a ballot for a public vote.
But supporters of the map said it was the result of a lengthy, thoughtful and fair advisory committee review process. They argued that moving the lines to accommodate the 4th and 6th Districts would create other problems and could violate the Voting Rights Act.
Mayor Sly James, clearly frustrated with how every debate in this town turns divisive, blew up when Sharp complained that the city turned a deaf ear to all the people who turned out for public hearings.
James said he has listened to all the comments, but people have to get their priorities straight. “Do you love your council district more, or your city more?” he asked.

Read more: http://midwestdemocracyproject.org/blogs/entries/council-approves-new-redistricting-map/#ixzz1g2bViMWE

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