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Indianapolis City-County Council unveils proposed redistricting maps

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The president of the City-County Council on Monday said a proposed map for redistricting council seats resulted from what he called the most inclusive process in city history.

Council members were to begin discussing the proposed new districts at their Monday night meeting in the City-County Building.

The overall proposed map set aside a single, dedicated council seat for the Fountain Square and Irvington neighborhoods, which currently are divided among multiple council districts.

The overall map also shifts one seat farther south, a potential Republican gain.

The map first became public on Friday afternoon.

The maps follow in-person forums in each of Marion County’s nine townships in January, along with a virtual, countywide town hall. Council President Vop Osili said about 200 people had weighed in on the map in total. Although the number of commenters is small relative to Indianapolis’ population — set at 877,903 in the 2020 Census — Osili said their testimony provided good qualitative data for the process.

“We had nine physical meetings, one in each township, so that folks could bring us their thoughts, their ideas, their suggestions,” Osili said. “And there was a level of appreciation for being included in this particular process because it has not been done before.”

The Marion County Republican Party in a Friday statement criticized the use of the law firm Ice Miller to help draw the map, accusing Democrats of drawing them behind closed doors. County party chair Joe Elsener said Hoosiers would not have a chance to hold their leaders accountable for the map without a second round of public hearings.

Osili, a Democrat, said members of the public can comment on the map at a committee hearing scheduled for April 12 or provide feedback to the council online via the main City County-Council page between now and noon the day of the hearing.

Osili said if the council’s rules committee approves the map on April 12, the full council will vote on them on May 2.