BOISE, Idaho — In its regular meeting on June 29, Boise City Council will vote on an ordinance creating geographic districts for the November 2021 city council elections and an implementation plan outlining how districts will be managed in the coming years.
During the 2020 legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill requiring all cities with a population of more than 100,000 must elect city council members by geographic districts. Boise City Council seats 1, 3 and 5 will be up for election using the new districts and for two-year terms.
The City of Boise created the districts for the upcoming elections in a short timeframe to comply with the requirement that a map and implementation plan be approved 120 days before the November election.
“The goal of the map is, to the extent possible, to create districts that are equal in population, geographically contiguous and avoid splitting up our recognized neighborhood associations by following recognized districting principles,” said Council President Elaine Clegg. “We are confident that we have proposed carefully considered balanced districts, but we are greatly disappointed that, due to the severely shortened timeframe, we were not able to engage residents in the process. We look forward to a robust public process with new census numbers going into the 2023 election cycle”.
A news release from the City of Boise says the district map and implementation plan was created in partnership with a consultant team who are experts in drawing district maps. The City says it meets district criteria and attempts to anticipate the growth that has happened since 2010, since it is based on census data.
In 2022, the City will start the process to engage with the public on how the districts will be adjusted in preparation for the 2023 elections once the new census data is available and the 2022 legislative session is finished. A candidate for the council seat must live in the geographic district they are running for and only the residents of the district are allowed to vote for that seat, according to the new law.
Feedback on the map and agenda item will be used to inform the process and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more about the implementation plan and redistricting maps by clicking here.