Charter Committee Endorses SMDs

The Charter Revision Committee votes for a 10-1 district system

Martha Cotera and Roscoe Overton have testified before the CRC on proposed plans
Martha Cotera and Roscoe Overton have testified before the CRC on proposed plans (by Jana Birchum)

In a fairly contentious meeting Thursday night, the city's Charter Revision Committee voted 8-7 to recommend a 10-1 single-member district system to the City Council to be placed on the November ballot

The CRC, at City Hall's Boards & Commission Room in what proved to be its penultimate meeting, took three formal charter revision votes, for recommendation to Council: 1) To move to some form of geographic districts; 2) Should districting win voter approval, the districts would be designed by an Independent Citizens Commission; 3) To recommend specifically a 10-1 districting system, with 10 council members being elected from geographic districts, and only the mayor elected at large.

The vote for a change to a districting system had only one dissent; the vote for an Independent Commission was not much closer (only two or three dissents). Both the discussion and the vote over what form districting should take was much more contentious, and finally without a consensus.

The Committee first voted to consider a 10-2-1 system (10 districts, 2 at-large members, and the mayor). That motion failed 8-7. The following vote, for a pure 10-1 system, passed with a mirrored vote, 8-7. Kathleen Vale closed the voting, saying, "I am proud to cast the decisive vote for single-member districts."

The Committee concluded by deciding to meet one more time, tentatively Feb. 16, to review the draft staff report on the recommendations to go to Council.

More to come from the NewsDesk. See also "Unchartered Waters," Dec. 23.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Charter Revision Committee
The Charter, the Devil, and the Details
The Charter, the Devil, and the Details
Charter Revision Committee sends its recommendations to City Council

Michael King, Feb. 24, 2012

More Single-Member Districts
Desperately Seeking Commissioners
Desperately Seeking Commissioners
City Auditor Looking for 10-1 Map Drawers

Michael King, Feb. 7, 2013

More by Michael King
Petitions Filed to Force Vote on Convention Center
Convention Center Petitions
“Unconventional Austin” PAC submits signatures to city clerk

July 15, 2019

Erin Martinson’s Entry Heats Up D.A. Primary Race
Erin Martinson’s Entry Heats Up D.A. Primary Race
Lawyer, victim advocate to challenge incumbent Margaret Moore

July 10, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Charter Revision Committee, Single-Member Districts, City Council

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle