Greenville presents draft redistricting map, growth hinders chance of majority-Black districts

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - For the past few weeks Greenville city council has been working on a task that comes once every 10 years—redistricting.

It’s the process of redrawing city council lines and districts using the 2020 Census data. Now a draft map is ready and the city is seeking your input before it becomes final. About 8,900 people will be impacted under the new map. Things could still change but there’s only so much shifting that can be done to get a map that’s perfect to everyone.

On the rainy Monday night, it was only a small group of people with questions about a process the which impacts thousands

“The main principle for redistricting is to get 4 districts which are approximately the same population across all 4″ said Greenville City Attorney Leigh Paoletti.

Most of the city’s growth---52%to be exact--- all happened in district 4.

“Expositional growth in 4, which is what’s driving this,” said Paoletti.

The magic number is around 17,680 people in each district. But figuring out how to make that happen, isn’t easy.

“I’m pleased, it could have been worse” said Councilwoman Lillian Brock-Flemming represents district 2.

One of her main concerns was saving two majority-minority districts

“It’s going to be very difficult to find more than 2 areas where you have large, more than 45% to 55% of people minority because they have been replaced or removed” she said.

Over the last 10 years, Greenville’s Black population has decreased. Right now, the Black population is only 23% of the total population.

“I don’t want a city council years from now, which is white bread,” said one resident at the meeting.

Under the new map---neither districts 2 or 3 are majority-minority. In fact, each has a few hundred less people of color than in 2010. But, they can be considered “minority-influence” districts where a racial group has enough power to influence an election.

Flemming says what steps the council takes now, could impact what the next census demographics will look like.

“We hope that where there is vacant land and other opportunities, to build affordable housing and to help those who have been moved out and displaced out of the city of Greenville to move back into the area”

You still have time to give your input, there’s another meeting this Thursday, December 8 at the Nicholtown Community Center, 112 Rebecca Street (District 3). You can also submit your thoughts online and get a better look at the map here.