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February 16, 2011

Rawlings-Blake tweaks redistricting plan

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake released some tweaks to her City Council redistricting plan today as the council prepares for a 5 p.m. hearing on the new map.

The city's population dropped by 30,000 over the past decade, one-third more than Rawlings-Blake had estimated when drawing the districts. A quirk of city law required the preliminary map to be released in early February, before official Census data was available.

The amendments to the redistricting map are relatively minor.

Among the changes: parts of Guilford and Mt Pleasant Park that had been been excised will now remain in the 4th district. Pen Lucy, which was in the 14th district, will be moved to the 4th. The 8th district will now extend up to Liberty Heights Avenue, adding Howard Park, which was formerly part of the 5th district. And all of Druid Heights will me moved from the 11th district to the 7th.

The most major shift in Rawlings-Blake's original proposal
-- the peninsula that includes Federal Hill and Locust Point being moved from the 10th district to the 11th -- remains in play. Political insiders speculate the move was made to bolster Council Vice President Ed Reisinger's chances of re-election. He has tepid support in Federal Hill and stronger alliances in the Southwest neighborhoods that would be part of his district according to the plan.

Redistricting plans have prompted some strong reactions from community members in the past. It will be interesting to see what residents say at this, the first of several planned public hearings.

Posted by Julie Scharper at 4:29 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: City Hall


Literally everyone I have spoken to with regard to the 10th-11th shift has echoed the Reisinger re-election theory.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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