Philadelphia City Council members, many of whom typically disappear over the summer, have some heavy lifting to do this year.
Philadelphia’s City Solicitor has told council they have until September ninth to re-draw their districts, as required every ten years.
Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez said the goal is to make districts roughly equal and give distinct communities a single representative in council. In her district, she says, some neighborhoods are cut in half.
“What we’re concerned about is, what I’ve continued to say, disenfranchised neighborhoods that are split in two and three councilmatic districts,” Quinones Sanchez said.
Councilman Curtis Jones says he has to add voters to round out his district.
“We lost 10,000 people,” Jones said. “we have attributed some of that to predatory lending, to lack of housing production in parts of my district that have forced people to move, and what we are looking is to balance that out through reapportionment so we have about 150,000 people in each district.”
If the September deadline isn’t met, Councilmembers will won’t be paid until their districts are redrawn.