alibi online

Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.21 No.5 | February 2 - 8, 2012 

Talking Points

Benton on Redistricting

Councilor Isaac Benton
Councilor Isaac Benton

City Councilor Isaac Benton may see the end of his district if a Republican-backed plan takes effect. A new Westside seat would be created instead. The Alibi spoke with Benton about redistricting and the complex region he represents, which includes much of the city’s core.

Why can’t the city just add a district for the Westside?

We would have to go from nine to 11 in order to break ties. We need to be looking at and thinking about amending the City Charter to do this. Critics will say we are expanding government, but if that is what it takes to maintain equal representation, then we should do it. Council costs would increase a little, but in this case, the Westside could actually have four districts. Smaller districts mean better representation.

Should the Rio Grande be the districts’ east-west boundary?

Dividing at the river is distorting the process. District 3 has crossed the river for the last 20 years. Why do you want to draw the line now? I think it is a good thing to cross the river. It benefits both sides and brings the two sides together. There are lots of amenities on both sides of the river that could feed off each other.

Is it easier for the mid-Heights region to join its neighbors than for the core of the city to join the North Valley?

Without question, the Heights districts are more homogenous. The Heights are newer, having been developed since the ’70s. Most of District 3 was developed in 1915.

Does the proposed plan diminish minority representation?

Yes, it is certainly takes away the voice from the parts of the city that help us establish our sense of place. The Heights neighborhoods are nice, but they don’t establish our sense of place, our identity or our culture. The areas the visitors and employers like to visit in terms of unique cultural offerings are the University area, Old Town and Downtown. These parts of the city need their own representation.

What can people do to weigh in on the issue?

Write a letter to the Council, to the mayor. Come speak before the Council. Write to the local papers. If it comes down to going to court, for instance—and I am not saying it will, but many times redistricting does—the more voices heard by the Council, the better.

Read more on the Council’s plans.
 
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    Through The Roots
    Through The Roots5.4.2014