Redistricting St. Pete
The City Charter requires a City Council redistricting process to occur every ten years in conjunction with the U.S. Decennial Census.
Redistricting is the process by which differences in the population of Council districts are equalized by adjusting district boundaries and furthers the provisions of the Voting Rights Act principal of “one person, one vote” and the provisions of the City Charter.
Council districts are required to be “as nearly equal in population” as practicable or possible. They should be formed in compact, continuous territory; follow centerlines of streets, rail lines or natural boundaries; follow voting precinct lines to the extent possible; and follow mathematical precision reached in the legislative appointment of the state.
The Mayor’s Report
The process begins with the Mayor's submission of a redistricting report to City Council outlining how new U.S. Census data affects current City Council Districts. According to the City Charter, City Council districts must:
- be formed in compact, continuous territory
- follow the centerlines of streets, rail lines, or natural boundaries
- follow voting precinct lines to the extent possible
- follow the mathematical preciseness reached in the legislative appointment of the state
The Mayor’s Report applies those standards to the current City Council districts to determine whether changes are necessary, based on the new U.S. Census data, to achieve compliance with the City Charter.
The Redistricting Commission
Once the Mayor’s Report has been submitted to City Council, a nine-person Citizens Redistricting Commission is established, with one Commissioner appointed by the Mayor and one Commissioner appointed by each of the eight Council Members. The commission is responsible for creating and recommending new City Council districts that comply with City Charter requirements. The commission has 60 days to submit a report to City Council that includes a map and description of the recommended districts, an ordinance that City Council can adopt to establish the recommended districts, and hold at least one public hearing on the report.
More information, including a schedule of commission meetings and list of appointed members, can be found on the Redistricting Commission page. Alternative maps have been developed and are being considered by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
City Council Action
After the Citizens Redistricting Commission submits its report to City Council, Council has up to 60 days to accept the districts proposed by the Citizens Redistricting Commission through a majority vote or reject the districts proposed by the commission by adopting districts drawn by City Council through a unanimous vote. If City Council does not take either action within 60 days, the districts proposed by the commission are adopted and will go into effect.
Once City Council has adopted the new districts, the information is provided to the Supervisor of Elections and voter ID cards are updated to reflect the new City Council districts.
The following timeline has been established for the upcoming redistricting process:
- August 4, 2022: Redistricting Report submitted to City Council and the nine-person Citizens Redistricting Commission is established.
- August 8, 2022: Citizens Redistricting Commission meets first for an organizational session.
- August 8 – October 7, 2022: Citizens Redistricting Commission reviews Redistricting Report and determines how to redistrict the City consistent with standards in the Charter. At least one public hearing must be held on the proposed redistricting.
- October 13, 2022: Deadline for the Citizens Redistricting Commission to submit their report to City Council recommending new Council districts.
- December 13, 2022: Deadline for City Council to adopt the Citizens Redistricting Commission’s recommended districts or reject the districts proposed by the commission and adopt districts drawn by City Council through a unanimous vote.