Detroit City Council

Districts Drawn

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February 17, 2012


February 16, 2012

The Detroit City Council voted today in favor of thier own option 3.

Closing in one of the most sweeping changes to elections in Detroit, the City Council today approved boundaries for new council districts that voters mandated in more from The Detroit Free Press


New Blog Post by DetCharter

An Impassioned Plea for District Democracy - by: Alexander Derdelakos



Issue Brief

In November 2009, voters overwhelmingly passed Detroit's Proposal D, a referendum changing the city charter to have the Detroit City Council elected by district. With all 629 precincts reporting, 84,178 people voted yes and 32,606 people voted no.

The referendum, which would take effect in 2013, and confirmed by the 2012 City Charter, would assign one seat on the council to each of seven districts - with an additional two seats on the Council elected at large- the boundaries of which would need to be drawn by the City Council.

Detroit City Council has formed a working group that is currently creating scenarios for a district system, which is scheduled to be presented to citizens in January 2012.

According to Michigan State laws, there are several criteria for drawing districts (which City Council is compelled to follow):

  1. Contiguity – All parts of the district must be connected;

  2. Equipopulation – Each district must have roughly the same number of people in it;

  3. Preserve existing boundaries – Must maintain city and county boundaries;

  4. Compactness – Districts must be as close to a circle or square as possible;

  5. Competitiveness – Districts should have a balanced percentage of Republican and Democratic voters;

  6. Preserving communities of interest – Districts must make an effort to keep smaller communities (college campuses, foreign-born populations, non-English speaking areas) together to preserve voting strength

As you probably know the Detroit City Council has released 4 proposed discussion maps and will be holding public hearings to solicit feedback from citizens to make their choice by February 17th. Click on the images below to see the maps drawn by the City Planning Commission and an additional map that has been proposed by Data Driven Detroit (Source: The Detroit Free Press).


City Council Option 1

City Council Option 1

City Council Option 2

City Council Option 2

City Council Option 3

City Council Option 3

City Council Option 4

City Council Option 4

Data Driven Detroit Proposal

Data Driven Detroit Proposal


Schedule of Public Hearings

Departments Involved

  • City Council

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Charter Language

Sec. 3-108. Geographical Basis for Electing Council Members.

There shall be seven (7) non at-large districts and one (1) at-large district established in the City and one (1) member shall be elected from each non at-large district and two (2) members shall be elected from the at-large district.

New district boundaries created within one hundred twenty (120) days of a City Primary Election shall become effective after the General Election.

City Council shall establish district wards that are as nearly of equal population as practicable, contiguous, compact and in accordance with any other criteria permitted by law.

District wards shall be apportioned in subsequent years as required by, and in accordance with, the Home Rule City Act, MCL 117.27a, and other applicable law.

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