Redistribution efforts impact Birmingham metropolitan area

Although they face legal challenges, the state of Alabama has new maps of Congress, legislation, and school boards as a result of the redistribution process that took place in late 2021.

The maps significantly altered the representation in parts of Homewood and Hoover, but did not have a major impact on Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook.

The redistribution process takes place every 10 years after the release of data from the US Census Bureau. Governor Kay Ivey signed the cards in November, but two lawsuits were filed challenging the legality of the cards, arguing they weaken the state’s African-American vote, and Jabo Wagoner, R-Vestavia Hills, the lawmaker. the oldest in state history, said the prosecution would be ongoing “for a while”.

Other than a few minor changes, the state’s legislative districts have remained largely the same in the mountain region. State Senator Dan Roberts, representing District 15, represents much of Vestavia and Mountain Brook and parts of Homewood and Shelby County, but lost his boxes in Talladega County, where he was one of the three senators. The committee chose to try to prevent multiple representatives or senators from serving a single county, he said.

State senator districts now represent about 146,000 people on average, with representatives representing about 43,000 people, Wagoner said.

State representative David Wheeler said that in an effort to eliminate the divided compound he was given the entire United Methodist compound of Vestavia Hills, while the representative of the United Methodist State Jim Carns had been entrusted with the entire Town Village compound, which will soon move to the Vestavia Hills. Civic center.

In Homewood, zoned voters for two polling stations, one in Edgewood and the other at Homewood Library, have been moved from the 6th Congressional District, currently held by Republican Gary Palmer, to the 7th Congressional District , currently held by the Democrat. Terri Sewell.

While the areas north of Oxmoor Road in the city were previously part of the 7th District, which was historically owned by a Democrat, the areas south of Oxmoor had been included in the 6th District, which was historically owned by a Republican , the state said. Representative David Faulkner, who represents District 46.

Faulkner estimated he had heard from 100 residents who were upset by the changes. Ethan Vice, of the Palmer office, said the changes were due to the growth of the Palmer party in Shelby County. The growth meant he had to lose some areas in order to maintain the balance between the state congressional delegation. Palmer also lost parts of Hoover between McCalla and Helena, as well as much of western Jefferson County, although he did regain some ridings in the Roebuck and Center Point area.

Faulkner and Wagoner attempted to keep those parts of Homewood in the Palmer District, but the measures were rejected by both the State House and Senate. Faulkner said he was being “pulled” by the few lawmakers who were not on the constituency committee were involved in creating the new maps.

The only role they were allowed to play before the cards came up for debate was to examine their own district, Faulkner said, meaning he couldn’t see how some of his constituents would be affected. by changes to congressional maps, or changes to Senate and state school board maps.

The process was complicated due to the backlog of census figures, Wagoner said. Normally, lawmakers would have several months to complete the redistribution, but the numbers didn’t arrive until August of this year, Carns said.

Mountain lawmakers, including Wagoner, Carns, Roberts, Faulkner and Wheeler, have all said they plan to run for office, and although qualifying for the 2022 primary and general election won’t end until the at the end of January, two knew opponents at the time of publication: Wheeler and Carns. Wheeler will face Chris Coleman, a DJ, in the general election after Coleman, a Democrat, files papers to run against him, Wheeler said. Carns will face William Wentowski in the Republican primary after beating Wentowski in the 2018 primary.

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