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St. Louis ward redistricting map heads to the Board of Aldermen for a vote

Corinne Ruff, screengrab of committee meeting on Zoom
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed shows the latest version of the redistricting map, which was approved by an aldermanic committee on Monday. The map is expected to be posted to the city's website by Monday night.

A St. Louis redistricting map is headed to the Board of Aldermen for a vote after the aldermanic legislation committee on Monday approved it.

Nine members of the committee voted for the map. One voted against it, one voted present, and one abstained.

Alderman Joseph Vollmer, who represents the 10th Ward and chairs the committee, said the final map keeps about 80% of neighborhoods intact. Others are split within two districts. There are still seven majority white wards and seven majority Black wards.

“We’ve done everything within the legal parameters to try and achieve the wishes and the desires of the people who chimed in,” he said. “There were some neighborhoods we were able to help greatly; there were some we could only help a little.”

Vollmer praised the committee for engaging with the community on the process. The committee received more than 400 comments from residents through an online portal.

“This has been the most maps ever shown to the citizens of St. Louis during any redistricting process ever,” he said.

But over the past week, some aldermen have questioned why the city hasn’t yet gotten a legal opinion on the map. That includes Alderwoman Heather Navarro, who represents the 28th Ward and abstained from the committee vote.

“I am an attorney, and I understand we’ve looked at it and all that, but there is a specific legal analysis that should be done at this stage of the game,” she said.

Board President Lewis Reed said the city counselor is expected to provide that analysis by early next week, before the map is up for final passage at the Board of Aldermen.

The once-a-decade process of redistricting is more complicated this year because of a city charter amendment passed about 10 years ago by voters that requires aldermen to reduce the number of wards from 28 to 14.

Aldermen have until the end of the year to pass a redistricting map, but they plan to take a winter recess beginning Dec. 10.

The latest version of the map is expected to be posted Monday night on the city’s website.

Follow Corinne on Twitter: @corinnesusan

Corinne is the economic development reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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