Madison’s redistricting committee has given its approval to a new aldermanic district map. The proposed map, which still needs final approval from the city council, would preserve the UW-Madison campus as a single district.
That comes after criticism that previously proposed maps would have split the student district. Alder Juliana Bennett, who represents the area on the common council, raised her concerns about those maps during last Thursday’s redistricting committee meeting.
“These maps are by no means acceptable to represent UW-Madison students,” Bennett said. “They do, in fact, dilute the student voice and student participation in local government, and I wish these maps wouldn’t be shoved down our throats as anywhere near acceptable.”
Bennett, who is not a member of the redistricting committee, gave her approval to the alternate map that combines UW-Madison campus housing into a single district.
According to city planning documents, the proposed district map also minimizes splitting up neighborhood associations. Aldermanic district lines will receive final approval in early November, just a few weeks before Dane County approves its supervisory districts.
Also on Thursday, the county’s Redistricting Commission passed off three district maps for Dane County Board Supervisors. Those maps will be before County leaders this evening.
And, as it turns out, Thursday was a big day for redistricting news — as Wisconsin’s People’s Maps Commission released its legislative and congressional map recommendations.
That non-partisan body was established by Governor Tony Evers in his 2020 State of the State address, and has spent the past year collecting public input and feedback on Wisconsin’s redistricting process.t
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, commission chair Chris Ford said that the group will continue accepting public feedback on the proposals.
“We’ve heard from over 1,800 Wisconsinites in 68 counties from over 321 municipalities,” Ford said. “But we aren’t done yet. You may go to the portal to view these, and comments will close on October 7th at 11:59 PM.”
The state’s Republican-held legislature isn’t required to consider the Commission’s maps.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Republicans would keep their advantage over legislative Democrats under the Commission’s recommendations — but that dominance would slip slightly.
The commission’s proposed map redraws some district lines drafted by Republicans in 2011. Those maps, which were challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, were drawn behind closed doors and heavily favored the GOP.