Tarrant County College would have four minority-majority single-member districts under a redistricting proposal that preserves established Hispanic and African-American areas of representation while reflecting demographic trends in the Arlington area.
"This is the first time in redistricting where basically four of the seven districts are majority-minority," said Tom Carr, a Fort Worth attorney handling the redistricting process for the college district.
Through the summer, college officials are seeking public input on the proposal, drafted by Carr and Austin demographer Dennis Harner.
A map is available at the Tarrant County College website. Maps are also on display at the five campuses.
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Two public meetings are planned, on Aug. 8 and 18, at the college district offices, 1500 Houston St. in Fort Worth.
"Anybody who wants to come and talk to us about this can come and talk," said Trustee Bill Greenhill, who represents District 4, which sprawls from Azle and west Fort Worth to Haslet, Keller, Watauga, North Richland Hills and Haltom City.
"People who want to say their piece can come and talk to us."
Carr said every district is being reconfigured a little so that each can have about the same number of people. Under the plan, each district has more than 255,000 people and fewer than 260,000.
In eastern Tarrant County -- Arlington, Grand Prairie and portions of Northeast Tarrant -- Districts 3 and 5 reflect a growing minority population, Carr said. District 3, represented by Kristin Vandergriff, and District 5, represented by O.K. Carter, were majority-Anglo areas after the last redistricting.
Now both are roughly 45 percent Anglo and 55 percent minority, he said.
"It enhances the possibility of a minority getting elected," Carr said.
Greenhill's District 4, whose population grew, now has 100,000 people too many.
So about 50,000 of them in parts of Keller, North Richland Hills and Watauga would be moved into District 2, represented by Joe Hudson. And about 40,000, mostly in the Haltom City area, would be shifted to District 1, represented by Robyn Medina Winnett.
That district would continue to be an established Hispanic area -- about 54 percent Hispanic under the proposal. It includes Fort Worth's north and south sides, downtown and Saginaw.
The proposal keeps District 6 predominantly African-American. It is about 38 percent African-American, and its black population has decreased slightly as more families move to suburban areas. The district includes east Fort Worth.
"We've seen a decrease in the concentration of the numbers," Carr said. "The majority population is still African-American in District 6."
"It seems to be a reasonable plan," said Gwendolyn Morrison, who represents District 6. "I think the most important thing is that we maintain community representation on the board."
After the college district reviews input from the public, the plan will be sent to the voting-rights section of the Justice Department. The government will approve or reject the plan based on whether anything limits a person's opportunity to vote for a candidate of his or her choosing.