New council districts plan also divides Mexican War Streets into two
The latest proposal released Wednesday for redrawing City Council district boundaries would split the Mexican War Streets neighborhood between two districts, despite opposition from residents.
Yet the plan appears to bow to opposition from Regent Square residents by keeping that area in Pittsburgh's 5th District.
The proposal to split the Mexican War Streets drew immediate criticism from a civic group.
“It gives the appearance of breaking the neighborhood apart along racial lines and along family income as well,” said Paul Johnson, president of the Mexican War Streets Society.
Matt Merriman-Preston, who chairs a nine-member redistricting committee, said splitting the Mexican War Streets is necessary to maintain a minority edge in Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle's District 6. The district encompasses some of the richest and poorest real estate in the city, with the Strip District, Downtown, Uptown, the Hill District and portions of the North Side and Oakland.
Residents of Regent Square in the city's East End and Mexican War Streets in the North Side opposed initial plans to move sections of their neighborhoods into other districts.
The first proposal moved part of Regent Square from Councilman Corey O'Connor's District 5 into Councilman Ricky Burgess' District 9. The revised plan submitted would keep the neighborhood in O'Connor's district.
The Mexican War Streets, however, would split between districts represented by Lavelle and Council President Darlene Harris.
Johnson said his group and the Central Northside Neighborhood Council continue to oppose the plan that would split the neighborhood at Samsonia Street.
“It's hard to respond because on the one hand the neighborhood has to be adjusted so (Lavelle) can maintain minority status,” Johnson said.
People living north of Samsonia would be counted in Lavelle's district, and those south of it would be in Harris' district.
The state constitution requires Pittsburgh to redraw political boundaries every 10 years to reflect population changes and ensure equal representation among nine council districts. Districts must be of about equal size, contiguous and as compact as possible.
The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that districts traditionally populated by minorities be redrawn so that the minority group represents a majority of district voters. Pittsburgh has two districts predominantly populated by blacks: Burgess' district and Lavelle's district.
City Council, which must approve the changes, can tweak the plan. Members must approve it by year's end.
Bob Bauder is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ fourth-round pick Grant relies on smarts to get job done
- Ligonier Township police officer killed in wrong-way crash; K-9 injured
- Man charged in Rite Aid robbery in Brighton Heights
- Pirates’ offense still stuck in rut during loss to Reds
- Law enforcement officer dies of suspected ‘cardiac event’ during Fayette County drug operation
- Huckabee announces run for president
- Stocks drop as Greece falters, crude oil rises
- Capt. Wild Bill, Luke Wholey team up for seafood fundraiser in Pittsburgh
- Hillary: Give illegals path
- Archives detail Pittsburghers who sailed on the Lusitania
- Kittanning softball team defeats Ford City in teams’ final meeting