New Rochester neighborhood map has unanimous council support – Reuters

ROCHESTER — New ward boundaries for Rochester City Council members were approved Monday without constituency divisions.

The precinct lines, which largely guide where residents will vote, were added too late for Monday’s vote, but will be part of a second map meeting, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.

Unanimous support for the new map was accompanied by acknowledgment of public feedback during the process.

“I’ve heard a lot of feedback and a lot of opportunities for the public to get involved,” board member Nick Campion said.

The city must redraw ward boundaries after each U.S. census to improve the overall population balance in each section of the city represented by an elected council member.

Based on the 2020 census population of 121,395, the ideal size for each of the city’s six wards is 20,233 people.

The new map means that 10,776 – 8.85% – of Rochester residents will be in a new ward, meaning a new ward-based council member will represent them.

The changes give Ward 3, which is considered growing, the smallest population in the city at 19,586, or 3.2% below ideal.

Ward 1, the southernmost ward of the city, will become the most populated, with 20,783 residents. This is a deviation of 2.72% from the ideal.

Ward 4, which lies east of the city’s downtown core, will be closest to ideal with 20,389 residents, 0.77% above ideal.

In addition to balancing populations, the new map addresses diversity concerns raised during public comment periods related to the redistribution.

About 28% of Rochester residents identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color, commonly referred to as BIPOC, and residents have said they would like to see certain areas retain higher percentages of minority residents.

In the new ward map, two wards – 4 and 6 – have populations considered minority opportunity districts with at least 30% of residents identified as BIPOC.

The new Ward 4 will include part of Meadow Park to increase the BIPOC percentage from 39% to 39.5%, while the BIPOC percentage within the new Ward 6 boundaries will increase from nearly 29.6% to 32.8 % by incorporating a section of the city that had been part of Ward 3.

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