Lafayette Redistricting 101
Who represents your voice? That’s the essential question at the heart of redistricting.
This year, Lafayette’s councils will create new maps outlining five city districts and five parish districts.
What is redistricting?
Redistricting is process of drawing political boundaries to establish representation.
Why are we redrawing districts?
The “one-person, one-vote” principle in federal election law requires district boundaries to adjust with changes in population, including local boundaries. Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter requires its governing bodies — previously the City-Parish Council, today the City and Parish councils — to redraw districts after each census to ensure equal representation.
Who draws the maps?
Each council has contracted a demographer to draw new maps. They passed resolutions this year committing to that method. However, the councils themselves will ultimately determine which map is approved. That means incumbents heavily influence this process.
What are the rules?
Generally, the councils will follow these rules: Federal law requires districts to be roughly equal in population size and that new maps preserve minority representation. Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter specifically requires districts to be compact and contiguous.
- Compact: Districts keep population groups together.
- Contiguous: Districts are not split geographically.
What are the key factors in 2022?
Two population trends recorded in 2020 census will heavily influence redistricting in 2022:
- Population growth in Youngsville, Broussard and south Lafayette in general
- Population decline on Lafayette’s Northside, where most Black voters reside
When will the maps be finalized?
We expect the councils to adopt new maps this summer. But the maps must be completed by June 2023, in time for the October 2023 elections.
What is my council district now?
24,275 is the City Council’s magic number. The deviation between the largest (District 4) and the smallest district (District 5) right now is 28% or 6,930. There are two majority Black districts (Districts 1 and 5). Both have lost population.
48,351 is the magic number for the Parish Council. The deviation between the largest (District 3) and smallest (District 5) right now is 49% or 23,806 people. There is one majority Black parish district (District 5). It lost population.