City Council is expected to approve a redistricting plan within the next few days without either a "Central Philadelphia" district that includes the University, or a much-touted Latino district. Instead, the plan would make only minimal changes to current Council boundaries and is little different from the one Mayor Wilson Goode rejected last month. "We won't know until Tuesday [when a vote is expected], but I'm not particularly optimistic," said Center City lawyer Malcolm Lazin, who is leading the design of the Central Philadelphia Council district. Center City business owners suggested the new Central Philadelphia district after Mayor Goode rejected Council's first plan last month because it did not include a Latino district. The proposed Central Philadelphia district would include the University's ward -- the 27th -- as well as Center City and South Philadelphia wards and parts of the city's Fairmount section. Although the Central Philadelphia plan's proponents have pitched the idea to Council members, the plan has received little public attention and was relatively unknown in City Hall as late as last week. In fact, legislative assistants to several Council members said last week that they were not aware of the proposal. Also, the proposed Central Philadelphia district is not currently included in either redistricting plan before Council. Lazin said last night that Council did not support the plan because of a "combination" of policy and political concerns. "While I think our plan is very meritorious . . . and has support throughout the [proposed] Central Philadelphia district, that doesn't carry the day in City Council," Lazin said. Proponents of the Central Philadelphia ward say these areas, which are a mix a residential and business districts, have common interests which the current makeup of Council does not address. Currently, four City Council members represent the area enclosed in the proposed district. The City Charter requires the government to redraw Council districts every 10 years after each federal census. After Council missed its Charter-mandated deadline, Goode suspended the Council members' paychecks until they approved a plan.Comments powered by Disqus
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