East Baton Rouge Parish is now the most populous parish in Louisiana, with 440, 171 residents. Its governing body is a 12 member Metrocouncil, whose members all come up for re-election next year. Even though redistricting will be performed ”in house”, we thought it would be useful for its citizens to see a plan drawn up from an outsiders point of view that incorporated the following redistricting principles:
(1) Adhering to current district lines as much as possible;
(2) “Compactness” – we wish to keep districts as compact as possible;
(3) Giving each incumbent who is not term limited a district to run in (i.e., we did not pair any non term limited incumbents together)
(4) Adherence to “one man one vote” – each district in EBR, as a result of the 2010 Census, should have 36,681 residents, with a permitted 5% variance above or below this ideal;
(5) Preservation of minority representation: the Metrocouncil since 2009 has had 5 blacks, and we have preserved that level of representation, as required by the Voting Rights Act;
Given the above, we have made an attempt to draw 12 Metrocouncil districts which we like to think can satisfy 51% of the critics.