Montgomery City Council overrides mayor’s veto on new district map

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:56 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery City Council unanimously voted in favor of overriding Mayor Steven Reed’s veto to reconsider the city’s district lines.

The council approved new district lines at the last meeting, using data from the 2020 Census to give each district about the same number of residents.

Reed vetoed that map to allow for further discussion before a vote was made.

Speaking against the new district lines at Tuesday’s City Council meeting was Joe Reed, the head of Alabama’s Democratic Conference and Steven Reed’s father.

“You don’t have to do anything, just sustain the veto and we come up with a whole new plan because six minutes is not enough for us to talk about a reapportionment plan,” Joe Reed said to the council. “It’s absolutely not enough, and the people, the public, has not had enough chance to really discuss that, and even some of the districts are packed.”

Councilmen Cornelius “CC” Calhoun said there were three maps presented at public hearings for discussion, and ultimately a forth map was voted on at the Dec. 21 meeting.

“We voted on the map two weeks ago. We had a public hearing at that council meeting on that map,” Calhoun said.

“We have to act on the veto tonight,” Calhoun said. “Based on Act 16, we have to act on the veto tonight.”

A representative from the city who helped create the approved district map came up to speak at the meeting. He broke down the number of white and Black residents in each district.

  • District 1 - 42% Black ---- 49.0% white
  • District 2 - 50.04% Black ---- 49.52% white
  • District 3 - 62.53% Black ----- 25.77% white
  • District 4 - 82.21 % Black ----- 10.65% white
  • District 5 - 73.35% Black ---- 18.89% white
  • District 6 - 84.09% Black ---- 6% white
  • District 7 - 52.95% Black ---- 40.78% white
  • District 8 - 48.74% Black ---- 30.60% white
  • District 9 -- 45.72% Black ---- 42.55% white

Overall, eight districts are majority-Black. Four out of the eight have Black super-majorities, meaning 62% or more of the district is Black.

WSFA 12 News asked the mayor’s office why Reed wanted to veto the districts. While the mayor didn’t speak on camera, he did release a statement saying: “We wanted to get as much public input as possible for this process that happens only once every 10 years.”

Two council members were absent from Tuesday’s meeting. They were District 4 Councilwoman Audrey Graham and District 7 Councilman Clay McGinnis.

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