Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Council passes redistricting plan

After weeks of debate, City Council today gave final passage to a redistricting plan that will clean up some of the current gerrymandering problems with the city's 10 Councilmanic distircts, although the population difference between districts will be very high.

Council passes redistricting plan

After weeks of debate, City Council today gave final passage to a redistricting plan that will clean up some of the current gerrymandering problems with the city's 10 Councilmanic distircts, although the population difference between districts will be very high.

The map passed 15-2, with Councilmen Brian O'Neill and Jack Kelly voting against. If the mayor signs off on the map, Council can get paid by tomorrow, Council President Anna Verna said. Under city law, Council would have gone without pay, if they didn't pass a map today.

Council plans to approve a map developed by Councilmen Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney over a map created by a working group of Council members. The key difference between the maps is how they divvy up the 56th ward in Northeast Philadephia, which became the battleground of the talks.

In the DiCicco-Kenney map, the 56th  ward will go to Republican 10th District Councilman Brian O'Neill. Currently the ward is split three ways and O'Neilll, who didn't want to pick up more Democratic votes, had been fighting the move. But efforts to help - in particular by Council members Darrell Clarke and Marian Tasco, who are seeking to become Council president -- failed.

O'Neill today was philosophical about the changes.

"It's my last choice, but you move on," O'Neill said. "It's about politics, it's about Council president, it's about who controls what in the Northeast."

The map expected to pass today has a 9.75 population difference between the largest and smallest districts, more than double the current population deviation between districts.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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