Fort Myers, FL – The City of Fort Myers has begun a redistricting process to adequately reassess an equitable distribution of population across the City’s six wards. The initiative is propelled by the 2020 Census report, which indicates that the City’s population increased by more than 38% since 2010.
“Our community has experienced a monumental growth, which requires us to reconsider the composition of wards across the City,” said Marty Lawing, City Manager. “We are committed to working closely across departments, the council, and alongside our residents in order to achieve the best possible representation for all City of Fort Myers residents. I personally encourage everyone to attend redistricting meetings and be engaged in the process, as this will promote the utmost results.
According to the Census data, the population across all wards increased as follows: Ward 1, 12.80%; Ward 2, 31.88%; Ward 3, 24.02%; Ward 4, 20.29%; Ward 5, 10.51%; Ward 6, 128.49. As noted, Ward 6 revealed the most substantial population change. Similarly, the demographic composition of residents transformed significantly, with a 492.09% increase in residents who identify themselves as “two or more races.”
The redistricting process has encompassed six in-person public meetings, as well as two virtual meetings, allowing the community to ask questions and make ward boundary suggestions. After the first three public meetings, a new map (#12) was conceived in collaboration with various community participants. This additional map will also be evaluated by the council for adoption. The process will culminate on January 31, 2022, when the City Council will adopt a new ward map. The City of Fort Myers is hereby requesting that the public direct boundary map suggestions and pose questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ward boundary maps may be submitted until December 31, 2021 for consideration. Submitted maps must meet general redistricting guidelines such as compact, contiguous districts, equal population proportions, and boundary lines that follow census block boundaries.
The redistricting process is required by the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. More details regarding the redistricting process and exact timelines, including public meeting dates, are on the city website at www.cityftmyers.com/redistricting