April 2022 – As required by Section 2.01 of the City of Tampa Charter, every four years, the Planning Commission is required to evaluate and update the boundaries of Tampa’s four single-member districts (Districts 4, 5, 6, and 7). On Monday, April 11, at the second of two public hearings, the Planning Commission approved the recommended Alternative 2. The Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections, Craig Latimer, was present and lauded the effort, “I tout this process universally. If everyone would do the process like this was done, we would be in great shape.”
Alternative 2 moved voting precinct 318 from Council District 5 to Council District 6 and voting precinct 338 from Council District 7 to Council District 5. This alternative had the lowest range in population (3.2%) between the most populous (97,504 persons in District 5) and the least populous (94,426 persons in District 7) council districts. Lastly, it yields the most African American voters in District 5 (51.2% of registered voters) and Hispanic voters (24.7% of registered voters) in District 6. These two districts have been traditional strongholds for these two historically disadvantaged groups.
The 2022 Tampa City Council Redistricting was kicked off back in October 2021. Staff planned and executed a comprehensive outreach of voters in precincts that could move council districts under the proposed alternatives. The Planning Commission emailed thousands of potentially affected voters and called, sent letters, and emails to stakeholders (e.g., NAACP, Hispanic Services Council, neighborhood associations, The League of Women Voters), issued press releases and placed legal ads in the local papers. There were four in-person open houses held on weekday evenings at libraries and schools and two virtual Zoom meetings were held on Saturday mornings. Staff setup a website and publications were made available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the Supervisor of Elections Office were on-hand to answer voter questions and offer voter registration services. This complex project would not have been possible without enthusiastic participation from our partners: Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections, City of Tampa’s Office of City Attorney, Hillsborough County Public Schools, and Hillsborough County Library Services. Figure 1 shows the approved boundaries for Tampa’s single-member council districts.