Jefferson board  to vote on map

The Jefferson Parish School Board will vote Wednesday to adopt a redistricting map that will then be sent to the Department of Justice for approval.

Every 10 years, the School Board is required to evaluate the current map to ensure that the districts are aligned to the demographics from the most recent census data, Mark Jacobs, board president, said.

After reviewing competing proposals from board members, Jacobs said a decision was made to hire an outside firm to help the board present a map that ensured all districts were within the legal requirements.

Glenn Koepp of Redistricting LLC was brought on to design and recommend a new map, which was presented by Koepp at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Koepp said one of the changes includes creating a new minority district. District 2 would now be a minority district, where previously District 5 was the only minority district in the parish.

The changes required for a new minority district were minor and create a map better mirroring the population, while also leaving less of a door open for potential voting rights issues, Koepp said.

The districts that would see the biggest changes are 1, 2, and 3, which are all on the West Bank, Koepp said. District 2 has too high of a population to meet the legal requirements and needed to be made smaller, Koepp said.

District 2, which stretches south to Lafitte and Grand Isle, would be made geographically smaller so that the southern reach of the parish would be incorporated into District 3. A portion of Westwego that had been part of District 3 would be included in District 1.

Koepp said there would be minor changes to other districts, but they would remain largely intact.

The board will vote to adopt the map proposed by Koepp at a special session 5 p.m. Wednesday at 501 Manhattan Blvd. in Harvey.