State Opinion: Columbus council makes redistricting complicated

By Columbus Commercial Dispatch

To understand a thing, you must first understand its nature. On Tuesday, the Columbus City Council formally adopted the redistricting plan it initially approved in May. That plan, drawn up after several council work sessions by the Oxford consulting firm of Bridge and Watson, was approved 4-1 Tuesday. Previously, the vote in favor of the plan had been 4-2.
As the process goes, there was little to suggest that the redistricting would be contentious.
This year, the redistricting amounts to little more than drawing a few more lines on a map.
So, naturally, the process was complicated. Ward 5 councilman Kabir Karriem presented an alternate plan in much the same manner a person plants kudzu – he dropped it and ran.
Ultimately, the battle is over Ward 2. Under the council’s plan, the ward’s black majority would have stayed the same at 56.2 percent.
Opponents of the plan would like to push that percentage higher by about 10 percentage points. Both plans will be submitted to the Department of Justice. Both plans have flaws. It would not be surprising if the DOJ said no to both plans, in fact. So it’s really a muddled mess in the end. Ah, but that’s politics. And that’s the nature of it.
Columbus Commercial Dispatch

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