Saturday, March 25, 2023

Metro Planning Releases Two Draft Metro Council District Maps for Public Input: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 24, 2023)

From Dist. 27 Councilman Bob Nash's email newsletter- The Metro Nashville Planning Department has
released two draft Metro Council District maps of 15 Districts with 5 At Large seats and 17 Districts and 3 At Large seats. This is being done in accordance with the Metro Council Reduction Act, passed by the State. It requires the Metro Planning Commission to establish new district boundaries, with no more than 20 Councilmembers by April 10. With the release of these maps, Planning Staff will spend the week of March 27 at in-person events gathering public feedback, as well as reviewing online comments on our redistricting website –

Metro Planning strives to adhere to the same methods and principles we used in the 2021 redistricting process. However, the short timeline imposed by the state law deeply constrains the community input period. Nevertheless, our goal is to release a minimum of two separate rounds of draft maps that respond to community input by our April 10 deadline. “This state law directs our department to perform a difficult task in a short timeframe,” said Lucy Kempf, Metro Planning Executive Director. “The process, while far from ideal, must prioritize opportunities for our residents’ voices to be heard so that communities are able to stay together, and ensure we have a district makeup that reflects our diverse county. This is the purpose of releasing such maps today for public feedback.”

Planning Staff uses a series of Federal, State, and traditional redistricting criteria when drawing district
boundaries. While no map will meet all criteria, it is important to ensure that maps meet the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In Section Two of the Voting Rights Act it prohibits “any electoral practice or procedure that minimizes or cancels out the voting strength of members of racial or language minority groups in the voting population. This phenomenon is known as vote dilution.” The current Metro Council reflects Nashville’s diversity in important ways. African-American Councilmembers make up 25% of the Council, in line with that community’s share of the County’s overall population. Our goal is to propose draft boundaries that sustain this level of representation and avoid vote dilution. Similarly, the draft maps retain a South Nashville “plurality Hispanic” district that supports the Council’s overall diverse representation.

Planning staff anticipate close scrutiny and discussion of these draft districts to better understand concerns related to vote dilution. The Department plans to make changes in subsequent drafts to address those concerns to the greatest extent possible under federal, state and local law. The 2021 Redistricting process had a robust public input process that resulted in broadly supported maps. While the State law does not allow for that level of public engagement, Metro Planning greatly values the feedback of Nashville’s residents and will work to incorporate their feedback into additional draft proposals. Metro Legal has filed a lawsuit against the State asking for an injunction. If the Courts grant an injunction, Metro Planning will cease all work immediately. For more information about this redistricting process, to access the maps, and online feedback tool please visit


Public Engagement Opportunities:

• Monday, March 27: Hadley Park Community Center, 1037 28th Ave. N. o 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, March 28: Metro Campus o Sonny West Conference Center, 700 2nd Ave. S.: 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. o Planning Department, 800 2nd Ave. S.: 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, March 29: Southeast Community Center, 5260 Hickory Hollow Pkwy o 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

• Thursday, March 30: Madison Library, 610 Gallatin Pike S. o 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Richel Albright, Communications Director Metro Nashville Planning Department

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