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City of La Crosse redistricting maps barely pass committee

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Some city council members aren’t happy with how the redistricting process is going. 

By a narrow 4 -3 vote Tuesday night, the Judiciary and Administration (J&A) Committee sent new city district maps (download here / old map here) to the full council for an Oct. 11 vote.

Two of the opposing votes were by council members that would get displaced by the new maps.

“This proposed plan does unseat three incumbents, which none of us are excited about, but it is the lowest criteria for redistricting,” committee member Mackenzie Mindel said during the meeting. “So I just want to make sure that the public knows that, that we can’t make decisions based on unseating incumbents even if we wanted to.”

Members complained that, because of the pandemic, the process of drawing new council districts for the next decade seemed rushed.

“I don’t feel that the city Redistricting Committee had enough time and were somewhat strong armed into making a decision that maybe we weren’t all comfortable with,” council member Chris Kahlow, who voted to oppose and would be one of the displaced members, said.

She added that they felt pressure to go along with the lines drawn by La Crosse County’s board, while Mayor Mitch Reynolds said it wasn’t all on the county.

“I peg it directly on the federal government and the length of time that it took to complete the census,” he said, “and whoever was in charge of that in 2020. That is where I would put that blame, personally.”

The 13 La Crosse council districts double as the first 13 districts for the county board. 

There are concerns that under the proposed county map, three incumbent council members would be moved out of their current districts. 

Mindel, Chris Woodard, Andrea Richmond and Jennifer Trost were the four who voted in favor. Trost is one of the three who would be displaced with these maps.


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