El Campo City Council districts must be redistricted, officials said Thursday, with the effort getting underway immediately.

The U.S. Census lists 12,350 residents divided among the four council districts, 8,888 of which are voting age. The smallest, District 2, currently represented by Gloria Harris, has 2,886, while the largest, District 4, currently represented by John Hancock Jr., has 3,245.

“Redistricting is required when the deviation between the smallest and the largest district exceeds 10 percent,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said, adding, “The largest inter-district deviation is between Districts 2 and 4 with a combined deviation of 11.62 percent. Due to this, the city is required to redraw the voting districts.”

El Campo’s governing board comprises seven council positions, four based on geographic districts and three at-large posts. The districts haven’t been changed since 2000.

If divided evenly, there would be 3,088 residents per district.

The Knight Law Firm LLP of Austin reviewed Census data for $3,000 and will move forward with developing proposed changes for $16,000.

“The city will be required to adopt two resolutions setting the criteria for adopting a redistricting plan and best practices,” Sladek said. “These will be presented at the first Council meeting in December.”

Public hearings on the proposed changes are pending in late December or January.

District 1, currently represented by Anisa Vasquez, roughly covers east El Campo, mainly from east of Mechanic to south of the middle school.

The Census data reports 2,225 Hispanic residents in the district, along with 640 white and 307 black.

District 2, generally the area from west of South Wharton Street and south of the railroad tracks, traditionally holds the most substantial percentage of minority voters in El Campo. The 2020 Census data lists 1,925 Hispanic residents there, along with 330 white and 591 black.

District 3, currently represented by David Hodges, covers an area bounded to the north by West Norris Street, east by North Mechanic Street, and south by the railroad tracks.

The Census report lists 1,139 Hispanic residents in District 3 as well as 1,516 white and 251 black.

District 4, generally north of West Norris Street and West of North Wharton Street, although it also includes the area around El Campo Middle School, has 1,232 Hispanic constituents, 1,842 white and 119 black, according to the Census.

Council will begin discussions during the Monday meeting, 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 315 E. Jackson. The meeting is open to the public.

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