Redistricting Knox County

Article by Lindsey Jaremko, ABN Intern and UT MSSW Candidate.

We are reaching out today to let our members know about redistricting efforts currently underway in Knox County. According to the 2020 Census, the county has grown by nearly 11% in the last decade [1]. The Knox County Redistricting Committee formed in March of this year with a deadline of January 1 of next year to complete redistricting. The committee is currently working to redraw lines to create more equally sized populations and specifically increasing the size of District 1 [1]. District 1 includes East Knoxville, the largest population of African American voters in Knox County, currently at 34.4% of the voting share [3].

There are two proposals for consideration for the meeting on October 6:

Proposal 3A, put forth by the committee, would reconfigure District 1 by including Sequoya Hills (currently in District 4) and West Haven (currently in District 3)[1].

Proposal 5, put forth by Commissioners Courtney Durrett and Dasha Lundy, would add the Norwood neighborhood in North Knoxville (currently in District 3).

Of concern, both proposals reduce the African American voting share, with 3A as the most significant reduction. Proposal 5 has a broader impact as it seeks to move nine precincts [1], altering seven of the nine districts[2].

The Knox County Redistricting Committee is meeting on October 6 at 5 p.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the Knoxville City-County Building on 400 West Main Street. The public is invited to address the committee. We hope that you will reflect on the impact this decision may have on your organization, staff, and the people you serve and that you use this opportunity to share your expertise with the committee.

Helpful links:

Official Knox County Districting Site

Interviews on WUOT

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[1] https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2021/08/12/census-2020-tennessee-population-knoxville-racial-diversity/8114711002/

[2] https://knoxcountydistricts.org/meetings/20210901/presentation.pdf

[3] https://knoxcountydistricts.org/resources/population/data/_Population%20Data%20by%20District_PDF.pdf

[4] https://knoxcountydistricts.org/resources/maps/3a.pdf

[5] Precincts: 69-W, 48, 42, 41, 40, 77, 78, 32, 74; https://knoxcountydistricts.org/resources/maps/5.pdf 

[6] Districts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9; Source: https://knoxcountydistricts.org/resources/maps/5.pdf

386 Tiffani Mensch is ABN's Director of Education & Outreach. With 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Tiffani is passionate about helping organizations achieve greater mission impact. If you would like to contribute to the ABN Blog, contact Tiffani at tmensch@betternonprofits.org.