Berkeley City Council to weigh redistricting options at Tuesday meeting

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The Berkeley City Council will revisit the controversial redistricting issue at its meeting Tuesday evening in the wake of a successful referendum that overturned the student-majority district approved in December.

After it officially accepts the referendum, the council is set to vote on either repealing the BSDC map in its entirety — criticized by referendum supporters for excluding several student residences on the north and east sides of campus — or call a special election on June 3 to put the issue before Berkeley voters. A special election would cost $200,000 to $250,000, according to an estimate from the city manager’s office.

However, in the case a special election is not called, the council can also consider an alternative item put forth by Councilmembers Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington and Max Anderson which proposes that the council either rescind the ordinance and approve the alternate USDA map, or direct the city manager to look at previously rejected maps.

If the USDA map is not adopted, one or more of the maps will have to be adjusted for census requirements and presented to the council at a later meeting.

The city council’s redistricting discussion comes under a certain press for time, as a map must be approved by April 1 in order to get a new student district in effect by the November election.

The meeting’s regular session will begin at 7 p.m. at the Berkeley City Council chambers.

Sophie Ho is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sophanho.