The case is captioned Joyce Banks, et al. versus City of Peoria and it was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in 1987. The case number is 87-2371. The settlement was approved in November 1987.
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The City of Peoria's current form of government consists of one Mayor; 5 District Council Members, each representing one of five Council Districts; and 5 At-Large Council Members, each representing the City as a whole. The terms are staggered so that the At-Large Council Members are elected at one time and the District Council Members and the Mayor are elected at the next election.
The method of election is different for the type of Council Member. Each is elected for a four-year term. The last election was in 2019 for the five At-Large Council Member positions, for terms that run from 2019 to 2023. The At-Large Council Members are elected by a cumulative voting process which allows the voter to distribute a total of five votes to one or up to five candidates.
The Mayor and District Council Members were elected in 2021 for terms that run from 2021 to 2025. The Mayor and District Council members are elected by a traditional one-vote method; i.e., in each Council District, a voter is allowed to vote for one candidate for District Council Member, in addition to being allowed one vote for a candidate for Mayor.
The City is considering new Council Districts due to population changes that resulted from the 2020 Census. The U.S. Voting Rights Act and the 1987 lawsuit settlement, which affected the electoral structure, require the five Council Districts to remain in place and the redistricting to take place following receipt of the census reports every ten years.
The boundary changes are required to have nearly equal districts based on the 2020 Census population data. For five districts, the goal of each district is 22,630 people with a maximum deviation of 5% [21,498 to 23,761]. To reach the goal of 22,630 people, the 1st District would need to expand by 3,938 people, the 2nd District would need to grow by 1,555 people, the 3rd District would need to grow by 1,113 people, the 4th District would need to contract by 1,329 people and the 5th District would need to contract by 5,568 people.
The City Council, on December 14, 2021, appointed the City Council Committee as a Whole for the purpose of making a recommendation on boundaries for City Council Districts.
The City Council will make a decision on District boundaries.
Any change in the method of election or the number of Council Districts must be done by referendum. The referendum question may be initiated by the City Council or by citizen petition. If the referendum question is initiated by the City Council, the City would seek approval of the Federal District Court to hold the referendum.
Proceed with five Districts and change the boundaries based on 2020 Census data.
The City of Peoria Redistricting Committee would make a recommendation to the Council on possible boundary changes, with the final decision made by the City Council. Potential boundaries would take into consideration the listed criteria. The City Council would pass an ordinance changing the boundaries.
District Council Members will be elected in 2025.
Proceed with public meetings regarding 5 Council District boundary amendments.