With four commission positions remaining to be filled, whom should the commissioners select?
The commissioners should choose an African American male from TCCC precinct 1. Since the greatest concentrations of African Americans are located in TCCC precinct 1 (see this map), choosing an African American from this geographic area would provide the greatest voice to the area with the highest concentration of African Americans in the city and the area that would most likely be included in a council district that would possess a plurality of African Americans. The choice should Nathaniel Bradford because of his connections to the community.
An Anglo male and an Anglo female should be chosen from TCCC precinct 2. One, if not both, should be chosen from those voter precincts slightly east and west of MOPAC that featured high voter turnout in the 2012 mayoral election (see this map). The male and female from those voting precincts who the ARP considered the most qualified are Heath Hignight and Linda Dickens, and they should be chosen.
For TCCC precinct 3, the choice should be an Anglo male or female. The choice should be the person who is both the most qualified and the most likely to represent southwest Austin well. The choice should be Lucy Gibbs because of her involvement with the community and length of residency in Austin.
If these are the choices, how representative of Austin’s population will the ICRC be? In geography, TCCC precinct 1, precinct 2, and precinct 3 will each have three commissioners. There will be five commissions from TCCC precinct 4. In race/ethnicity, there will be 6 Hispanics, 1 African American, 1 Asian American, 1 Native American, and 5 Anglos. In gender, there will be 8 females and 6 males. I would argue that the commission would be descriptively representative of the population of Austin in terms of these characteristics, which are those specified in the charter.
At the ICRC meeting later today, the four remaining commissioners may be chosen. We’ll see just how prescient I am.