Downtown blocks do ward switcheroo

Share this:
April 23, 2002 // UPDATED 1:18 pm - April 30, 2007
By: David Brauer
David Brauer

On April 12, the Minneapolis Redistricting Commission approved the final ward map that will govern the city until after the 2010 Census.

Among the significant changes, almost all of Downtown will be in a single district, Ward 7, currently represented by DFLer Lisa Goodman. Ward 5, represented by the Green Party's Natalie Johnson Lee, and Ward 2, represented by the DFL's Paul Zerby, lost all or most of their Downtown sections -- which the map (above) details.

Across the river, much of the East Bank-Nicollet Island neighborhood moved from Ward 5 to Ward 3, now represented by DFLer Joe Biernat (who was indicted last week on corruption charges). Ward 3 also picked up some of the current Ward 2 around the St. Anthony Main and the Stone Arch bridge.

The new ward lines will take effect Sept. 10, the city's next primary for state and school board offices. However, councilmembers aren't scheduled to run in the new wards until 2005, although the legislature is considering a bill to hold city elections in 2003.

Community groups such as the NAACP have threatened to sue to overturn the new districts, claiming the unfairly pack minorities and the poor into Johnson Lee's 5th Ward. Barring court action, the Redistricting Commission's plan is law; the city council cannot overturn it.