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By Vikki Martin

I want to briefly update the community on the status of the Redistricting Committee’s (Committee) meeting on Tuesday, August 23.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to email, fax or call the Committee to express your desire to see that Plan 3 be reconsidered. It was the best map not only for the City of Dallas, but for our community. With Plan 3 the far East Dallas area would have a voice at City Hall that would truly represent the citizens of our ethnically and economically diverse community. Our area would have been one of two districts that were considered “coalition districts,” meaning that the district reflects the demographics, economics, and diversity of the City of Dallas as a whole. It should be noted that more than 250 emails, faxes and calls were received by the Committee from our community alone!

I am sorry to report that our emails were ignored. The Committee has decided to move forward with Plan 16 d. This map is bad for us and for other communities because it does not follow the 2011 Redistricting Guidelines established by the City Council. In this document it clearly states that districts be geographically compact and composed of contiguous territory. The guidelines also state, and FRI believes this is the most important factor that has been ignored by The Committee, and that is that “communities of interest shall be maintained in a single district, where possible…”

We want you to look at Plan 16 d closely. Our community has been gerrymandered (again) and has once again been drawn into South Dallas. To view this map please visit the City web site at: then click on the Final Map to view details.

The Ferguson Road Initiative has taken action and has engaged a team of dedicated and qualified volunteers to challenge Plan 16 d. FRI will be sending Mayor Rawlings a letter this week expressing our dismay over the current drawing of our district and our intentions to challenge this map (the community will receive a copy of this letter). We have 45 days to mobilize and organize against this Plan and the clock is ticking now!

FRI asks that the far East Dallas community prepare to fight this current Plan. You may be asked to write emails, fax and mail letters, or make phone calls to City Hall. Most importantly, you may be asked to take off work and attend the City Council meeting when this Plan is scheduled to be approved.

The Redistricting of our community is a very important issue. It will decide who will represent us for the next 10 years. FRI has dedicated itself to restoring and preserving this once forgotten and underserved community. We have a library scheduled to open in January 2012, a Recreation Center on the horizon, and an infrastructure plan that we need to implement that will improve and enhance the beauty of our neighborhoods. Let’s not go backwards. Stand up and be counted and distribute this email among your friends and neighbors.

FRI will be back in touch with you soon.