City’s population is shifting eastward.

Saint Paul voters should know within a couple of weeks which City Council ward they will call home in the future. Proposed new ward and precinct boundaries will be addressed in public hearings before the Saint Paul Charter Commission on March 10, 11 and 16. The Charter Commission will then vote on the proposed boundaries. The City Council is expected to approve them on March 23.

The new boundaries are in response to the 2020 U.S. Census, which determined Saint Paul’s population to be 311,527, up from 295,068 in 2010. That population must be divided equitably among the city’s seven wards.

Cities are expected to have new ward and precinct boundaries in place by March 29, or 19 weeks before the 2022 primary election. The ward boundaries cannot be set until the boundaries of U.S. congressional and state House and Senate districts are drawn. The new state and federal district lines were announced on February 15 by a panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Saint Paul’s seven wards averaged 40,724 residents each following redistricting after the 2010 census. Since then, Wards 2, 6 and 7 have seen the most growth and Wards 3 and 5 have seen the least growth. The populations of the wards as of the 2020 census are 43,217 in Ward 1; 45,538 in Ward 2; 42,903 in Ward 3; 44,217 in Ward 4; 42,968 in Ward 5; 46,645 in Ward 6; and 46,039 in Ward 7. The average ward population is now 44,504.

   
proposed ward boundaries
The map above shows one of the plans the Saint Paul Charter Commission is considering for redrawing the city's seven wards in response to the 2020 U.S. Census. The colored areas represent the current boundaries of the wards. The bold lines show how those ward boundaries could shift to give the seven wards a near equal share of the city's population.

The Saint Paul Charter Commission has been working on new ward and precinct boundaries with help from the consulting firm of Park Street Strategies, city clerk Shari Moore and Ramsey County Elections staff.

The Charter Commission must draw ward boundaries with precinct lines in mind as well as state and federal mandates for fair elections. The new wards should be as compact and contiguous as possible. Their boundaries should recognize established communities. They may take into account the borders of the city’s 17 district councils. However, the commission may not consider the current addresses of City Council members.

The Charter Commission’s public hearings on ward redistricting will be held remotely at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 10, and in person at 3 p.m. Friday, March 11, at the Rondo Library, 461 N. Dale St., and at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, in Room 40 at City Hall. To access the remote hearing on March 10, visit tinyurl.com/stp-redistricting or join by phone by calling 612-315-7905 and using conference ID 283 392 702#. For more information, visit stpaul.legistar.com/calendar.aspx.

 

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Changes to congressional, legislative districts

With redistricting, Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District has lost a section of Woodbury and an area north of Stillwater. However, the Saint Paul portion of the district has not changed.

State House District 64A has lost portions of Merriam Park and Hamline-Midway north of I-94 to House District 66A, but it now includes a corner of the Snelling-Hamline neighborhood, a portion of Summit-University south of Marshall Avenue and around the Saint Paul Cathedral, and areas of Merriam Park and Macalester-Groveland.

House District 64B has shifted slightly to the south and east. It lost parts of Merriam Park and Macalester-Groveland, but now includes a portion of the West End neighborhood east of I-35E.

House District 65B lost that area east of I-35E and a piece of the North End, but it gained a large section of West Saint Paul and an area north of the state Capitol. House District 65A has shifted slightly to the north and east, losing a chunk of Snelling-Hamline and a sliver of Summit-University but gaining an area north of the Capitol.

— Jane McClure

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