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Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Councilwoman Carol Berz speaks during a memorial service for Rev. Paul McDaniel at Second Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Chattanooga City Council this week will hold its first public input session to let residents weigh in on newly proposed political boundaries using 2020 census data.

The public input session, which will come one week before the council votes on the proposed nine-district map on April 5, will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers, 1000 Lindsay St. Redistricting is required every 10 years to reflect new population information.

"What we attempted to do was to keep the districts as much as possible the same," said Councilwoman Carol Berz, of Brainerd Hills, in a Friday phone interview. "Where we had to massage some of the lines, it was only a slight difference relative to the census results."

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Those who wish to view the proposed map can do so at bit.ly/ChattaRedistrict.

City Council chair Chip Henderson, of Lookout Valley, in a Friday phone interview said council members will give each speaker at the public forum two minutes to speak and that the forum would not last more than an hour.

He added that he would lose Hill City under the proposed map, and although he doesn't want to lose the area, he sees the reason behind it.

"The Hill City neighborhood is one of my most active neighborhood associations, and I'm not happy about losing it, but I understand why," Henderson said. "I'm not going to be the council representative for District 1 forever. At some point a new council person will wind up being in District 1, and it shouldn't be about a council person, it should be what makes the most sense for a neighborhood or community."

Councilman Ken Smith, of Hixson, in a Friday phone interview said he would lose the Murray Hills area under the proposed map and that he'd hate to see it go.

"It's not one that I am interested in no longer representing, it's a wonderful neighborhood, great people, but the numbers themselves to keep that wouldn't work out on the north end," Smith said, noting how complex the redistricting process is.

The city has posted information about the largest changes to the districts, but it did not include District 4. The new map wouldn't take effect until March 2025 when the next City Council elections occur, Berz said.

District 1 (Chip Henderson, of Lookout Valley)

District 1 would gain Pine Hill and Northmont Estates but lose Hill City.

District 2 (Jenny Hill, of North Chattanooga)

District 2 would gain Hill City, City Green and The Pinnacle building.

District 3 (Ken Smith, of Hixson)

District 3 would gain the neighborhoods north of Ely Road and lose Murray Hills.

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District 5 (Isiah Hester, of Washington Hills)

District 5, a majority-minority district, would continue all the way to the Tennessee River and would contain all of Highway 58. It also would gain the Austin Farm neighborhood.

District 6 (Carol Berz, of Brainerd Hills)

District 6 would gain Summit and everything north of Standifer Gap Road. It would also gain a small neighborhood near Airport Road.

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District 7 (Raquetta Dotley, of East Lake)

District 7, a majority-minority district, would gain the northern portion of East Main Street.

District 8 (Marvene Noel, of Orchard Knob)

District 8, a majority-minority district, would gain east of Georgia Avenue and Battery Heights.

District 9 (Demetrus Coonrod, of Eastdale)

District 9, a majority-minority district, would shift east and would include all of Highland Park.

Contact Logan Hullinger at lhullinger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.

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