This screenshot shows the proposed voting map for the City of Chattanooga

The Chattanooga City Council voted 8-1 to approve a new, nine-district map of council districts Tuesday afternoon, cementing the boundaries despite community pushback and an objection from one council member.

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod, of Eastdale, was the lone vote against the new map. As the meeting opened, Coonrod moved to deny the new map but no other council member joined her on the motion to reject the new districts.

Last week, the council voted 7-2 to approve the map on first reading, with Coonrod and Isiah Hester, of Washington Hills, being the two votes against.

Hester voted in favor of the map Tuesday afternoon, thanking members in his district as well as other council members on the redistricting committee.

"I want to thank all the Chattanoogans for their input," Hester said.

No other council members offered comments on the map.

Concerns about community input have been a sticking point in the city's redistricting process, which occurs every 10 years and is based on new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Monday, the Hamilton County Voters Coalition asked the council not to vote on the matter and to restart the redistricting process to provide more time for public input.

"In the spirit of compromise and in recognition of the public process that the council has followed since March 1, we respectfully request that council hold a strategic planning meeting devoted to bringing the public up to speed on what factors the city considered when moving people from one district to another," said Theresa Turner, co-chair of the coalition, in a statement.

The Rev. Anthony Chatman of Wesley Chapel told council members during the meeting they did not heed the concerns of local voters and minority communities are having their voting power destroyed.

"I am dismayed by representatives hearing our concerns and yet turning a blind eye," Chatman said. " Do you realize that the African-American community is stronger than it appears right now? And just because you may get perks or thatta-boys or go along with the system, does not mean that the Black community will follow you."

Local activist Marie Mott said she was ashamed of the council.

"You wonder why young people flee from this city," Mott told the council. "You won't listen to us. You wonder why we leave, and we never look back. You are clenching to a status quo and the past, while we are begging to go into a future."

Chattanooga's city government was restructured after a 1989 district court decision forced the city to establish districts better representing minority voters. The court case found the city had been systematically disenfranchising voters under the old system.

The approved map can be viewed online at

Contact Wyatt Massey at or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @news4mass.