Sample St. Paul City Council resolution to end prison-based gerrymandering within the City of St. Paul

WHEREAS, Section 2 of Article VII of the Minnesota constitution provides in pertinent part as follows: “no person loses residence … while confined in any public prison.”

WHEREAS, despite these provisions, the Census classifies incarcerated persons as residents of their places incarceration rather than of their home addresses.

WHEREAS, the St. Paul seeks to use population data in redistricting that conforms to the Minnesota Constitution.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the City Council intends to count incarcerated people at their home addresses for redistricting purposes, by the following procedure:

1.

(a) In each year in which the federal decennial census is taken but in which the United States Bureau of the Census counts incarcerated persons as residents of correctional facilities, the City Council shall request from each 1) Ramsey County, 2) Minnesota, and 3) Federal Bureau of Prisons, to deliver to the St. Paul Planning & Economic Development Department:

(i) a unique identifier, not including the name, for each incarcerated person subject to the jurisdiction of the department on the date for which the decennial census reports population;

(ii) the residential address of such person prior to incarceration or other proper residential address (if known);

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the information required to be provided pursuant to this subdivision shall not include the name of any incarcerated person and shall not allow for the identification of any such person therefrom. The same shall be treated as confidential and shall not otherwise be disclosed except as aggregated by census block for redistricting purposes.

2.

(a) The Planning & Economic Development Department shall adjust the redistricting data received from the Census as follows:

(i)First, all people incarcerated in a correctional facility within St. Paul shall be deemed to have an unknown addresses. Residences at unknown addresses within the City shall not be included in data used in redistricting, including the average population of any set of districts, wards, or precincts.

(ii) Second, the data received in the reports shall be used to adjust the redistricting data as follows:

(A) All incarcerated persons shall be, where possible, reallocated for redistricting purposes, such that each Census geographic unit reflects incarcerated populations at the residential address provided in the report.

3. The adjusted data prepared by the Planning & Economic Development Department shall be the basis of all St. Paul City districts that are based on population.

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