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Butchers Hill Dominates Redistricting Hearing at Poly

Although the redistricting hearing was held in North Baltimore, the South Baltimore neighborhood dominated the conversation.

Although Wednesday night's Baltimore City Council hearing on a proposed redistricting plan was held in North Baltimore at , the Butchers Hill neighborhood dominated the conversation.

Residents of that neighborhood testified—one after another—about their objections to being divided into two council districts. The proposed redistricting plan would keep the south half of the neighborhood in District 1 and put the north in District 13. 

However, a few North Baltimore residents echoed the complaints of Butchers Hill residents.

George Peters, a member of the Hampden Community Council, said he attended the redistricting hearing last week at Patterson High School. He said he has discussed what he learned at that hearing with his neighbors.

"Hampden is really quite interested in being whole again," Peters said.

Currently Hampden is primarily included in District 7 and the northeast corner is in District 14.

"We have what looks like a drunken snake came through our neighborhood," Peters said.

Armand Girard, a resident in District 4 who ran as a Republican for the council in 2004, also complained during the hearing that the lines were gerrymandered and unfair to neighborhoods, such as Cedarcroft and Bellona-Gittings.

Councilwoman Belinda Conaway, D-District 7, has expressed her displeasure with the proposed redistricting, and during the hearing told upset residents not to blame council members.

"This is not the City Council's plan. This is the mayor's plan," Conaway said.

Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, D-District 5, refuted Conaway. 

"At this point the mayor and the City Council will work together," Spector said.

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