A screenshot of the new "DistrictR" mapping tool released by the city Wednesday.

With final Census data just days away from being released to the public, the Independent Long Beach Redistricting Commission offered a new mapping tool for residents to outline communities of interest and submit sample City Council district lines.

“DistrictR” doesn’t replace the previous mapping tool, known as “Maptitude,” but it is significantly easier to use. DistrictR doest not require a login and is based on 2020 Census legacy data, which is more up to date than the census data that has been available on Maptitude over the past few months.

The tool not only allows residents to outline regions they want to submit as a “community of interest,” something the commission will consider when it begins drawing new district lines next month, but it provides real-time demographics of the areas that are shaded. It also lets users know how many residents live in a given area.

Districts are required to be more or less equal, with an acceptable deviation of 10% total from the “ideal” district population, which is 51,860, according to the most recent Census survey.

This could be a critical tool for residents hoping to capture a certain ethnic enclave in a given boundary. A guide to how to use DistrictR can be found here while a tutorial video on Maptitude can be found here.

The city also announced a series of workshops Wednesday, which will be held by city staff at five public libraries. The first meeting will be held Saturday Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Bret Harte Neighborhood Library in West Long Beach.

Here’s a full list of the in-person mapping workshops:

  • Sept. 18 Bret Harte Neighborhood Library 10 a.m.  1595 W. Willow Street
  • Sept. 25 Michelle Obama Library 10 a.m. 5870 Atlantic Avenue
  • Sept. 30 Mark Twain Library 5:30 p.m.  1401 E. Anaheim Street
  • Oct. 2 Los Altos Neighborhood Library 10 a.m.  5614 E. Britton Drive
  • Oct. 7 Burnett Neighborhood Library 5:30 p.m. 560 E. Hill Street

Long Beach population shifts could mean changes are coming to City Council district lines

LIVE CHAT: What is redistricting and how can you participate in the process?

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.