Wilmington City Council Newsletter November 1, 2021

Wilmington City Council holds
Third Redistricting Committee/Public Hearing meeting

The Wilmington City Council Redistricting Committee met for the third time on Thursday, October 28, 2021, to discuss the Committee’s Progress, to review and consider maps and redistricting proposals, to hear public comments, to request a motion for recommendation of Redistricting Committee to Council, and to discuss legislative requirements and a path forward. The meeting can be viewed here.

The City Council Redistricting Committee must prepare a report by February 2022 that contains a recommended plan for adjusting the councilmanic district boundaries of districts one through eight. Council is using new census data from the United States Census Bureau to redraw the district lines in order to reflect how local populations have changed. Wilmington City Council encourages you to visit our Redistricting website here. There, you will find our 2020 Wilmington Census Population Numbers and all eight district maps of our 2010 district lines with 2020 populations. You can also view the agenda and presentation items, as well as the video programs, for all three Redistricting Committee Meetings on our redistricting website.

Our next Redistricting Meeting, which will be our official city-wide public hearing, will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 5pm. Members of the public can attend the redistricting meetings either online, or in-person in Council Chambers located at the Louis L. Redding City/County building. Wilmington City Council is encouraging members of the public to provide any maps and, or proposals by Monday, November 15, 2021, to allow for ample time to have suggested maps generated and printed. Written proposals can be submitted on Council’s website here, and written proposals can be submitted with maps at the Wilmington City Council’s office on the 9th floor at the Louis L. Redding City/County building, by email to your district Council Member here, or by email to our dedicated email address at redistricting@wilmingtonde.gov

Delaware Disaster Declaration is Approved

Photo courtesy of Wilmington Fire Department
In early September, many of our Northeast residents and businesses were severely affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which passed through our city from September 1st to September 7th. A few weeks after Hurricane Ida flooded our neighborhoods, Governor John Carney wrote a letter to President Joe Biden requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Delaware. President Joe Biden approved Delaware’s Major Disaster Declaration on October 24th. The approved requests included Public Assistance, a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance request for direct assistance to homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Ida was rejected by FEMA. FEMA determined that “the impact to individuals and households in New Castle County is not of the severity and magnitude to warrant designation of Individual Assistance.” Although FEMA’s Individual Assistance request was denied, homeowners and renters can apply for a SBA Disaster Loan Assistanceonline or by calling 1-800-659-2955. Federal funding will also help our state and local governments, as well as certain nonprofits, pay for emergency protective measures and repair or replacement of facilities. State and local government agencies and eligible nonprofits can submit projects to fund through the public and SBA assistance by visiting DEMA’s website at dema.delaware.gov.

Proclamation recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Governor John Carney brought awareness to domestic violence by signing a proclamation that recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness month in Delaware. The signing ceremony allowed advocates of domestic violence awareness to discuss the issue. The proclamation states that “22,745 domestic violence incidents were reported to Delaware law enforcement agencies during the last fiscal year, and 11,281 of the domestic violence incidences reported were criminal incidents with 15% having children present and resulted in fatal injury. Also, during the last fiscal year, 48,300 calls were received by domestic violence hotlines, connecting victims to supportive shelters, such as housing, transitional housing, and medical and legal services to help victims escape a cycle of abuse.” The pandemic’s impact was also highlighted – as the shelter in place measures often left survivors sheltering in place with their abuser. The proclamation signing ceremony can be viewed in it’s entirety here.

Wilmington City Council President Trippi Congo also brought awareness to domestic violence during his October 4, 2021, broadcast of the President’s Weekly Address. He shared that “Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time for all of us to speak up about domestic violence, raise awareness, and support survivors of this devastating but common issue.” Anyone affected by domestic violence in New Castle County can call 302-762-6110.

Juneteenth becomes an official paid holiday for Delaware

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, Governor John Carney signed House Bill 119, declaring Juneteenth a paid state holiday in the state of Delaware. State and local officials, Wilmington City Council Members, Mayor Mike Purzcyki, and local advocates joined together with the grandmother of Juneteenth, Opal Lee, to recognize and celebrate this momentous day in Delaware’s history. The newest paid holiday, which will begin on June 19, 2022, signifies Delaware’s official recognition of the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in the United States, on June 19, 1865.

At 94 years old, Opal Lee is an activist and lifelong Texan who has campaigned to make June 19 a national holiday for years. In 2016, at the age of 89, she decided to walk from her home in Fort Worth to Washington, D.C., in an effort to get Juneteenth named a national holiday. She traveled two and a half miles each day to symbolize the two and a half years that Black Texans waited between when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, on Jan. 1, 1863, abolishing slavery, and the day that message arrived in Galveston, where Black people were still enslaved, on June 19, 1865. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill to make Juneteenth, or June 19, the 12th federal holiday.


Media Contact: 
Yesenia Taveras, Director of Communications
302-576-2585 | ytaveras@wilmingtonde.gov
City Council Website: www.wilmingtoncitycouncil.com

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