Sam Allard / Scene
Rand McNally Road Atlas comes to Cleveland.
Population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week show Cleveland with a population of 378,589. If accurate, the city's population loss will have continued steadily, though gradually, since 2010, when total city residents numbered 396,815.
As cleveland.com reported Friday
, the current estimate puts the city above the threshold (375,000) at which Cleveland City Council would have to eliminate two council seats. According to the city charter, council representation is tied to Cleveland's population.
But population growth downtown and on the neighborhoods of the near west side will likely result in a redrawn council map. That promises to be a tense and politically supercharged process and will be an exercise in delicate leadership for whomever replaces Kevin Kelley as council president, (Ward 6's Blaine Griffin, barring anything unforeseen.)
Things could get heated if new ward boundaries threaten to upset the body's current racial balance. There are now eight Black council members, 8 white council members, and one Latina.
The full census results aren't expected until September, and as cleveland.com's Rich Exner recently noted
, the Census was off by a substantial margin when it estimated Cleveland's population in 2009 versus the actual results in 2010. So City Council shouldn't heave sighs of relief just yet.
But as far as local journalists are concerned, "leaking" is now much more accurate than "hemorrhaging" to describe Cleveland's population loss.
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