PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Major changes are on their way to Portland’s city council after last fall’s election.

On Wednesday, the people who will draw the new city council districts were appointed by the city council, and now they have a lot of listening to look forward to.

This mapping process will work like the charter. If nine of 13 commissioners approve the maps they will be created, but anything less, and the city council will step in.

There are guardrails for the new districts, they will be equal in size and they must be compact and contiguous to avoid weird shapes that are associated with gerrymandering.

The charter mandates that the districts should have borders that go along existing geographical boundaries like rivers or highways and political boundaries like neighborhoods and it also requires communities of interest to be grouped together.

Once the drafted maps are released, the commission will need to have two hearings in each of the four proposed districts.

Arlene Kimura is on the commission and lives in the Eastside and says it’s about time these conversations get out of downtown.

“For the majority of our residents, the politicians downtown are exactly that, far away and not very relevant and this is what I feel seems to be lacking,” said Kimura.

Commissioner Mingus Mapps agrees to say that, while he wasn’t supportive of the exact measure that voters approved, the intention was to provide more equitable representation.

“Historically folks, for example, east of 82nd have not had strong representation on council I think this is an opportunity to fix that,” said Mapps.

A commission member told KOIN 6 there will be demographic and mapping data they will have access to in drawing these maps, but Kimura says thinking about culture is as important if not more in these districts.

“It’s real people that are impacted when you make those decisions from computer-generated information.”

Mapps also wonders how will these districts mesh with the voting rights act because multimember districts are a unique setup in the United States.

“It’s new territory. Is suspect that frankly, no one in the country has come together to figure out how this space works.” Mapps said.