There is nothing magical about the redrawn political boundary lines approved last week by the City Council and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. They assure no one an easy reelection. They assure neither white nor black politicians control in the next City Council. That decision still rests with voters, especially groups of citizens who are concerned enough about the city's future to participate in the upcoming elections.
The new maps create five majority-black districts and one with a lopsided white majority. The process left some white council members bitter at the outcome, especially incumbents who now must battle furiously for their political survival. But the majority of incumbents accepted the new lines, knowing that their own reelection chances had been enhanced in the backroom jockeying.
Sadly, racial animosities played a role in these discussions. The rancor and anger expressed in the council chamber may well spill over into the summer campaigns. We hope that is not the case. Politicians care deeply about redistricting -- far more than do the voters. What citizens care about is the quality of representation they get from their elected leaders at City Hall, regardless of color.