Please consider signing up to speak at the Redistricting Commission’s meeting this Monday evening for the 3rd Congressional District (Southwest WA). Every 10 years, after the Census is taken, there are 4 Commissioners appointed – 2 Democrat and 2 Republican. Their job is to distribute the population evenly into Congressional and Legislative Districts. Populations always change over time – people might move closer to the cities – or away from them. The distribution of population needs to be redrawn to provide for fair elections.
You may have heard the term “gerrymandering” in the past few months. That term applies to redistricting. It happens when a party wishes to make sure voters are distributed, sometimes in amazing ways, to keep a lock on certain districts (the term was applied the first time to a district that looked a bit like a dragon with a very long thin neck). Our redistricting commission helps keep that from happening to a great extent because of the bipartisan nature of its make-up, but their decisions will still affect all of us. If you live in a rural area, do you want to be moved into a district with the nearby urban area, or do you want to be in a district where others have similar values? We should all want the districts to be drawn fairly to allow for competitive races, no matter your party.
There will be changes made and you have a very short window to have any input into the matter. Even if you quote the Constitution to remind the commissioners that their job is to make sure they follow it, you will be adding to the conversation. If you live in SWW, you need to at the very least, watch on TVW Monday night, but if you would provide a few words to the commission, that is even better. I’m providing the words from the Constitution here. Write a basic statement of just a few sentences based on the words here and add a statement of your own desire for what you want to see in your district. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a couple of sentences. But your voice is important. Use it!
From the Washington State Constitution –>
“To the extent reasonable, each district shall contain contiguous territory, shall be compact and convenient, and shall be separated from adjoining districts by natural geographic barriers, artificial barriers, or political subdivision boundaries. The commission’s plan shall not provide for a number of legislative districts different than that established by the legislature. The commission’s plan shall not be drawn purposely to favor or discriminate against any political party or group.”
To provide input, please follow this link –>