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Early look at Pierce County districting final map: Facebook page by private group gets chance to see draft, comment

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on June 28, 2011 at 10:35 am with 6 Comments »
June 28, 2011 10:56 am

It hasn’t been released officially and the draft was not posted on the Pierce County Districting Committee website. But districting master Steven Garrett said he has posted a draft of what he terms Map E on the Facebook page of Citizens for Fair Pierce Co. Districting.

Here’s the link to the Facebook page of the group.

I asked Garrett why he would use an unofficial site to post the draft, especially when the county has created a webpage and an e-mail alert system for all postings and comments.

“This was not an official release of the final map, but a way for me to get feedback after the end of public meetings for a draft map,” Garrett wrote. “This is a public Facebook page; anyone can join. Near as I can tell it has people from all over the county and from both parties.

“Official release of the map is set for today,” he said.

Once this final map is submitted, it will become the county’s council districts for the next 10 years unless four of the five districting commissioners vote to amend it. Even if there are not three votes to approve it it becomes law by default.

The new draft vastly reduces the population variances between the seven districts. For example, the range of variance in Map D – the percentage a district is above or below the target population of 113,605 – was 13.3 percent. The range in the draft is 5 percent.

But it gets there at the cost of doing something no other map has done – split a recognized community other than Tacoma which has to be split because of its size. In Map E, part of Parkland is in the Lakewood-centered 6th District and the rest stays in the 5th with East Tacoma and Midland.

The biggest change involves the 4th District. In Map D is a mostly Tacoma district with downtown, South and East Tacoma joined with Fircrest. In the new draft, the 4th has less of East Tacoma and gains all of University Place. UP was with the 6th in Map D.

Incumbent 7th District Councilman Stan Flemming remains outside his district in the draft but would be in the 4th District rather than the 6th. It also appears the 2nd District incumbent Joyce McDonald is back within her district rather than in the 5th as she was in Map D.

If anyone has more detailed observations, please post them here.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Tacomalover says:

    That page has never been private. Its always been to open to anyone. Even Dick Muri is a fan of the page folks!

  2. Tacoma_Bourne says:

    Just another reason for people to get on Facebook. Open dialogue of the community does not exist on a county webpage. Welcome to 2011.

  3. Peter Callaghan says:

    Just because Dick Muri comments there does not transform a page created by Democrats and Democratic-leaning insiders into a “public” page.

    The county created a public webpage and e-mail alert system and told residents that it was the place to go for maps and comments. If you all wanted to set up a page to chat about the topics, that’s great. But it should not be used by the master for official – or even semi-official – postings.

  4. Tacoma_Bourne says:

    This is increased dialogue with the public. I would think the TnT would love that kind of a thing.

  5. I found the fb page through Marianne Lincoln’s blog. She’s been blogging on the Redistricting issue since the first public meeting–maybe even before.

    I’m not surprised to discover so few people know about the decennial redistricting (even my fellow LUAC commissioners seemed to know nothing about it), so not surprised that even fewer people know about the two primary sources for information – Marianne’s blog and the fb page.

    During the Districting meeting held at Franklin Pierce High School, the chair asked the audience members to tell them how we had heard about the meeting. Several people said they’d heard it from me (from my mailing list), several others said they heard about it from an email list run by a gentleman in the Summit-Waller area, and no one said they heard about it from the County, or from the TNT.

    The way news is shared is changing, and thankfully so. Corporate media outlets, especially those owned by conglomerates, have driven citizens to take information-sharing into their own hands.

    By the way, the “Final Map” is available now – http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/aud/elections/redistrict.htm

  6. I have no problem with the Districting Master posting on the fb page–or anyone for that matter. I would, however, appreciate knowing specifically who is posting on behalf of the admins of the group. I belong to numerous FB groups which are administered by several people, who choose to follow their comments with “(Susie)” or “(Derek)”, etc., and I appreciate that.

    I like to know who I’m communicating with, and always use my name when I post comments. Forums like the TNT’s Disqus, well, it’s rampant with people who hide behind anonymity while ranting some of the most volatile crap I’ve ever read, which is why I rarely comment here anymore.

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