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Tag: redistricting


Norm Dicks: I want to keep Tacoma

Dicks speaks in front of the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma./ JOE BARRENTINE

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks today criticized a Republican-drawn redistricting map that would slice Tacoma off of his district.

Four redistricting commissioners unveiled maps Tuesday, including Tom Huff, who wants to put Olympia, Lacey and Bainbridge Island into Dicks’s 6th Congressional District and move Tacoma and Gig Harbor into Rep. Adam Smith‘s 9th district.

Dicks said Huff “made a serious mistake.”

“Taking me out of Tacoma is very hard to understand. The other three commissioners all keep Tacoma in my district,” Dicks said in an interview. “I just think this looks very political.”

Dicks noted he has represented Tacoma since his first election to Congress in 1976 and said there’s an important tie between Tacoma and Bremerton in that both areas are home to military bases. Dicks is the top Democrat on the defense budget subcommittee. Read more »


Draft maps would squeeze legislators out of their districts

The Redistricting Commission must redraw the state’s 49 legislative districts, and the four draft maps show many lawmakers squeezed out of their existing districts, including Democratic Rep. Troy Kelley of Tacoma, who would move from the Lakewood-centered 28th to the urban 27th under Republican plans.

Democrats would make the 28th a more urban district to keep Kelley in it.

Republican commissioner Slade Gorton would bump Sen. Tracey Eide of Redondo into the 33rd where she could have to compete with fellow Democrat Karen Keiser.

But it’s Democratic commissioner Tim Ceis’s proposal that pushes the most lawmakers out of their districts. One set of dominoes would fall with his move of Republican Rep. Gary Alexander of Thurston County out of the 20th and into the 2nd that stretches up into southwest Pierce County.

Ceis’ proposal would then push Rep. Jim McCune, a Graham Republican, out of the 2nd and into the reconfigured 31st. Read more »


How Pierce County fares in Redistricting Commission’s proposed maps

Pierce County might end up with four members of Congress.

The four plans for redrawing Washington’s congressional and legislative districts were unveiled today, and the headline is that three of them create a congressional district where minorities outnumber whites. But many people will be most interested in what happens to their own districts, which everyone can now see on these maps that allow the public to comment.

As it stands now, Pierce County is split up between three members of Congress — Reps. Adam Smith, Norm Dicks and Dave Reichert.

One plan, by Gig Harbor Republican Tom Huff,

Read more »


Redistricting: 3 of 4 maps would create majority-minority congressional districts

There’s a majority in favor of majority-minority.

Three of the four people drawing Washington’s political lines favor creating a congressional district where racial and ethnic minorities make up the majority.

Washington’s congressional districts must be redrawn using 2010 Census results, including a new district the state was awarded because of population gain. The four members of the Redistricting Commission will draw those lines, and today they laid out their opening positions.

Each of the men was appointed by a caucus in the Legislature (House Democrats, Senate Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Republicans). And of those, only the House Democrats’ representative, Dean Foster, did not propose a majority-minority congressional district.

The two Republicans and one Democrat who proposed majority-minority districts said — echoing a coalition of advocates for minority groups — they would better ensure minorities would be represented. Foster said he drew districts so that two had large minority populations, rather than one that topped 50 percent.

Underlying all of this is an obvious fact: While different groups have different voting pattern, racial minorities as a whole tend to vote Democrat. The commissioners didn’t put it in these terms, but Republicans believe creating one heavily minority district will help them make gains in other districts that will shed minorities. Read more »


State redistricting forum in Tacoma today

At a meeting this evening in Tacoma, the board drawing Washington’s new political boundaries will take public comment.

The Washington State Redistricting Commission public forum, one of 17 across the state, starts at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Washington Tacoma’s Phillip Hall, 1918 Pacific Avenue. A pre-forum open house starts at 6 p.m.

The commission is likely to hear opinions from party activists and maybe even some average citizens about how it should draw districts for Congress and the Legislature — including a new 10th Congressional District.

The state board should not be confused with the Pierce County

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Map C: Latest iteration of Pierce County district lines posted. Hearing tonight in Spanaway

It is the third version of district lines as prepared by Districting Committee Special Master Steven Garrett and is in response to concerns expressed by residents as well as member of the five-member committee.

This link includes all three versions but the latest – labeled May C – is the most current and reflects the latest thinking of the master and the committee members.

The newest map makes three major changes from the earlier version called Map B. It keeps Joint Base Lewis McChord within the Lakewood-centered 6th District rather than combine it with the 3rd District. It also

Read more »


Slade Gorton and Tom Huff will lead Republicans on state Redistricting Commission

The leaders of the House and Senate Republican caucuses tapped former members of the Washington state Legislature to represent the GOP on the commission that will draw congressional and legislative lines.

But the Senate appointee has a much-longer political resume than that. Former U.S. senator and former state attorney general Slade Gorton was appointed by Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt. House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt named former budget chairman Tom Huff to represent that caucus. Huff, of Gig Harbor, represented the 26th District from 1995 to 2001.

The two Republicans will join two men appointed last month by Democrats – former House Chief Clerk Dean Foster will represent House Democrats and Tim Ceis will represent Senate Democrats. Ceis is the onetime chief of staff to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. He is now a partner and founding member of Ceis Bayne East Strategic, a consulting firm. Foster, who also was Gov. Booth Gardner’s chief of staff, served on the redistricting commission in 2001.

These four will agree on a non-voting chairman and then use new Census numbers to divide the state into 49 legislative districts and 10 congressional districts. The later dividing act is made difficult by the fact that the state now has 10 districts rather than nine.

The state Legislature can then approve or reject the plan but it can’t change it. While it is sometimes referred to as a non-partisan commission, the appointees show that it is very partisan. The commission, approved by voters in 1983, is better described as bi-partisan because at least three commissioners at least one from each party must agree on a final plan.

Here’s the release announcing the GOP appointments: Read more »