Community Post

CD could become part of new Congressional ‘minority district’

UPDATE: The plan was passed by the redistricting committee. See press release at bottom of post.

It looks like the CD may find itself in a new Congressional District. The state’s bipartisan redistricting commission has publicized a plan to fold the CD into the 9th district as a “Minority District” including southeast Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Renton and on down to Northern Tacoma.  The 9th district is currently represented by Democrat Adam Smith. The Seattle Times has the story (linked below). Interestingly, the northern edge of the proposed 9th district appears to run down Madison, leaving Capitol Hill and possibly Madrona within the 7th district?

A. RAYMOND/THE SEATTLE TIMES. Map used with permission.


EDITOR’S UPDATE: According to the Times, the proposed new 9th District will be the only district in the state where racial minorities make up over 50 percent of the constituents (actually 50.33 percent):

That will happen by reshaping the 9th Congressional District, now represented by Democrat Adam Smith. The district will still include the north end of Tacoma, where Smith lives, but will now stretch north to include southeast Seattle, Renton, Bellevue and Mercer Island.

“The elected representative of this congressional district must fight to win our support by paying attention to the issues of our marginalized communities,” Nate Miles, of the United for Fair Representation coalition, composed of several civil-rights organizations, said in a statement.

UPDATE #2: Some people requested a more detailed view of the district boundary. Here’s a Google Map of the changes (via The Seattle Times). Looks like the commercial core of Madrona will be split, but most residents east of 35th will remain in the 7th District:

View Larger Map

UPDATE #3(1/2/2012): The redistricting committee passed the plan (thanks for the tip Joanna). Here is a map of the version they passed (there are a few small changes in the CD).

View Larger Map
Press release from the committee: pr_010112

24 thoughts on “CD could become part of new Congressional ‘minority district’

  1. Please ensure that all of Seattle is in one congressional district. I live at 21st and E. Union in Seattle’s Central Area and have found that the emphasis of placing all minorities into one legislative district troubling where it is not honoring geographic nearness and access and divides neighborhoods. This usually dilutes the influence those groups could exert in more than one district while at the same time creating barriers for those who are trying to advocate for their neighborhoods and schools. Dividing neighborhoods hurts the neighborhoods where people live. The Central District and area of Seattle betewen E. Madison and I 90 represents some of the oldest residential neighborhoods of Seattle and should be included in the District that represents most of Seattle. For instance Seattle schools, transportation, roads, air have both State and Federal issues and should be left whole in order to advocate as one. No, minority populations should not be divided in a way that purposely splits naturally concentrated neighborhoods and geographic areas. However, dividing the neighborhoods they are in and not honoring boundaries that allow for easy access to other parts the same district creates barriers for all to participate and advocate for their streets, schools, transportation, public safety, and much more. Please as you draw the Congressional lines and Washington State Legislative Districts please remember these points. I hope that part of your mission is to do the best you can for all the citizens of this state. I have not had time recently to follow all of the details. Therefore, I am presenting to you a general philosophy that will benefit all residents of this state and of Seattle.

  2. The school district argument is an interesting one and arguably could be made for the split of Edmonds in the 7th from Lynnwood / Mountlake Terrance / Brier in the 2nd since the “Edmonds” School District #15 actually covers Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Brier.

    I think the issue of keeping cities and/or school districts wholly within a congressional district in the densist parts of the region becomes an issue because of the need to balance the population within each congressional district to the magic 672,454 people in each district. The current proposed lines are within about +/- 10 people of balancing the populations (based on the Census 2010 data). Not sure you could “exchange” CD + SE Seattle popluation for an equivalent amount with a re-draw without splitting up some other school district, etc. Edmonds for example is probably around 35 – 40K people (grew up there), while I suspect CD + SE Seattle is quite a bit higher than this.

  3. What a backwards society we live in where gerrymandering is celebrated while gentrification is decried as evil.

  4. There were many opportunities beyond this type of plan that would have kept more municipalities whole. This is the first time that Seattle has been split. Many who originally proposed this plan live in West Seattle, which would remain in the 7th. West Seattle could have added their areas of minority population, but those who proposed this wanted to remain in the 7th. If this is passed, I will feel that we have just been tossed out of Seattle. We no longer count as Seattle.

  5. I thought Seattle was split between the 1st and the 7th back in the 80’s or 90’s, with the 7th’s boundaries gradually moving north as our population grew. Or am I “misremembering”?

  6. I am pretty sure that a vast majority of Seattle was represented by Mike Lowry. I believe it had to grow when South King County’s population grew more than Seattle’s. Seattle grew, but some other parts of Washington grew to be a greater proportion of the State. The 7th, as currently drawn, includes most of Seattle, Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien. I believe it was mainly the outlying areas that were added. Even now a small corner in NW Seattle near Shoreline is in the 1st. But, this is the first time that Seattle’s core has been split where natural transportation routes, and neighborhoods are split and are also split off from a central portion of the city. I don’t believe that this will serve anyone well. I predict that if this happens Adam Smith will be reelected anyway, and we will loose our connection to the rest of Seattle. Since we will be in a District with less of a Seattle focus, what is good for a Seattle constituency will be easier to ignore.

  7. When you say “our district” I assume you mean the new 9th district?
    “Our district” means different things to different people who read CDN. I live in Madrona, but near one of the edges, so I want to see where we fall out.

    Is there anywhere that shows the boundaries in street-level detail? None of the maps I’ve seen are detailed enough, I must be missing it.

    Google Earth can take up quite a lot of space. With a little experimentation zooming in and out and moving north, south, east and west, you will see the last proposed northern boundary is something like this:
    E. Madison between E. Thomas and Broadway
    follow E.Thomas from E. Madison to 30th Avenue
    South on 30th to E. John
    East on East John to 31st Avenue
    South on 31st to E. Union
    East on East Union to 35th Avenue
    South on 35th Avenue to E. James
    East on E. James to the Lake Washington

    Madison is then the northern boundary until Broadway.
    move south on Broadway to Marion.
    then west on Marion to I-5 where the boundary extends south along I-5 to South Michigan then west on South Michigan to 1st Avenue South/509 which becomes a western boundary.

  9. Thanks, Joanna – this must have been pretty tedious work! So it’s goodbye Jim time, if this version sticks.

  10. Actually, if I understand this correctly, it moves quite a bit of Madrona into the new district, as well as quite a bit of Leschi? I suspect the parts of Madrona and Leschi that end up in this district will tend to make it “bluer” than it would’ve been if it was more heavily weighted to South King County.

  11. I agree with Joanna, this putting us in with Mercer Island and Bellevue does not represent our interests well at all. It’s not just a question of ‘race’ the way they posit it, there are community and economic interests at stake.

    On the other hand, while they claim it makes a ‘safe’ district for Adam Smith, I think he is going to have a number of serious contenders who could win. It is also sometimes helpful to have 2 representatives for your municipality, it certainly has been helpful having 2 state senators and 4 legislators representing different areas of Madison Valley when the community has an important issue we agree on.

  12. Did you see the new map I posted above? It has a good level of detail in the CD. Thanks, Joanna, for the Google Earth layer link!

  13. Yes – I think I posted mine first, or at least began struggling to do so.

    Yours is the best for local detail, Tom, and I’m very glad to see it. Mine shows our relationship to the rest of the city and some of Joanna’s points. Both are interesting and useful, and none of it is cast in stone yet.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t get my link to post correctly; if anyone else wants to try it, have at it! I got there from today’s KOMO web site.

  14. Ktkeller, I am interested in how the 37th District representatives have been helpful. Adam Kline seems to listen. I used to believe that Sharon and Eric would also care. I have not found that to be true for some time. Jamie Peterson and Ed Murray both indicated that the portion of Squire Park that is in the 43rd doesn’t really have any residents in it. Hmm. It is in the 43rd due to the fact that Cal Anderson lived there. And while we have been linked through the 37th with Southeast Seattle, the neighborhood transportation, development, and schools are not a part of compact district where the issues are the same. Southeast Seattle has the light rail and has very distinctly neighborhoods from the Central District. I think getting really good representation has been difficult due to the fact that the 37th is so spread out and splits a number of neighborhoods. Hopefully more neighborhoods will be made whole again in the new redistricting. Remember, the State Legislatures have to approve these plans, including the Congressional. I suspect that our representatives supported us being split from the rest of Seattle.
    9th District, with Southeast Seattle as well as Bellevue, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Renton, Kent, Federal Way, Des Moines, SeaTac, and Tukwila. Part of the Madison Valley may be represented by the 7th and the 9th. However, here in the Central District south of Madison we will be a small sliver of the above group of municipalities.

  15. although recently they recess more than they meet in front of the public.
    During today’s meeting, the Commissioners discussed more possibilities for legislative districts in Eastern Washington. Commissioner Ceis released a new proposal for the east side of the state. They also addressed reconciliation suggestions made by county auditors and members of the public regarding lines on current legislative proposals.

    Both the Saturday and Sunday meeting will be held at the John A. Cherberg Building in Hearing Room 4 (304 15th Ave, Olympia, WA 98501). A draft agenda has been posted on the Commission website. The public is welcome to attend in person or watch and give comment during the interactive webcast on our “Get Involved” page. TVW will be broadcasting live both days.

    The next special meetings are scheduled for:
    Saturday, December 31 at 10:30 a.m.
    Sunday, January 1 at 10:30 a.m.

    Genevieve O’Sullivan
    Communications Director
    Washington State Redistricting Commission
    (360) 786-0044
    [email protected]
    Sign up to receive updates
    Twitter @RedistrictingWA

  16. Despite what I said earlier, I should probably try harder to find a few things that our State Representatives have done for us. Ktkeller, you are correct that with the right balance and a strong desire to advocate, along with a common understanding by all, a split district in an area might work well, at least on some issues. However, these often occur in communities that are not used to working together and are still getting to know each other. Another factor is that the area is perceived as easily ignored. This makes it more difficult for a few citizens to meet and negotiate with elected officials. In areas where residents turn over often then the permanent ones are also split and advocacy becomes more difficutl. It depends on how the split has been made, how many splits, and number of voters involved.