The biggest problem with the Washington legislative committee’s new Congressional Districts map is that it’s a hodgepodge of communities that transgress the boundaries of logic and common sense. Take District 6. The very urban, industrialized city of Tacoma transplanted onto the mostly rural Olympic Peninsula counties like a reverse hernia operation? Seriously? They performed the same operation attaching the highly urbanized Everett to Edmonds corridor onto the much less urbanized and mainly rural Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan Counties. It even looks like a useless appendage.
Using the FLAME principle (Facts and Logic About Most Everything), I used the free website davesredistricting.org to construct alternative Congressional District maps that should be obvious to most common sense people. So let’s start with District 6.
The only rational way to form a legitimate 6th District is to go back to the original composition of Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Mason and Kitsap Counties then add the northern two-thirds of Thurston County (above the Highway 507/12 line), which includes Olympia. That makes a population of 768,861 or 1,667 people short of the ideal 770,528 (-0.22 percent). It’s legally alive. See the first map link below.
Of course, that forces District 10 further north to regain enough population. Since the Supreme Court remanded the redistricting issue to the legislature for further consideration and final decision, I am proposing the following alternate map for their evaluation (link): Alt-map. Use the toolbar to highlight “County” boundaries first, then as you zoom in, especially on the West Side metroplex, switch to the “City” limits. This new map respects city integrity as much as possible. Also check “Statistics” (toolbar) to see each district’s composition and political affiliation.
However, If the legislature wants to take a really bold step and also move Kittitas County where it belongs – on the East Side – in the 4th District, that’s possible by moving East Wenatchee and Chelan Falls over to the 8th District plus other minor adjustments on the 8th District’s western border. The statistics still work. This second alternate map is available at: 2Alt-map/K4.
To help identify major West Side cities with their districts, District 7 is Seattle. District 1 contains Everett, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Shoreline, Kirkland and Redmond. District 9 contains Bellevue, Inglewood, Mercer Island, Renton, Kent, Federal Way and N/2 of Auburn. District 10 contains Tacoma, Vashon Island, Lakewood, JB Lewis-McChord and Puyallup.
Both proposed maps recognize and respect inherent geographical, political and social affiliations of the respective districts. They make common sense. The legislative redistricting commission’s latest map doesn’t. If readers support one of these other proposed maps, please forward this letter to your own state district legislators with affirmation. Especially residents of Kittitas County.