Legislative and Congressional District Boundary Changes by Jane Mulholland
Note: Thank you to Rep. David Gomberg for his recent newsletter article about Redistricting. The following is a synposis of information contained in his article and reprinted with his permission.
Based on the 2020 census data that documented population growth in the state, oregon has earned a 6th congressional seat. Three primary factors determine how decisions on new boundaries are drawn: 1. Contiguity: Districts should be physically adjacent, i.e., parts of a district should be connected at some point with the rest of the district. 2. Compactness: Constituents within a district should live as near to one another as practicable. 3. Communities of interest: Maps should keep communities of interest together. This is defined as a "group of people in a geographical area, such as a specific region or neighborhood, who have common political, social or economic interests.”
The Oregon Legislature is responsible for crafting a redistricting plan for both legislative and congressional districts, which will be addressed during a special legislative session in September. If the legislature is unable to pass a legislative redistricting plan during the special session, the job will fall to the Oregon Secretary of State. Secretary Fagan is putting together a People’s Commission to help inform her process should the job come to her. The deadline to apply to serve on this Commission is September 2nd. If the legislature does not pass a congressional redistricting plan, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court will appoint a judicial panel to develop a plan.
• Legislative Policy and Research Office Redistricting Background Brief
• US Census Bureau data, information and resources to help with the redistricting process
• US Census Bureau informative video about the redistricting process
Specific to Lincoln County, we are currently part of Senate District 5 which stretches
from Coos Bay to Tillamook. Lincoln County, with the exception of Yachats, is in House District 10 which runs from Tillamook to the Yachats city limits. If the current House District 10 grows larger, should our boundaries grow further north and/or south but remain primarily along the coast? Or should we move inland to include communities in the valley to the east? These will be important areas for public input. Issues that may not be considered in redistricting are party registration of residents, the address of current representatives, or the likely outcome of future elections.
1. August 16: The Census data arrived.
2. August 16-23: GIS takes the Census data from 2010 and replaces it with 2020 Census data. 3. August 23: The 2020 Census data ready for the redistricting committee and public.
4. September 3, 8 am: Legislature releases proposed districts.
5. September 8-13: These are the dates set aside for public testimony. People may testify in-person, on video via MS Teams, or submit a written testimony online. In-person and online testimony will probably have a 2-3 minute limit. The opportunities include:
Sept. 8 - Bend at 5:30 PM
Sept. 9 - Eugene at 5:30 PM
September 1, 2021
Sept. 10 - Salem at 9:00 AM
Sept. 10 - Oregon City/North Clackamas County at 3:00 PM
Sept. 11 - Central Portland at 9:00 AM - Hillsboro/Beaverton at 3:00 PM
Sept. 13 - Oregon Capitol in Salem at 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 5:30 PM
6. September 13-17: The redistricting committee draws and votes on the new Congressional and state lines.
7. September 20-24: The Legislature convenes a special session to vote on the lines the committee draws.
8. September 27: Maps delivered to the Oregon Supreme Court.
How to Testify:
1. Introduce yourself:
State your name for the record.
Describe yourself and any organizations you’re working with.
2. Describe your community:
Describe your community, how it’s grown, and how the legislature should draw the lines to ensure your community isn’t divided.
Do the current district boundaries divide or keep your community together?
What makes your community unique? Why is it important that your community be recognized and kept together?
If available, use data on income, education, housing, transportation to compare your neighborhood to ones nearby.
How has your community come together to advocate for common interests or important services?
3. Brief closing: If there’s time, restate the parts of your testimony that are most important.
4. Draw and submit how you think districts should be drawn on the map software, ESRI. ESRI is a geographic information system software that anyone can use to draw, save, and submit a map with lines that you draw through the software. Until the 2020 census data is received in August, you can draw maps using the data from 2010. Here’s how to draw a map:
Scroll down the page to where it says, “Redistricting Software Information.”
From there, you can access ESRI, tutorials on how the software works, and submit a map.