Making Democracy Work
Redistricting & Census

Ensure the 2021 redistricting process is well publicized, accessible to the widest range of constituents, efficient, and transparent, and support an accurate and complete 2020 Census.


Issue Chair: Alison McCaffree, amccaffree@lwvwa.org(253) 720-6813
 DOWNLOAD the Census Issue Paper (Nov 2020)
 DOWNLOAD the Redistricting Issue Paper (Nov 2020)
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 

What to Expect in 2021

(Interested in the 2020 Session Recap? Click Here )

Redistricting

Your voting power starts here. Where the lines are drawn for legislative and congressional districts affects your voting power for the next 10 years. Our current redistricting reform activities focus on the 2021 Washington State Redistricting Commission itself. We encourage you to attend a Speak Up School and testify to the commission with your community's needs. The LWVWA is also putting together mapping solutions. Read more to find out the details. 

Mapping

See our Mapping page: LWVWA wanted to insure transparency in our map drawing process so we put everything on the website. We held listening session around the state to understand how communities want to be represented in the 2021 maps. We submitted a set of maps we created to the WA State Redistricting Commission on September 23, 2021.VWA wants to insure transparency in our map drawing proces. We are holding ltening session around the state to understand how communities want to be represented in the 2021 maps. We will submit the set of maps we create to the WA State Redistricting Commission.

Commission & Public Testimony

The members of the commission were appointed in January and have begun their work to draw the new legislative and congressional districting lines by November 15, 2021.  Each commissioner released Legislative draft maps on September 21 and Congressional maps on September 23.  Please watch for meeting announcements and links to past meetings at the commission's website: redistricting.wa.gov. Send comments to the commission at comment@redistricting.wa.gov

Appointed Commissioners are:
House Democrats: April Sims
Senate Democrats: Brady Pinero Walkinshaw
House Republicans: Paul Graves
Senate Republicans: Joe Fain
Nonvoting Chair: Sarah Augustine

For up to date details and the agendas, visit http://www.redistricting.wa.gov/meetings.html.

LWVWA Action

The LWVWA is working to improve citizen trust, transparency, representation and overall effectiveness of the redistricting commission and its processes. Click Here for a list of recommendations given to the Commission on April 12, 2021. 

Our initiatives include:

  • Put on Speak Up Schools all over the state and get over 2,000 people to testify to the commission in the spring of 2021. Speak Up Schools are workshops to inspire and help you make your testimony effective. For more information, visit our page on Speak Up Schools
  • Draw our own set of maps and submit them to the commission. Based on the input we've received from people across state, the LWVWA will create district maps that are legal and representative. We will work in coalition with many other organizations to form one set of maps with our collective priorities.

For future legislative sessions, we will be developing the following legislation and possible initiatives:

  • Repeat a bill similar to the 2020 bill HB 2575 in preparation for the 2031 redistricting cycle: Improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the 2031 Washington State Redistricting Commission and maximize the impact of public input.
  • Change the composition of the Washington State Redistricting Commission to include ordinary people who are unaffiliated with the two major parties; greater commissioner diversity, including women and people of color; and representation from regions outside of Puget Sound.

    Census

    The numbers from the 2020 Census are at the heart of redistricting. With the pandemic forcing the U.S. Census Bureau to adjust its plans, the final number is delayed. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to rule on former President Trump’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from apportionment data.

    • The U.S. Census Bureau announced appropriation numbers on April 26, 2021. US population is 331M and Washington population 7.71M. Washington retains it 10 representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives. WA legislative districts will be 157k people and congressional districts will be 771K people.  See details here. 
    • Redistricting numbers were delivered to the commission on August 12,2021 and the complete public toolkit was available on September 20, 2021.
    • On September 9, 2021, the Office of Financial Management release the official adjustment to the 2020 Census numbers that the Redistricting Commission will be using for the final maps as outlined in law. About 18,000 people were moved to from their current residence in prison, hospital or other group facility to their home districts. 
    • On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order to ensure all person living in the U.S. are counted in the census numbers used for redistricting.


    Bills the League Supports

    SB 5013 Local Redistricting Deadlines. With this bill, local municipalities are required to redistrict by November 15, 2021, even if the census data is delayed. Current law gives municipalities eight months after they receive the data (RCW 29A.76.010 and 2018 c 301 s 8). An emergency clause means this law would go into effect immediately after it is signed. 

     Status SB5013 passed the Senate 49/0 on January 27, 2021, and passed in the House 98/0 on March 24, 2021. Signed by the Governor on May3 and is effective 7/25/2021. 


    How to Be Involved

    1. Host or Attend a Speak Up School

    • Find out if your area is hosting a Speak Up School and join the efforts. Check out the Speak Up School page. We need people to be coaches, Zoom assistants, and outreach coordinators. We need your help to make sure more than 2,000 people to testify.
    • Is your area not hosting? There is an accessible, ready-made curriculum, so it is easy to host your own. Please contact speakupschools@lwvwa.org to find out more information.

    2. Host or Attend a Listening Session 

    • In order to make sure our maps take into account as many local ideas as possible, the LWVWA needs to hear from you. Join or host a session to hear from your community about how the district lines affect you. Contact Alison at amccaffree@lwvwa.org if you would like to host a listening session.

    3. Testify to the 2021 Washington Redistricting Commission on Your District

    • The commission will solicit community input in the late spring or summer 2021. Be sure to give your input. Sign up for our Legislative Newsletter and watch for announcements about when the commission is holding hearings. After you testify, please let us know how it went. We are collecting stories and suggestions for the future.

    Additional Resources

    The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
    The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

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