For more on the fight for fair districts for communities of color, check out our partner organization, Redistricting Justice for Washington.
A handful of political operatives are redrawing the state’s voter boundaries right now, and the lines they approve could radically weaken or strengthen your community’s political power in Congress and in the state Legislature.
The operatives compose Washington’s five-member redistricting commission, which we task to redraw the maps every ten years after the census numbers come out. The commission includes two voting members picked by state Democrats, two others picked by state Republicans, and one non-voting member picked by the partisans.
That said, on that score, there’s room for improvement all around. Andrew Hong, a spokesperson for Redistricting Justice for Washington (RJW), which aims for greater representation of POC in this process, said the group would like to see the commissioners draw the Muckleshoot nation into the 47th LD. “That’s a community of color that’s been drawn into a very white rural district that doesn’t share the same interests and priorities with the 31st LD,” he said.
Over in eastern Washington, Hong praised Sims and Walkinshaw for drawing districts that have majorities of voting-age Latinos and criticized Graves and Fain for drawing districts that wouldn’t have that level of representation. Though the GOP proposals would create a nominally majority Latino district in the 15th LD, it wouldn’t be when considering the number of eligible Latino voters. “We believe that is a potential violation of the Voting Rights Act,” Hong said, in reference to the way the GOP commissioners treated the 14th and 15th LDs.