Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Redistricting Commission confirms legislative & congressional status quo for Madison Park
The Washington State Redistricting Commission formalized the State's legislative district boundaries in a report to the State Legislature yesterday, confirming that Madison Park will remain within the 43rd Legislative District. The only significant changes to the 43rd occurred north of the ship canal, where there were minor modifications to the District's boundaries on both the east and west sides. In addition to Madison Park, the 43rd encompasses Downtown, Capitol Hill, Montlake and Eastlake on the south side, as well as the University of Washington, Ravenna, Wallingford, Fremont and Greenlake on the north side. The 43rd's legislators, Senator Ed Murray and Representatives Jamie Pedersen and Frank Chopp, comprise a pretty powerful Democratic delegation, given that Murray is Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and Chopp is the House Speaker.
As was widely covered in the local press, the Redistricting Commission last month approved the boundaries for the State's Congressional Districts, adding a 10th District to the mix. That re-mapping resulted in creation of a "majority minority" district near the borders of Madison Park. The 9th Congressional District was pushed north into Seattle's Central District as part of the effort to give it a majority of minority voters (50.3%). The newly drawn 9th now extends all the way to the south side of E. Madison Street---though along with Madison Park, Madrona and Denny-Blaine remain in the 7th District.
The 7th District (shown in green on the map above), used to include all of Seattle, as well as Vashon Island, Renton, and Kenmore. Now the District extends from Vashon and Normandy Park in the south to Edmonds in the north. Meanwhile, the 9th District, which used to extend from Olympia to Renton, now begins in Federal Way and extends to Bellevue, taking in much of southwestern Seattle as well.
This closeup of the 7th District map gives a better view of Madison Park's new proximity to the 9th District boundary (the area in white):
Madison Valley is now cut in half by new Congressional boundary, the northern portion remaining in the 7th District, while the southern portion joins the 9th.
The 9th District is represented by Democrat Adam Smith, who is in his eighth term and is expected to be easily re-elected in spite of his district's new boundaries and borderline "majority minority" status. Our 7th District, of course, is represented by Democrat Jim McDermott, now in his twelfth term.
The Commission, as part of its report, released demographic information on the various districts. The 43rd Legislative District, is comprised of 75% whites and 25% "people of color," while for the 7th Congressional District the numbers are 73% and 27% respectively. Those interested in knowing more about the Commission's workings and final report can find detailed maps and data at the Commission's website.