Monday, March 28, 2011

Fairbanks, Your Turn - Redistricting Board Noon - 7pm Today

Waiting for the Public in Juneau Friday
The Redistricting Board (See Alaska Redistricting Tab above for more information) takes public testimony at a hearing in Fairbanks.  As I type, the meeting has already begun. 

Fairbanks City Hall, 2nd Floor

Why should you go?  Because they are redrawing the lines for the State House and Senate districts, based on the new Census data that just came out.  The ideal size for a district is


(State's new population divided by 40 House Districts)

In the chart below I've listed the Fairbanks area districts - starting with the ones most over 17,755 to those most below.  I've also added two districts that run nearby Fairbanks and which need more people.

District 2010 Total Pop 2010 # Deviation 2010 % DeviationCurrent Rep Party Location
11 21,692    +3,937 +22.17% ⬆⬆ Tammie Wilson R Fairbanks
7 20,982 +3,227 +18.18% ⬆ Bob Miller D Fairbanks
8 19,960 +2,205 +12.42% ⬆ David Guttenberg D Fairbanks
10 16,548 -1,207     -6.80%⬇ Steve Thompson R Fairbanks
9 16,149 -1,606 -9.05% ⬇ Scott Kawasaki D Fairbanks

12 14,811 -2,944  -16.58% ⬇ Eric Feige R Chickaloon
6 14,285 -3,520  -19.83%⬇ ⬇ Alan Dick R Stoney River

All the districts listed are either too big or too small to remain as they are.  The most allowable deviance from the largest to the smallest district in the state is 10% (-5% - +5%).  But that is the maximum and they would like most districts - especially urban districts - to be within 2% of the magic 17,755.

So there will be changes.  Where will they draw the lines?  That's why you need to go to the meeting.  To let them know what makes sense to have "socio-economic integration" (one of their mandated criteria.)  You can see all their criteria here. 

The hearings have already started.  But they last until 7 pm and if it is like the Anchorage meeting, there will be a few people showing up to testify on and off throughout the period.  So the board will be there with time on their hands.  And you can talk to individual board members during the breaks.  They'll have maps of the Fairbanks districts and you can show them what makes sense and what doesn't. 

I know, you are probably saying you know nothing about this so how can you testify?  Well, there will probably be a lot of down time - if Anchorage is any guide - and so you can talk to the board members and let them show you the maps and informally talk about your districts.

You can ask them questions like:
  • Where will you get extra 1,600 people needed to make Rep. Kawasaki's district ok?
  • Who will you take out of Tammie Wilson's district to make it work?
  • Ask them what their parameters are?
  • Ask them how the Federal Voting Rights Act will apply to redrawing the lines in Districts 6 and 12.
  • Engage them in conversation about all their criteria for drawing the lines and how they impact the Fairbanks area districts.
  • Tell them what communities are most like yours and which ones are not ("socio-economic integration" is one of the criteria)
  • Ask them to show you how to figure out the numbers in the areas around you so you can help come up with a plan that best fits not only Fairbanks and North Pole, but also works for the neighboring districts.

Jim Holm and 3 other members during Anchorage break
Fairbanks folks have former Representative Jim Holm as their representative on the board.  Does he hold any resentment for Kawasaki for beating him in 2006?  Will he try to make that district friendlier to Republicans next time?  I'm just throwing out questions here.  I have no idea.  That would be against the rules for redistricting.  But how can you prove motivation?  So, you need to go and let the board know what makes sense from your perspective.

Here's the email announcement (you can sign up to get on their email list on their homepage - lower right):

March 27, 2011

Fairbanks Public Hearing Advisory

Anchorage, AK - The Alaska Redistricting Board will conduct a public hearing on Monday, March 28 at the Fairbanks City Hall Chambers in Fairbanks, AK.

Date: Monday, March 28, 2011
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Fairbanks City Hall, 800 Cushman Street, 2nd Floor, Fairbanks, AK 99701

As indicated in the amended public hearing notice published on March 21, 2011, the Alaska Redistricting Board may conduct a brief Board meeting at the beginning of any pre-plan public hearing to discuss administrative matters.

Such a Board meeting will take place at 12:00 p.m. prior to the start of Monday's public hearing. The purpose of the Board meeting is to consider adoption of a schedule for public hearings to be held after the Board releases proposed Redistricting plan(s).

If you plan to attend and are in need of assistance, please contact Board staff by telephone at (907) 269-7402 or email at

The Alaska Redistricting Board is responsible for redrawing Alaska's legislative election districts every ten years after the federal Census. For more information about the redistricting process in Alaska, please visit



Alaska Redistricting Board
411 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 302
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-7499

I've got a guide to the process and my other posts on this in the tab above or just link here.

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