Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kotzebue Today, Bethel Tomorrow, then Statewide Thursday

I know I sound like a broken record (is there a more technologically current metaphor for this?), but maybe if you hear it enough, you'll start humming along.   The Alaska Redistricting Board is meeting today in Kotzebue and tomorrow in Bethel.

The Kotzebue meeting is two hours shorter than all the others.  Based on what was said at the meetings I attended, this is due to flight schedules.  And given all the down time the board had in Anchorage, and based on the online feed, in Juneau, I'm guessing it's ok.  But it might cut out people who would otherwise have come after work.

Anyway, note that the meeting is from 1pm today until 6pm. Don't worry about being there at 1 pm.  They are taking testimony whenever people show up. 

From the email I got (you can subscribe at their website - they moved it to the top of the right hand column)

The Alaska Redistricting Board will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, March 29 at the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly Chambers in Kotzebue, AK.
Date:  Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Time:  *1:00 p.m.* to 6:00 p.m. 
Location:  Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly Chambers
                  163 Lagoon Street, Kotzebue, AK 99752   

The Kotzebue district is actually very close to having the ideal population of 17,755 (new Alaska Census population divided by 40 House districts) and may not see any changes.  Kotzebue's District 40, as you can see on the chart is just 239 people below that ideal.  The 1.35% deviation is well within the acceptable range.

District 2010 Total Pop 2010 # Deviation 2010 % DeviationCurrent Rep Party Location
40 17,516 -239 -1.35%    ☯ ⬇ Regie Joule  (D) Kotzebue
39 15,642 -2,113 -11.90%    ⬇ Neal Foster

T Senate 33,158 -2,352 -6.62%⬇ Donald Olsen  (D) Golovin
37 15,199 -2,556 -14.40%    ⬇ Bryce Edgmon (D)  Dillingham
38 16,055 -1,700 -9.57%    ⬇ Bob Herron (D) Bethel

6 14,285 -3,520  -19.83%⬇ ⬇ Alan Dick R Stoney River
But, Nome's District 39 is down 2,113 below the ideal, not at all within range.  Districts 39 and 40 make up Senate District  T which is almost 7% below the ideal.  So something will have to be done to get these numbers closer to the ideals. (The Senate magic number is (I'm assuming it's just double the house number) 35,510.)

And then there is District 6 which wanders across half the state and is way low and borders all the districts relevant to the Kotzebue and Bethel meetings.  Look at the map.  How will these other two affect District 39?  All good questions to ask at the meeting.  As I've said in previous posts, there will probably be lots of dead time between people testifying so there will be a chance to talk one-on-one to the board members.

Alaska Leg Districts Map  Click on Magnifying glass bottom left to enlarge

This is also board member Marie Greene's home town and on the video I did with her last week in Anchorage she said that the leadership in her area is already aware of the meeting and perhaps they're ready to engage the board the whole time they are there.  I don't know.

Tomorrow is Bethel's turn.

District 38 is 9% below the ideal and Bethel's Senate District teammate District 37 is down 14% so these two districts are going to be a real challenge for the Board.  Especially because of the Federal Voting Rights Act that does not allow 'retrogression' for Alaska Native representation.  That's discussed somewhat in this previous post on the criteria the board will use to redraw its lines. 

Bethel Public Hearing Advisory

The Alaska Redistricting Board will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, March 30 at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel, AK.

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2011
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
420 Chief Eddie Hoffman Hwy
Bethel, AK 99559

Some questions to ask at the meeting:
  • Where will you get extra  people needed to make Rep. Foster (2,113), Rep. Edgmon (2,556) and Rep. Herron's (1,700) districts ok?
  • Will District 40, which is numerically fine now, be affected by the neighboring districts which are not?
  • How will all this affect the Senate seats?
  • What are your guidelines for deciding where to draw the lines? 
  • Will Alaska Natives lose representation in the legislature?
  • How does the Federal Voting Rights Act apply to redrawing the lines in all these Districts?
  • Engage them in conversation about all their criteria for drawing the lines and how they impact the Northwest  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 Kotzebue and Bethel, but also works for the neighboring districts.

Thursday will be the statewide public hearing by teleconference through LIO offices around the state and online.  People can also attend Thursday's meeting at the LIO office in Anchorage.  This will be the last chance for people and groups to present their own redistricting plans to the board.  I don't know if people have already done that at the meetings outside of Anchorage that were not teleconferenced.  My guess is that people are waiting for the 31st because the gives them the most time to tweak their plans.

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

1 comment:

  1. Steve - Do know of anyone who attended and perhaps blogged about the Wasilla or Fairbanks Public Hearings? (This Rick from First Alaskans Institute)


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.