Friday, July 05, 2013

Redistricting Board Meeting - Calista and AFFER and McKinnon Discuss Their Maps

[I'm listening to the Board online from LA, this is long.  I tried to summarize briefly after this note, then my very rough notes as I listened.]


  • Board attorney White went over definitions of Socio-Economic Integration (SEI).  Seemed to be addressing last week's testimony from Cooper Landing (that North Kenai was not connected to South Anchorage) and Gazewood & Weiner testimony (that rural Alaska may be connected to Fairbanks, but had no connection to Ester).  Citing Court rulings that if Kenai is connected to Anchorage in general, then N Kenai could be connected to S Anchorage. 
There was a request to winnow down the many plans, though Board member Brodie said there were good parts of maps that otherwise were not good that might be useful.  They surmised that the latest maps of Calista and AFFER would be all they needed.  Then had them come to the table to explain where they were. 
  • Calista had two maps.  Final Best plan is Calista Option 4 but if the Board was going to split Matsu two ways, then Calista Option 2 Revised.
  • AFFER - New map submitted this morning at 9am, Board didn't have it.  Ruedrich went through the whole state.  Said mostly similar to Calista but different with Matsu double split and some Fairbanks, but mostly like Calista. 
  • McKinnon - private citizen - deviation 9.6, but keeps all ANCSA Regional Corps intact and all Boroughs except Fairbanks and Anchorage intact.  
 Also some discussion of "Brave New World" after Shelby County v Holder decision that low deviation is now much more important than before.

Here are the very rough notes.  Don't quote, but use to get a sense of what happened.  Lots missing or paraphrased. 

411 W 4th Avenue, Suite 302
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-269 -7402

11:00 AM
Anchorage office
11:00 AM

11:00am - I can hear the Board, but clearly the meeting hasn't begun.
Brodie - summer weather in here

1. Call to Order
Torgerson:  Call to order.  Five after 11.

2. Roll Call of Members
Roll call - all members present
3.Approval of Agenda  - approved
4.Discussion of Social-Economic Integration
White:  Compact and contiguity clear.  Go over SEI - Constitution
where people work together, ?? together, earn their living together.  Can't be defined with math precision.  Can be figured.  Economic unit inhabited by people.
Courts have said - proof of actual interaction and interconnectedness more than mere homogeneity.  Other things;  common interests in ??;  transportation, ferry, Native characteristics, geographical proximity, ferry.  services hub.  Court has said 'relative' not minimal, but some flexibility, given the sheer size geographically.
One of the issues raised in ???, idea of how to measure SEI, when have to combine two different areas - like Kenai and Anchorage.  Court has said they are.  In Kenai case in late 80s.  combined N Kenai with Anchorage - challenged.  No connectedness with N Kenai and South Anchorage - maybe with Anchorage, but not S Anchorage.  Court clear, don't look at specific areas, but can look - let me get exact wording:  will be upheld if reasonable not arbitrary.  Previously upheld comparison.  .  . Issue here whether interaction with hd7 and not just n Kenai, and surrounding areas as well.  Kenai as a whole and Anchorage as a whole.  Since then no dispute, Kenai and Anchorage a clearly SEI.  Not just N K and SA, but surrounding area.
Torgerson:  No questions for Mr. White?  Anything else?
PeggyAnn McConnochi:  If people in N Kenai go to Dr. in S Anchorage?  Some indication.  But if go to Dr. in N Anchorage or Airport not in S Anchorage, still there.
Sufficient of N Kenai and S Anchorage results from interaction with Anchorage.  . . .Actual is minimal, but nexus between Kenai and Anchorage.  That nexus is what's important, not the two areas of N. Kenai and S. Anchorage.
Same argument was raised last in 2001 - Valdez challenged S anchorage SEI, trial level upheld.  SEI not tied just to S Anchorage area, but Anchorage-Valdez nexus.
Torgerson:  Other Questions.  Alright.  Brings us to 4 Discussion of draft plans.
5.Discussion of draft plans
McConnochie:  Is there  a way to reduce the number of plans?
Brodie:  difficult in that one plan treats one part of the state better, but we don't like another part.  Looks like it will be a mix and match.
Green:  Thank you for raising that.  It would be helpful to focus ?? limited time we have, throughout our hearing this has been mentioned - why we have so many maps.
 Holm:  Maybe we should just go thru the options, like Calista 1-4, if offering all four maybe we should assume 4 is the latest and look at that and remove the others.  Same with Board.  We have ABCDEF and I don't know which we think 2 or 3 most appropriate.  Way to eliminate some of those.  Then Gazewood & Weiner and AFFER and Gateway and that gets us down to 5 or 6 and work from there.
Brodie, Hard.  Some have attractive small portions tho the rest we don't want.  So take a look at start with A and see if there is a portion of that, or knock out the whole plan.  If we want to do that, I'm willing to knock out C the one I drew.  Things I would change, particularly N. Slope drawn to get numbers even.  Not knocking out SE portion or city portions. . . .
McConnochie.  Since four from Calista.  Not clear, hard to pull map off the computer.

 Torgerson :  Would you like to hear from Calista to see what they intend.  Not planning to open hearings again, but . .  One filed 21st which was our deadline for filing maps.  AFFER also because they have 3 or 4 plans.  Let me take a small break and we can pull up table and let people talk.

11:25am Rustling of papers, some talking, waiting for Brodie to return from bathroom
11:27am  Back to order, invite Marcia Davis and Tom Begich
??:  We got another this morning?
Davis:  Just Southeast . . .
Torgerson :  We need another mike, bring that table to center.  Teleconference mics.
My name is Marcia Davis - Calista general counsel
My name is Tom Begich - consultant to Calista
Davis:  to avoid confusion start with punchline.  Where we stand today, we've been listening to testimony, evolving like the Board, based on testimony and concerns and knowledge we acquired, Our final best plan is Calista Option 4, there is another SE that we sent over today.  Meets our ANCSA corporation need, political boundaries to max extent possible.  Considered that AFFER was pushing double split of Matsu, not sure, we wanted to have  double split that allowed the Native interests.  That's our option - changes to Native areas - Shish to Bering Strait and Arcti Village to 39, needed ot move Koyukuk??  If Board goes to dobule shift in Matsu want to be prepared. 
Either Calista option 4 with whatever SE  or Calista 2 Revised
Begich:  ???  Opiton 2 one worked with AFFER group  - disagreement in FB and some Senate pairings.  essentially the same of 36 of 40 house district. 
Marcia:Just to respect to house districts, but not senate pairings.
PAM repeat
Tom Begich:  If Board does double Matsu split - our 2 revised matches AFFER close, they have Juneau to Hobard Bay, assume B wants to keep hold, we honor B there.  Same split with J.  Fairbanks - AFFER aligned more moves Eilson to rural, NP different, fundamental difference pairings

Bethel 37 up into Doyon - Coastal Native and Interior - prime objection, we paired Native Interior to Interior rural/FB district.  Taken with comment that Natalie Landreth made about Coastal Natives have such strong focus on fisheries and Coastal delivery and we feel really strongly that Western Coast Natives need to stay linked in Senate pairings too.  Does real injustice, have no issues in common, tail wagging dog.  Common issues fuel delivery, transportation, shopping.  We realize that if they're contiguous good enough, but 37 doesn't touch 3?  - not contiguous.  Don't have native preclearing issue but doesn't mean we can ignore it.  They came up highway with Valdez - we linked to seven, we linked to 5.
Begich:  Ruedrich - all three of Senate seat five that FB is entitled to should be paired together. 
Davis:  Only if Board feels comfortable breaking Matsu twice,
Begich:  Very low deviations.
Brodie:  N and W Alaska same as four.
Begich:  Six is virtually identical, Delta?? together.  Don't break Matsu 2x  - then 10E has to be paired either to Matsu or Anchorage.  Easier to pair to Anchorage break - there's the break right there, incorporates 500 Matsu residents.  Maintains Chugiak district Anchroage has had and pairs it to the road district with Matsu to Valdez.  Only way to have only one Matsu break.  You can link Valdez to Anchorage - by law - and this seems to be the best way.  If break Matsu just once, this is the only way.  Tried to match lines Mayor proposed as Colligan said to follow Mayor's.  Couldn't match exactly.
Torg:  Kenai still divided twice.
Begich:  All maps take ?? out of B.  Know we have to break twice.  Tried to take Native pop in Nanwalek and to lower coastal district - Halibut Cove and Far eastern part of Homer, but not Homer.  Three fully populated borough districts (H Kena Soldotna)  Three Boroughs in Kenai . . .
Brodie:  Took Nanwalek for Native population?
Begich:  Yes.  Neither community likes to be connected to Kenai.  Driven by deviation.
Brodie:  ??? 32 along the Coast  . . .
Begich:  Blocks red and green, huge blocks make the water connection.
White:  Only contiguous by water 32 - connect across the bottom.
Begich: Could, but creates crazy angles - by Seward - no population.  Board's ability to draw straight line. 
White:  what happens to deviation if pick part of Matsu and put . .
Begich:  About 550 people - about 3%.  If you did that a wholly enclosed Matsu.  But we were shooting for low deviation.  Case law political boundaries can be reason for higher deviation.  Overall, minus to plus is 1.37%  40 goes down to -.88, still under one percent.  to .48 positive. 
Torg:  Homer group? 
Begich:  Still dealing with about 3%, but because underpopulation one and overpopulating another comes to 6%, but Board can do this.
White:  are there villages you moved into 40 where population was a factor?
Begich:  You could take Koyukuk and take back in 6 is a coherent group of village.  As long as keeping groupings together, they are comfortable.  Villages around ruby and Galena, McGrath villages together,  Relationship between Ahtna and upper Tanana, Matt Ganley also testified on that.  Short answer is, all Athabascan.  Always bring more Athabascan in, but changes deviation.  this puts all villages together but pops the deviation a bit.
Brodie: ???? North Slope hard to hear him.
Begich:  More than 3 now.  Can't speak for TCC or Doyon.  As long as groupings together they were satisfied.  Would put more Ath villages together but throw deviations out
Brodie:  Well worry about that.
Begich:  Sure, but upper Koyukuk about 700 people . .
Begich:  Shishmareff represented about 550 people.  Bering Straits didn't want Shish out.  The others were taken to balance Shish to Bering Straits.  Bettles addition keeps upper part together.  Start drawing the map very differently if you do that.  Letter from NWAB at this point, may speak to that. 
Holm:  I'm curious, Mr. White, how we defend SEI compatibility between Fairbanks and Barrow, Metlakatla and Barrow if that is challenged?  Concerned with SEI and with the different groups wanting to be grouped.
White:  Public testimony with what they would like to see, not always compatible with law.  Comes down to if we can move these villages here and meet their needs, but raises deviation above allowable.  1990 case called Athabascan and ?? possible combination.  30 years ago.  Might be an issue there about SEI, Marie, Marcia.
PAM;  Would like to hear from Marcia.  Marie and I did a lot of work in that area, got a lot of testimony.  Why do you feel comfortable with that.
Davis:  Working villages a long time, listened to folks, Lawyer in me plus the person having all this discussion answers:  1st US and Alaska Constitution dictates maximum deviation.  If you move off it, need to justify.  Excuse to move off deviation needed.  Presumption established.  Not unique we have Athabascan cultures intermixed in other cultures.  It exists in multiple place.  Because region so huge but sparsely populated, so necessary.  Doyon's testimony so huge that they have operated in clusters, ability to travel and communicate across every cluster impossible.  If clusters are intact, they're ok.  With that objective met here.  Then how comfortable in context of larger district.  Pipeline corridor, economic, similar lifestyle - subsistence, caribou, moose managed for subsistence.  Positive thin, when we went back, Lime Village, Calista, but they go to McGrath for shopping.  Even those Calista, has Athabascan connection.  Same with Middle Yukon villages.  Highest order - Athabascan with other Athabascan - not possible, but can honor it at cluster area. 
Holm:  I bring this up because I spent a lot of time in ?? pass and ??? river.  All their relatives are in Ft. Yukon, not North Slope.  They have the connections with the eastern Athabascan families.  Just seems as if they really don't have any connection to N Slope at all.  Hard for me to believe they can do it for SEI connections.  Just for deviations, that's my concern at this juncture. 
Davis:  One thing Board has to face.  it's a new world for you.  In past battle around VRA,  VRA said other things have to yield to VRA.  With that missing, battle more around deviations.  You definitely got hammered hard on SEI because deviations weren't the weak points.  But now those are gone and now pure hand of equal protection.
White:  Holm has good memory, Trial court from last Feb.  While the B think deviations necessary, simply said, the Board must meet low deviations. 
If that deviation caused by making more compact or SEI that will be acceptable.  Now more safe harbor at 10%.  Before only applied to Anchorage, now to most urban areas with large districts that can be shifted.  If now applied to rural areas - Davis says, this is a brave new world.  Does that mean you should have lower deviations?  If put villages there - if you feel not SEI with other part, if go from 1 to 6% probably be acceptable if making it more compact. 
Brodie:  We could carry deviation in extreme we could divide Ft. Yukon in half.  Same in urban area, go down highway and grab 3 houses across the street to get low deviations.
White:  Deviation a laudable goal, but US and Alaska SC recognize - urban and rural different standards.  In the States, given 10% leeway, even our court has allowed above 10%, but I don't think that's allowable any more.  Playing between 10 and 1, if have rational reasonable justification.  Wish we could be 1.4, but want this SEI.
Begich:  reason for grouping, don't take one or two of the villages, move them as a group.  Your comment about splitting Ft. Yukon is reason why we did this.  Maintained all the city boundaries.  North Pole for example.  Don't want to split neighborhoods.  Sadly struck down by Court ten years ago, didn't care about neighborhoods in larger area. 
Begich:  Toatal, from my head, about including Eilson, about 8500, Salcha and about 4000 to the north. . .
White:  If Board feels SEI needs, deviation in FB pretty close too.
Begich:  Yes, in urban core the better off for rural FB.  Two Rivers Road below 6c, ????
3b anywhere there, a population more closely integrated with NP,  You have options.  Begins to become rural quickly if go to Hot spring road.
Torgerson:  Thanks, Randy, you be ready  We want to eliminate some plans, you have four I believe, Calista had 5 and now down to 2.
Ruedrich:  Morning Mr. Torgerson, guess it's afternoon.  to assure you world is dynamic, we have filed another plan this morning which eliminates all the rest.  Adopts slight variations between Calista and ours, They will now be identical except for some zero blocks.  Emailed this morning about 9 o'clock.  Current version of option 2 modified slightly.  Let's talk about SE initially.

This map, we filed this am, district 33 as Calista has we have not modified in any way shape or form.  then left - Juneau north D31, intact over these many maps.  Reduced its deviation, put those people back into 32, south of the airport.  Main change is Hobart Bay area, and island ???? on in 34.  34 larger bulk visually, but doesn't change population, puts entire Petersburg in 34.  Green area bigger, southern portion of rust color go way, makes S district more compact.  Think of those 33 people west of Hydaburg - they would be better served in D33.  No people on island west of Hydaburg.  Makes a better map, but worse deviation.  If want more compact, that's the place.
Torg:  Can you back up and tell me diffs between Calista and your new one.
Ruedrich:  in SE no differences.  All I've spoken to so far.
Now lets go to Western Arctic, High Arctic.  Our map is again, virtually identical when we talked about N Inupiat district. Western Nome District, D37 and D36 identical.  Only dealing with House.  Pairings meaningless now.
Agree with Calista concept.  Had to increase size in all because no longer reason to maximize Native districts.  ?? on perimeter.  I've worked with Doyon and TCC more than other groups and I understand reason.  When they recruited for roustabouts, they recruited in those villages.  Had direct tie to their areas.  I was hesitant to take Huslia and rest of Koyukuk valley, Realized that Arctic Village didn't fit.  Matt Ganley convinced me what we did was back idea.  Koyukuk, ??, Upper Kuskokwim, all TCC sub regions, in different district.  They still work together, as we try to populate Coastal region where we run out of people if we don't take them.
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  In your talks with them . . .
Ruedrich:  I haven't talked to them but I lived there years ago, it's valid what Davis says.
White?  Senate pairings?
Ruedrich:  Tried to scrub letters but didn't work
White:  Not defending non-contiguous.
Ruedrich:  Please disregard the letters.
Back to South Kenai and other portion of the world.  Breaking boundaries is something we pay close attention to Constitution recognizing political entities.  Kenai B has been split - Hope has been taken out in past, Seldovia, often not part.  In this case, with view to bring deviations down and bring SEI into play, we have again split the Kenai B significantly.  West side in 36, historically attached to some district on West side.  took significant # of people out , sorry put in a sig number in to 35 and allowed us to drop Yakutat.  Beluga and Tyonek and Port Graham and Nanwalek, breaks the boundary in two places, is proper....  took from S kenai, Katchemak Bay, Fox River and ??? Creek to replace the surplus population and put into 35, smaller than before and put Yakutat back in.  Almost identical to Calista and I think serves Kenai well.  Single southern of Homer, Anchor River, and ??
Brodie:  Upper Katch Bay - east end road?
Ruedrich:  Some of the last ones on east are attached to road system.  Don't believe people on West . .
Brodie:  For deviation - if some can't drive to Homer, to their voting place???
Ruedrich:  I think we've done that, not sure.
Brodie:  Whittier?
Ruederich:  Surplus pop problem,  detail could be revisited.  Whittier is kind of a unique small population, definitely PWS, not Anchorage, though once were.
Holm:  36, Port Graham?
Ruedrich:  ????
?  How many people?
??: Native villages, not connected by road at all?
Ruedrich:  Seldovia not attached by road, there is a small area that is more native, but larger non-native pop in general area. 
Moving into Anchorage.  No changes, except editorial in beginning.  There were some map in 25 boundary, but eliminated we found a better way.  Some tiny tweaks unless questions.  Deviation under 1% for city.  Probably about .9.  Some toward Matsu, we reduced populations from original.  In city from 13 to 27, no net change.  Moved small population on perimeter of 27 to ???13??
Ruedrich:  Let's look at valley.  matsu.  used 2002, 2012, most rapidly growing part of state of Alaska, paired on S side surplus with Anchorage and also with highway corridor to Valdez.  Highway communities have sued i the past wanting to stay together.  Delta, etc. Valdez is not paired with Anchorage in any way shape or form.  Valdez has asked not to be paired with Anchorage.  Picks up surplus population with eastern portion of Matsu B.  From SEI those villages are like eastern villages of Matsu B.  Maybe they'll draw a better Borough i the future.
White:  Help us understand split with anchorage and Valdez.  Splits Matsu twice.  Rational? 
Ruedrich:  Find no way to put Anchorage surplus population elsewhere.  Solid boundary on Anchorage Kenai front.  Courts have looked before said this is ok.  Only think Matsu did is grow one more full district.  Did in 1990, 2000 cycle and will again in 2020 probably.  More people more SEI than the highway commuters driving from chugiak, Palmer, or Wasilla to Anchorage caught i the snow.
Brodie:  ??? Calista plan eastern border of Alaska with Anchorage and N. Kenai - treated different way of moving around the population. 
Ruedrich:  Begich reminded me their double split Matsu is identical to ours (not totally clear.)
building map starts north of Yakutat, putting Y into 35, no population north of that.  So gttig to Ahtna, combined with Indian pops of upper Tanana fit together with traditional Athabascan groups of upper and middle Yukon.  Keeping Doyon and Ahtna people to south, those four groups in D38.  You'll find we built the urban population for 38, go back to other one and expand, zoom in please, easier to see.  38 wraps around FB, villages on the West, Upper Tanana villages to the east, middle Tanana is right there in front of you.  Rural areas to the east to S. boundaries of NPole to Chatanika precinct.  Rough equal urban NSB resident and non- NSB resident.  9000 something and 9000 something.  Bringing other FB districts to truly minimum deviataion,  .4% .3% 3 people under if look at FB map. 
Takes Wainright bombing range and north.  Come up into FB, have the City of FB only in D4, eastern NSB of fB added and gives us a compact city district, which probably would share a senator - one of the litigation issues earlier,  No FB district S FB district surrounding FB.  Broken once along purple red interface.  closed to Denali on south and district 38 on this map???
White:  Help us understand, on right hand side bottom border with 38, split some population there.  Why there instead of elsewhere.
Ruedrich:  Tried to keep people live on that road system, there, together.  That's there way back to civilization.  Corridor of interest.  River.  Chatanika, more rural, and needed significant population to do this.  Respected NPole and north of there to gain population.
White:  Maps you offered i past.  No dispute, all courts said, have to go with rural-urban. In past you did from west side.  What's your change on that?
R:  Not a big difference.  People on east equally rural to people on west side.  Maybe more a matter of how you try to create d 1 and 2 that makes sense.  Northwest borough makes sense this way.  If shift further wind up with undesirable 1&2 Boundary, gives clear division for ?? Borough
White:  You made some choices but other reasonable choices?
R:  Absolutely,  I kind of like the one we had before.
PAM:  Zoom in on 3 and 4? 
R:  All thee people by def are SEI within a Borough.  Makes no difference where you draw the lines.  People have some reason to be together.  Who works and plays together.
White:  Only changes from this map in SE? 
R:  yes, I have to look, we've drawn enough maps.
White:  Thank you.
We have a map given us Friday.  Mr. McKinnon ??? is here.  Worried about timeline?
MAP?  ????
John McKinnon - presenting this as private individual.  Has overall deviation of 9.6% in FB, Anchorage, Juneau less than 1%.  Principle feature it adheres to Borough boundaries. only Anchorage and FB are broken.
White:  Not broken at all, or not more than once?
McKinnon:  Not at all.  Either whole B in one district, or if multiple seats, all seats are within the B.  Also more than others, it adheres to ANCSA boundaries.  People ask what Doyon wants, I think this is what Doyon wants.  All but few Doyon villages there.  Bering Straits from Calista.  Bristol Bay, Aleutian district.  Kenai Borough, Matsu has population for five seats, Kenai for three.  This gives them their 3 and 5.  Doesn't carve out Nanwalke and Seldovia.  Does create one aspect Board might want to look at.  Kenai is self contained, leaf from Kodiak to Cordova - about 145 miles running from east of tule island to Johnstone Bay on Montague, but same magnitude with interim plan, District 9 from Nunavak Island to ??? also about 139 miles,  Same order of magnitude.  If Board is uncomfortable, I've identified three unoccupied islands, that would violate geography of Kenai Borough would still keep population of Kenai in three boroughs.  Takes Valdez ??? becomes part of the highway district.  Begich in earlier testimony last week explained justification.  Includes most of Ahtna district.  SE forms district out of Ketchikan and Wrangle.  Sitka and Petersburg. . .. . [missed this.]
Fairbanks - wither district that , based primarily, two city districts combine for senate district, takes West population Ester and U and forms district there, and then north of city, then another based on North Pole.  Maintains a Doyon district out Chena Hot Springs Road, more rural areas of Borough.  Eilson.  Rational - Tom argued in his presentation - less connected with FB area, potential, that population could be moved to Anchorage if fighter right developed and would strengthen Doyon villages. 
I think that covers it.  It is 9.6% deviation.  Based on existing law.  Talk about more mathematical precision.  Now the standard is 10% outside of urban Boroughs.  Once inside Borough boundaries no longer dealing with SEI.  In rest of the state, SC acknowledged a lot of SEI factors need to be adjusted for. 
White:  You said 5.6
McKinnon -5.6 is Bethel, +4 is Homer based.
White:  How many people out of FB put in . . .
McKinnon:   half the people, about 8500.  Valdez about ???
White:  All the rural districts underpopulated?
McKinnon:  yes.  Bush districts -4.6 about -5  - allows you to maintain regional corporations
White:  Thank you very much.

Lets take a ten minute break before we go to work session.  You can ask questions of presenters, then we'll be back about 1:10. 

Finished here before working session. 

6.Board work session
7.Executive Session on litigation strategies (if Necessary)

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