Redistricting Hits the 34th
Districts are drawn based on new demographic data from the US Census. Washington appoints a committee, the Redistricting Commission (https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/) to divide up the state. The idea is that when boundaries are drawn, communities are kept together as much as possible, so that they have a strong voice with their representatives. These boundaries can be very political, as they influence electability of candidates in both parties. The practice of manipulating the boundaries to ensure a partisan win is called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering hurts democracy. It is crucial to this process to have strong voices advocating for each district.
The redistricting committee is composed of 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans, and they choose a fifth person to chair the committee. They have conducted listening sessions across the state and based on that feedback, the 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans have each proposed a map which shows which precincts will move between districts.
Review the commissioner’s map proposals at https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/commissioner-proposed-maps. If you are interested in testifying in writing or via zoom, go to https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/commissioner-proposed-maps.
To be very clear, changes will happen. There will be current members of the 34th who will be pulled into another district. Once the changes take effect, we will, if necessary, hold elections for board members who may be moved to another district.
Below are highlights of each of the proposed plans.
April Sims, House Democratic Caucus Appointee:
This map gives the 34th Sodo, the northern part of the Georgetown, South Park, and Glendale area of Burien (east of 509 and north of 112th). The 34th would lose Lake Burien and areas of Burien to the south.
- Vashon Island remains in the 34th
- We gain Sodo
- We gain part of Georgetown
- We gain South Park
- We gain Glendale
We would gain sections of Georgetown, up to Edgar Martinez Way at the north end, just past Hwy 99 to the east, down to Michigan Street in the south. The boundary would extend to the Duwamish and West Marginal Way South down to 20th Ave S. We would gain South Park within that extension. The southern boundary would be just north of Lake Burien at 152nd Street SW, and basically extend to Hwy 509 up to S 112th Street, with a jag that excises the Burien Town Square Park vicinity.
Brady Pinero Walkinshaw, Senate Democratic Caucus Appointee:
This map takes Vashon Island out of the 34th and gives it to the 26th LD. We lose a few Burien precincts in the south.
We gain part of Downtown Seattle up to Union Street including Pioneer Square, Sodo, Georgetown, and South Park, all mostly bounded by I-5 in the east.
- We lose Vashon Island to the 26th LD
- We gain Pioneer Square, Sodo, and Georgetown
- We gain South Park
Our area of Burien is roughly the same, but we lose a couple of precincts in the SE corner of the current LD map
This version includes a chunk of the downtown area, starting at Union Street and basically follows I-5 south to encompass Boeing Field. We gain South Park. Going south from there the boundary follows 509 to S 160th Street, to 12th Ave SW, then basically down to SW 168th Street and west to the Sound just below Three Tree Point and Gregory Heights.
Paul Graves, House Republican Caucus Appointee:
This plan splits West Seattle, with the northern half going to the 43rd LD. The 34th gains South Park, portions of Burien to the east of Hwy 509 including Riverton-Boulevard Park. An arm extends to Renton that includes Allentown and Bryn Mawr-Skyway.
- This plan splits West Seattle
- West Seattle is bisected, the north end is split off and given to the 43rd
- We gain an arm to extending as far as Renton
- We gain South Park, Burien area of Riverton-Boulevard Park, and Latona and Allentown
- Vashon Island remains in the 34th
It cuts West Seattle in half, sending the northern portion into Graves’ proposed 43rd. The jagged split starts at Lowman Beach Park and extends east to California Ave SW, to Fauntleroy then north to Raymond Street to 34th Ave, then north to SW Brandon to include the Highpoint area. The boundary would then extend to I-5. The remaining southern part of West Seattle would still be in the 34th, and an arm would extend into the Bryn Mawr-Skyway area to Rainier Ave S.
Joe Fain, Senate Republican Caucus Appointee: Map
- We lose almost all of Burien
- We gain Pioneer Square and the SW portion of First Hill
- We gain Sodo, Georgetown, and South Park
- We gain the Glendale area of Burien
- Vashon remains in the 34th
This map gives the 34th Pioneer Square, and the SW portion of First Hill. We also gain South Park and Boeing Field. We lose almost all of Burien. Northern boundary would be at Spring Street east to Broadway. From there it would follow Yesler to I-5 going south to below S Norfolk Street (104 Street). From there a jagged line cuts across to the Sound, at what would be about 136th street in Inglesea, essentially giving Burien to the 33rd. The NW corner of Burien would remain in the 34th: Shorewood, Seola Beach and Salmon Creek.
The schedule for future Redistricting Commission action is:
Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.
Tuesday, October 5 (7 p.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.
Saturday, October 9 (10 a.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.
Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.
Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.
- January 1, 2022 – Redistricted boundaries takes effect.
Post expires at 4:53pm on Saturday January 1st, 2022