Metro Area Redistricting Hearings
There are four hearings on redistricting scheduled for the metro area at the end of this week, two of them in Multnomah County.
April 8, 2011
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Portland Community College—Rock Creek
17705 NW Springville Road, Auditorium Bld. 3
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Portland State University—OUS Chancellor’s Office
1800 SW 6th Avenue, Boardroom 515
April 9, 2011
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Mt. Hood Community College Room 1710
26000 SE Stark St.
Gresham, OR 97030
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Clackamas Community College
19600 Molalla Avenue
Oregon City, OR 97045
Every ten years, following the census, all over the country, district lines are redrawn to reset roughly equal representation ratios. It is not a simple task. Every jurisdiction that is divided into zones or district has to re-evaluate them in light of the latest population information and adjust the boundaries.
Oregon’s population grew by about 12% between 2000 and 2010, but of course not evenly across all districts. The Legislature must redraw the 60 State House and 30 State Senate Districts as well as the five Congressional Districts.
Here are the legal guidelines:
ORS 188.010 states that:
The Legislative Assembly or the Secretary of State, whichever is applicable, shall consider the following criteria when apportioning the state into congressional and legislative districts:
(1) Each district, as nearly as practicable, shall:
(a) Be contiguous;
(b) Be of equal population;
(c) Utilize existing geographic or political boundaries;
(d) Not divide communities of common interest; and
(e) Be connected by transportation links.
(2) No district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring any political party, incumbent legislator or other person.
(3) No district shall be drawn for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of any language or ethnic minority group.
(4) Two state House of Representative districts shall be wholly included within a single state senatorial district.
And here are some of the questions that will be considered at the hearings:
Communities of Interest and Political Boundaries
· What unincorporated areas constitute unified communities?
· What other cities and towns are those communities associated with? For example, where do residents of a community go to work, go to school, go to shop, or go to worship?
· Where are school district lines? Is there a strong community around high schools, middle schools, or elementary schools?
· Where are the economic and industrial communities?
· What are the ethnic and racial groups in the area?
· What other communities of interest are in the area?
· What geographical features divide communities?
· What geographical features unite communities?
· What geographical features contribute to or effect communities in some way?
· What roads tie the community together?
· What roads connect the community to the rest of the state?
· What roads divide the area?
· What other links should be considered? For example, is there a bridge or a ferry that connects the community?