King County redistricting panel seeks public input

April 26, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11 a.m. April 26, 2011

The citizen panel responsible for redrawing King County Council districts announced a series of meetings Tuesday to gather public input.

In January, the council appointed members to the King County Districting Committee, the group responsible for redrawing council districts based on 2010 Census data.

Both Issaquah-area districts — 3 and 9 — experienced widespread population increases since 2000 and, as a result, could undergo significant boundary changes. Issaquah proper is inside District 3. District 9 includes the rural area south of the city.

Districts must be drawn as contiguous areas and to be as nearly equal in population as possible. The census data may not be used to favor or disadvantage any racial group or political party.

The community meetings feature a short briefing on how population has shifted in King County. Participants can also offer public testimony on how council districts should be redrawn.

The meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave, 10th Floor, Seattle, followed by a meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 5 in the library at Kent-Meridian High School, 10020 S.E. 256th St., Kent, and another at 6:30 p.m. May 11 in the commons room at Robert Frost Elementary School, 11801 N.E. 140th St., Kirkland.

Under the law, district boundaries must be redrawn following each census to be as nearly equal in population as possible. The committee must consider many factors, including city boundaries, natural features, and communities of related and mutual interest. Districts must be compact, contiguous, and composed of economic and geographic units.

The committee is due to release draft council district maps and hold additional public hearings in the summer.

The county committee is only responsible for redrawing council districts. The separate state Redistricting Commission is responsible for redrawing legislative and congressional districts.

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