Latest political proposal splits Issaquah into suburban, rural districts
December 16, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 4:15 p.m. Dec. 16, 2011
The latest proposal to redraw Washington’s political map shifts more Issaquah neighborhoods into a suburban legislative district.
In a plan unveiled Friday, Washington State Redistricting Commission members Tim Ceis and Slade Gorton proposed a 41st Legislative District stretched from Mercer Island to Sammamish. The proposal encompasses North Issaquah, Newcastle and most Bellevue neighborhoods.
The proposed map puts the remaining Issaquah neighborhoods in the 5th Legislative District — a more rural area stretched from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass.
Under a legislative map adopted a decade ago, Issaquah is split between the 41st and 5th districts at 12th Avenue Northwest.
South Cove and other neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish fall inside the 48th Legislative District. The proposal from Ceis and Gorton moves the 48th District north to encompass Bellevue and Redmond.¬
The bipartisan commission includes voting members — Democrats Ceis, a former Seattle deputy mayor; and Dean Foster, a former chief clerk for the state House of Representatives; and Republicans Gorton, a former U.S. senator, and Tom Huff, a former state budget chairman — and a nonvoting chairwoman, Lura Powell, former director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
In October, each commissioner unveiled proposed maps for congressional and legislative districts. The commission has not announced other proposals for congressional districts since then.
The commission is allowed to work until Jan. 1. The commission intended to complete the redistricting process last month, but commissioners continue to iron out details. If the commission fails to create maps by the January deadline, then the state Supreme Court is responsible for redrawing congressional and legislative districts.
Washington voters established the Washington State Redistricting Commission in 1983 to establish voting boundaries through a bipartisan process.