Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski on Congressional District Redistricting Map Proposals

Congressional District maps are out from the Washington State Redistricting Commission, and, again, Democrats are following the law to keep communities of interest together and prioritize contiguous and compact territories with fair and effective representation. Thank you to Commissioners April Sims and Brady Walkinshaw.

However, like their non-compliant legislative district maps, the Republican congressional proposals are packed with decisions rooted in gerrymandering to deliver the skewed results they want. It’s clear that the GOP is busting norms, RCWs, counties and cities to cluster their few remaining voters in the state. It’s a desperate – and easy to see – attempt to gain power. 

For example:

GOP Commissioner Fain’s map is just silly, and has no basis in reality (or law). But, exactly, why does his map split the city of Shoreline between the 7th and the 1st Districts? Why do they have that “peninsula” of the 10th CD reaching up into King County? Is it because that’s where rumored GOP candidate David Vander Pol lives? You know – the same David Vander Pol who is president of the company that employs GOP commissioner Paul Graves for his day job. 

Also Fain has split Whidbey Island and almost every county in Western Washington, why? Any guesses?

Meanwhile, GOP Commissioner Graves talks about “majority minority” districts in an effort to support his congressional gerrymandering. But he surely didn’t show the same “care” with his legislative maps, where he broke the Washington State Voting Rights Act in failing to draw a majority Hispanic district in the Yakima valley.  

It’s clear that Graves leaves the districts of his Republican friends alone – the average GOP current congressional district retains 96% of its voters in the Graves maps – while tearing apart Democratic districts for political gain, keeping only 63.7% of  Democratic voters in their districts. 

We get that Republicans want to draw maps that help them win elections, but it shouldn’t be done by disenfranchising communities of interest. You just can’t draw lines down the middle of every county you don’t like because it suits your desire to make GOP districts. How disappointing.

Fair-minded Washingtonians across the state need to speak up against this partisan gerrymander and fight for fair maps! Please go to www.redistricting.wa.gov to give comment and testimony.