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Coalition for Creating 5 Fair, Equitable Spokane County Commissioner Districts
August 12, 2021
Dear Spokane County Redistricting Committee Members,
Thank you for serving on the Spokane County Redistricting Committee to oversee the process to draw the most equitable and equal voting districts for Spokane County.
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are united in a vision for creating five fair and equitable County Commissioner districts. We offer the following recommendations as well as a map that reflects our shared values.
We include Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) led organizations and individuals, LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals, and other community-based organizations and individuals representing diverse constituents across race, place, and class within Spokane County totaling over 300,000. We have come together to develop and present this community districting proposal to you for your consideration and support.
Our County Commissioners hold so much influence over our daily lives and futures, making critical decisions about issues vital to all of us, including public safety, housing, climate change, and public health. That is why this moment is critically urgent as we navigate the road to recovery from COVID-19.
We propose the following goals for creating five Spokane County Commissioner Districts that will elect their Commissioners by district:
- Increase the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voters and
- Create competitive and fair districts so elected officials are responsible to their constituents as we are growing from three to five districts. We deserve accountable and responsive local leaders.
In addition to equal population division, it is critical that we are intentional about considering these two goals if we are serious about equity and equality in creating fair districts. This isn’t about politics. It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about proportional representation.
In drawing district lines, we ask that you incorporate these three principles:
- Use existing boundaries: The natural boundary of the Spokane River and geographic boundaries including: Division Street, North-South Corridor, and I-90.
- Create truly equitable and competitive districts across the county.
- Connect communities of interest facing growth-related challenges at the edges of urban areas, i.e. where City of Spokane, City of Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake all interface with the Urban Growth Areas and neighboring unincorporated areas. We recommend keeping Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Heights in one district.
In recognition of feedback from FLO Analytics at Redistricting Committee meetings and a general understanding of Spokane County population distribution, we support dividing the City of Spokane, where the majority of the county resides, among three out of the five districts.
In addition, while developing district maps, we ask that you incorporate the following data points:
- Percentage of People of Color by Census Block Group
- Percentage population change by Census Block Group
- People of Color migration by Census Block Group
- Natural and geographic boundaries
After much deliberation and engagement, in conclusion we ask that you consider this map that meets the goals, principles and priorities that we have outlined.
Better Health Together
Greater Spokane Progress
Hispanic Business/Professional Association
NE Washington & N Idaho Building & Construction Trades Council
Odyssey Youth Movement
Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
Planned Parenthood Advocates Of Greater Washington Of North Idaho
Redistricting Justice for Washington
SEIU Healthcare 1199 NW
Spectrum Center Spokane
Spokane Community Against Racism
Spokane Regional Labor Council
Tenants Union of Washington State
The Lands Council
The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area
Washington Federation of State Employees, Local 1221
Terri Anderson, Tenants Union of Washington State
John Alder, Veterans for Peace Chapter 35
Lerria Schuh, Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund
Sandra Williams, Carl Maxey Center
Mary Lou Johnson
The Rev. Richard Matters