Last night, after substantial work marked by mutual respect and dedication to the important task, the four voting commissioners on the State Redistricting Commission were unable to adopt a districting plan by the midnight deadline. But the Commission would be remiss if we did not take time to acknowledge the historic involvement of the people of Washington in this once-in-a-decade process.
The Commission would like to sincerely thank all the residents of Washington who took time to educate themselves and engage with the Commission over the last 10 months.
Under the leadership of the most diverse Commission ever appointed, staff executed a public outreach campaign to solicit the people for their input into the mapping process and its outcomes. Between public commentary at 17 public outreach meetings and 22 business meetings, more than 400 state residents delivered live public testimony about maps or about the Commission’s processes.
Commissioners received more than 2,750 comments on their draft maps or on the old maps, and more than 3,000 sent an email, commented through the website form, mailed a letter, or left a voicemail. Finally, utilizing a mapping tool made available to the public on the Commission’s website, 1,300 maps were created, of which 12 were formally submitted as third-party maps.
This level of public involvement was historic, and the Commission thanks all those who took the time and energy to engage with redistricting process. The public’s contribution to this process brought great value and insight to this work.
Pursuant to RCW 44.05.100, the Washington Supreme Court now has jurisdiction to adopt a districting plan. The commissioners have every faith that the Court will draw maps that are fair and worthy of the people of Washington. Finally, the Commission hopes the Washington Supreme Court will be able to take advantage of the public input accumulated over the last 10 months.