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Mercer Island could move to 2nd District in redistricting plan
The King County Districting Committee has released four different plans for redrawing County Council districts. Three would leave Mercer Island in the 6th District, represented by Council Member Jane Hague, while the fourth would move it to the 2nd District, represented by Council Member Larry Gossett. District 6 is dominated by Eastside communities, and District 2 is currently made up exclusively of Seattle neighborhoods.
King County and voting districts across the United States have had to redraw their congressional districts in response to changes in population. The 2010 U.S. Census data is being utilized to make the changes.
By law, council district boundaries must be redrawn after each U.S. Census to make each district as nearly equal in population as possible. The Committee is made up of five members appointed by the King County Council.
The goal of the changes is to even out the population of each district to about 214,000 people.
Option two of the proposed redistricting plan for the Puget Sound region places Mercer Island with Seattle in District 2. The addition of Mercer Island changes the old northern boundary of District 2 from the Ship Canal to Northeast 70th Street and east to Fremont Avenue around the northern shore of Lake Union, and south along the 16th Avenue through Capitol Hill until it meets Beacon Avenue south, where it extends all the way to the West Hill-Skyway neighborhood just northwest of the Renton city limits.
The population of each proposed district is 214,000 people.
Without Mercer Island, the District 6 boundary would move south and east to include the entire city of Issaquah. It now includes only part of that city.
The Committee is holding a series of four public hearings to gather reaction to the plans. The Committee, which started its work early this year, must approve a single, final plan by January 15, 2012. The next meeting is set for 6:30, July 7, at Highline Community College, Building 7, 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines; or 6:30, July 12, at the Van Asselt Community Center, 2820 S. Myrtle Street, in Seattle.
To view the options and to comment, the plans are posted at www.kingcounty.gov/districting.