On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the King County Districting Committee unanimously adopted the Amended Final Draft Districting Master Plan. The adopted redistricting plan will be filed with the Clerk of the Council and will become the new King County Council district boundaries, effective upon filing.
A map of the new King County Council district boundaries is available online.
“Despite the delay in the census data, we were able to make good use of the early months by reaching out to communities throughout King County, who otherwise may not have engaged with the process,” said Committee Member Sophia Danenberg. “Through negotiation and compromise, I am pleased that we were able to consider the breadth of input we received to create a map that balances the needs and wishes of disparate communities throughout King County.”
The work of the Districting Committee is guided by legal criteria. By law, Council district boundaries must be redrawn after each U.S. Census to make each district as nearly equal in population as possible using the most recent census data. The new district boundaries must be compact, contiguous, and composed of economic and geographic units. To the extent feasible, the districts must correspond with the boundaries of existing municipalities, election precincts, census tracts, recognized natural boundaries, and preserve communities of related and mutual interest. Population data may not be used for purposes of favoring or disfavoring any racial group or political party.
The County Charter places sole responsibility for redistricting with the independent, citizen Districting Committee. Members of the non-partisan King County Districting Committee include Chair Ann Schindler, Cherryl Jackson-Williams, Paul Graves, Sophia Danenberg, and Rob Saka. The Districting Master, King County GIS, served as the technical expert in developing the plan.
In addition to 29 regular and special Districting Committee meetings held throughout the year, the Committee conducted unprecedented community outreach to gather input and learn about communities of interest. This outreach included 21 community listening sessions prior to developing drafts, four town hall meetings to gather feedback on three draft maps, and a public hearing on the final draft map.
The Committee prioritized community input in its work which is reflected in several aspects of the adopted plan including the following:
– Uniform comments urged the Committee to reunite the Chinatown International District (CID) into one council district. The Committee identified the CID as a community of interest and worked with community members to identify neighborhood boundaries. The adopted plan reunites the CID.
– The Committee heard significant testimony from the residents of Skyway that they identify with South Seattle. Skyway remains wholly in King County Council District 2.
– Community members of Issaquah and Sammamish urged the Committee to keep those communities together. Issaquah and Sammamish remain wholly in the King County Council District 3.
– Consistent with the community listening sessions, Federal Way remains wholly in King County Council District 7.
– Elected officials urged the Committee to keep Black Diamond, Covington, Maple Valley and Enumclaw together. These cities are in King County Council District 9.
– The Committee strived to keep smaller cities whole, isolated from Seattle and Bellevue to the extent possible, and ensure that when cities needed to be split between districts that sufficient portions were in both districts as to avoid divisions with small city slivers.
In drawing the redistricting map, each district must be as nearly equal in population as possible. No district in the adopted plan deviates by more than 0.16% from the 2021 Council district target population of 252,186. Black, Indigenous and People of Color accounted for 100% of the population growth within King County over the past decade and comprise a majority of constituents in Council Districts 2 (50.30%), 5 (59.99%) and 7 (53.00%) under the newly adopted plan.
For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/districting.