Our Belief: Washington State’s 9th Congressional District is the most diverse district in our state, and it should be preserved as such in the coming 2021 redistricting considerations.
Washington is in the middle of the 2021 redistricting process, reflecting King County’s massive population growth thanks to the recent tech boom – details of which will soon be revealed in the 2020 census. It is critical that the redistricting preserves the cultural diversity and majority-BIPOC nature of the 9th Congressional district.
The redistricting will be based on the 2020 census. The primary aim of redistricting is to redistribute the population so that each state legislative and each congressional district has roughly the same population. Other legal requirements of the redistricting process include two key provisions that – in theory – make Washington’s redistricting immune from partisan gerrymandering. State legislative and congressional district boundaries must be drawn to:
- Comply with the Voting Rights Act to ensure that minorities have an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.
- Make sure that, to the extent possible, boundaries of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities that have common interests are respected, and their division minimized.
The redistricting commission will recommend new legislative and congressional district maps to the state legislature by November 15, 2021. The legislature can then adopt or amend the recommended maps.
The ninth congressional district spans the I-5 corridor south from the heart of Seattle. It starts with the traditional African American hub of Central District, stretches west to the International District and south through the 98118 zip code – one of the nation’s most language-diverse, according to the 2010 census – and Beacon Hill, with its tight clusters of Asian American immigrant families.
The city of SeaTac is another example of racial, language, and income diversity with its large immigrant population working in the service industry centered around our airport.
Further east, the district encompasses south King County towns of Renton, Kent, and Auburn, as well as unincorporated areas such as Skyway, all of them home to many working-class residents, including many people of color who have been priced out of Seattle over the past two decades.
It ends in Des Moines and Federal Way, at the south end of King County, with their mix of high-end waterfront properties and affordable condos and apartments. For some reason, the district also includes the very northern tip of Tacoma’s port area.
The district also includes more affluent towns of Mercer Island, Bellevue – with its own share of diversity – and Newcastle, as well as Seattle’s Madison Park and Seward Park neighborhoods, along Lake Washington.
“The 9th” as some of us affectionately call it, is the only congressional district in the entire state with a non-white majority. It is critical for the redistricting process to maintain the 9th as the state’s only majority people of color congressional district. Community members have actively participating in this process via Redistricting Justice for Washington and have come up with an excellent, well-thought out proposal for meeting this goal — one that we encourage the redistricting commission to adopt or take into account
We, residents of Washington’s 9th congressional district and allied organizations, are concerned that we may lose the only majority-BIPOC district in our state if the redistricting commission and the state legislature do not prioritize this critical criterion. We are therefore proactively calling on the 2021 Washington State Redistricting Commission to pay special attention to the unique characteristics of the 9th congressional district, to ensure that Washington does not lose its one majority-BIPOC congressional district. In fact, it is critical that we enhance the district’s diversity, to protect its majority-BIPOC status against further gentrification that is expected over the next decade.
|Latino Community Fund||Seattle, WA||https://www.latinocommunityfund.org/|
|Fuse Washington||Seattle, WA||https://www.fusewashington.org/|
|Fix Democracy First||Seattle, WA||https://www.fixdemocracyfirst.org/|
|Casa Latina||Central Area|
|Building political power for communities of |
color is part of our mission at Casa Latina.
|More Equitable Democracy Action||Seattle, WA||www.equitabledemocracy.org/redistricting|
|Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates||WA||https://www.ppallianceadvocates.org|
|Washington Community Alliance||Seattle, WA||https://wacommunityalliance.org/|
|Redistricting Justice for Washington||WA statewide||https://www.redistrictingjusticewa.org/|
|Asian Counseling and Referral Service||Seattle, WA||https://acrs.org/|
|Girmay Zahilay||King County Council||(*)||https://www.electgirmay.com/|
|Rev. Angela Ying||Bethany United Church of Christ||(*)||Beacon Hill|
|Aram Falsafi||Columbia City|
|This is very important to me!|
|Jay Conrad||Seattle, WA|
|Lucy Gitau||Firm Outreach/Northwest|
|Alma Chacon||CAFE: The Community for The|
Advancement of Family Education
|Daniel Gilman||Veterans for Peace||(*)||Seattle, WA|
|Robby Stern||Puget Sound Advocates for|
Retirement Action (PSARA)
|Sean Case||Seattle DSA||(*)||Central District|
|Confidence Orji||Urban League of |
|(*)||Seattle, WA||POC need adequate representation.|
|Daniel Jones||Urban League of |
|(*)||Seattle, WA 98178||It’s vitally important to continue trying to rectify|
200+ years of slavery and oppression. We need
to maintain the 9th!
|Elvira Hernandez||Urban League of |
|(*)||Seattle, WA||Equality in all aspect is very important to me.|
|Barbara Bengtsson||Seattle, WA||The preservation of the demographic make|
up of the 9th district is important to me
because it protects against inequity in the
|Jade Jost||South Lake Union|
|Chris Lee||Hillman City|
|As the only BIPOC-majority congressional|
district in the state of WA, we must preserve
the diversity that this district represents to
ensure that these voices are heard through
our electoral system.
|Deepa Bhandaru||Beacon Hill|
|Cassa Hanon||League of Women Voters|
Seattle King County
|(*)||Renton, WA||I would like to keep our majority minority|
district and advocate for creating more
|Faye Peairs||Enumclaw, WA||Let’s help level the playing field.|
Do your part to help equality.
|Aaron Parker||Beacon Hill|
|Super important to preserve this status to|
ensure equitable democratic representation
for our neighbors.
|Phil Rudd||Columbia City|
|Carolyn Draper||Renton, WA|
|Lindsey Hand||Columbia City|
|Tiffany J.||Kent, WA||The state of Washington is not Georgia or |
Florida. We should not be engaging in
underhanded, covert attempts to subvert
black and brown voices in an already faulty
and highly dubious electoral system.
|Afeworki Ghebreiyesus||Refugee Women’s Alliance||(*)||Beacon Hill|