The Alaska Redistricting Board has announced a time for public testimony in Wasilla tonight:
“Monday, October 26, Wasilla
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Menard Center, 1001 S. Clapp Street
Alaskans are invited to review the proposed plans, discuss the plans with board members, and leave public comments.
The plans can be viewed, and comments can be submitted, on the Alaska Redistricting Board website at: www.akredistrict.org/maps.
There will be an opportunity to provide testimony at the meeting. Testimony can also be sent via email to: email@example.com
In order to be part of the public record, testimony must comply with the Alaska Redistricting Board’s policy attached to this notice.
Masks are required and social distancing will be in effect.”
In Response to Those Who Have Sought Out My Thoughts on Redistricting:
The legislature exists to ensure that Alaskans, not boroughs, or municipalities, are represented in state government. In a perfect world, every Alaskan would have an equal say in the selection of their elected representatives in the legislature. In an imperfect world, a good map is one that facilitates this aim to the greatest extent practical.
Each of the draft maps put forward by the board fall short of this goal in a number of areas. Being able to see where each map falls short can offer insight into the political interests behind each map.
The reported population of Alaska in 2020 was 733,391.
As the Alaska Constitution requires there to be 40 members in the state house and 20 members in the state senate, each house district should have approximately 18,335 Alaskans, and each senate district (made up of two house districts) should have approximately 36,670 Alaskans.
The reported population of the Mat-Su in 2020 was 107,081. This is 14.60% of Alaska’s population.
In the legislature, 14.6% of 40 state house seats is 5.84, and 14.6% of 20 state senate seats is 2.92.
If the Mat-Su had 2,928 additional residents it would have exactly 15% of Alaska’s population, which equates to 6 seats in the state house and 3 seats in the state senate.
What this means practically is that the Mat-Su, as a whole, will likely be divided into six house districts and three senate districts, and these districts will also include another 2,900 Alaskans from communities outside the Mat-Su Borough. As mentioned before, the purpose of redistricting is not to give boroughs a voice in the legislature, but to give Alaskans themselves a voice.
The three communities from which the Mat-Su can most easily find the additional 2,900 residents are:
Valdez (4,000 residents)
Denali Borough (1,619 residents)
Valdez is currently in a district that includes part of eastern Mat-Su. Because it is on the road system and more developed than other rural communities in the unorganized borough this pairing seems to make sense to me.
Please do not allow yourself to become a puppet for one of the special interest maps, as the elevation of any of the special interests must inevitably come at the expense of the general interest of your neighbors and fellow Alaskans.