North Kitsap will switch from Congressional District 1 to District 6
By MEGAN STEPHENSON
January 3, 2012 · Updated 1:35 PM
POULSBO — The final redistricting plan has been agreed upon and sent to the Washington State Legislature by the Washington Redistricting Commission. The Legislature will have a chance to make any changes when they return to session Jan. 9, before the new districts take effect on Feb. 9.
This new map puts all of Kitsap County in District 6.
"This is a bi-partisan process and it is always a challenge dealing with competing objectives," the commissioners released in a statement. "But we have reached a fair and equitable resolution that will serve the citizens of Washington well.
Kitsap is currently split between District 1 and 6. North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island is represented by Democrat Jay Inslee. District 6 is represented by Democrat Norm Dicks, and includes counties in the Olympic Peninsula. Inslee announced in June he is running for governor in 2012.
Dicks, a member of the House since Jan. 20, 1977, is 10th in seniority in the House.
In spring 2011, Washington received its Census 2010 data for redrawing legislative and congressional district boundaries. The state’s population grew by nearly 1 million residents in 10 years, to just over 6.7 million, and gave the state a new congressional seat, according to the commission’s website. The plan includes the new district centered around Olympia, and will be reviewed again in 10 years.
The commission consists of five members: A non-voting chairwoman, a Democrat and Republican appointed by the state House of Representatives, and a Democrat and Republican appointed by the state Senate.
There were many historic changes in the new plan, according to the commissioners.
"The commission also agreed to the first majority Latino district in our state and brings the total number of minority majority legislative districts to four," according to the statement. "The 15th Legislative District, which is now comprised of over 54.5 percent Latino population, reflects the growing diversity of central Washington and the state as a whole.
"The adopted Legislative and Congressional plans strive to equalize population, minimize unnecessary city and county splits, and keep communities of interest intact."
According to the map, the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th Districts are Republican, while five are Democratic. However, with the departure of Inslee and a new seat in Olympia, this leaves two seats up for grabs in 2012.
“These maps mark an historic moment in fairly representing Washington’s minority populations," said Dwight Pelz, chair of the Washington State Democrats, in a statement. "For the first time, Washington will have a majority-minority congressional district (9th Congressional District) and a majority-minority Hispanic legislative district (15th Legislative District).
Rep. Norm Dicks
- Age: 71
- Hometown: Born in Bremerton, lives in Belfair.
- Career: Law degree from University of Washington, where he was a linebacker for the Huskies; legislative and administrative assistant to U.S. Sen. Warren G. Magnuson, D-Wash.; first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976.
Dicks is 10th in seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations and is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Defense.
Contact North Kitsap Herald Megan Stephenson at email@example.com or 360-779-4464.