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WA redistrict: Maps coming

UPDATED Washington’s redistricting maps – the preliminary ones, at least – will be out on September 13, a week from Tuesday.

The Redistricting Commission said that “At its monthly meeting in Olympia, on September 13, 2011, the Commissioners will each make public their proposed plans for congressional and legislative districts. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. in Senate Hearing Room 1 of the Cherberg Building on the Capitol Campus. A brief period of public comment and a time for media questions will follow the Commissioners’ presentation of their draft plans. The meeting will be webcast and broadcast live by TVW, the state’s non-profit public affairs television network.”

The commissioners will be allowed to not only release the maps but also talk (up to 25 minutes) about their relative virtues. Commissioner Slade Gorton, for one, has already said he plans to make use of his full 25 minutes.

The commission’s spokesman, Cathy Cochrane, said the September meeting ends the initial “listening phase,” though that doesn’t mean an end to public comments. The idea is that during the next month, till the October meeting, the commissioners will take public comments on the plans (each of the four commissioners will release a congressional and legislative plan) as well as negotiate among themselves – the “negotiating phase”. Up to this point, she said, “the commissioners are being very private right now,” apparently not even much discussing planning with each other. That together with more public input on the proposed maps will be the meat of the next month’s activities.

After the October meeting, more final rounds of negotiations are expected, with the idea that end decisions will be made in November.

The plans will be posted on line, and online comments from the public can be linked to each plan.

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