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November 22, 2011

Community Coalition Denounces King County Districting Committee Plan

Today, the United for Fair Representation Coalition (UFR) denounced the plan for new Metropolitan King County Council districts recently adopted by the King County Districting Committee. Despite the tremendous growth of people of color and immigrants throughout King County, the Committee adopted a plan that reduced majority minority District 5 from 53 percent people of color to only 49 percent and, only after public pressure, barely made District 2 a majority minority district at 50.02 percent.

In a press release, the Committee touted its public process, yet after several months of public testimony, the Committee’s original proposal included zero majority minority districts. Since early in the process, the UFR Coalition advocated for three people of color majority districts to reflect the demographic changes over the last decade across Washington State, especially in South King County.

The UFR Coalition has many concerns around the plan which was adopted from an “alternative plan B” that was not made publicly available before the final vote. The Committee defied its own objective of drawing boundaries that “correspond with the boundaries of existing municipalities” by dividing the majority-minority cities of Seatac, Tukwila and Renton and, in Seattle, split the International District down the I-5 corridor between Districts 2 and 8.

“The Committee had an opportunity to create fair districts that reflect a changing demographic reality in King County, but what emerged from this process does more harm than good to our communities,” said George Cheung of the Win Win Network.

“In sharp contrast, the State Redistricting Commission responded to the growth of immigrants and people of color by creating a majority minority Congressional District in three of their four draft maps,” said OneAmerica Policy Director Ada Williams Prince. “King County went the opposite direction by spreading people of color across several districts and diluting their voting power.”

The Washington State Redistricting Commission met today, but did not provide any updates on finalizing the Congressional and Legislative redistricting maps. The UFR Coalition is watching this process closely to ensure that the final proposal includes a majority minority Congressional District in South King County. While the State Commission is using much of the time allowed them by state law to deliberate before its January 1, 2012 deadline, the County Committee finished its process 60 days early despite calls for further consideration from members of the community.

Media

For questions, contact Charlie McAteer, OneAmerica Communications Director, 206-452-8402, charlie@weareoneamerica.org

About OneAmerica

OneAmerica, formerly Hate Free Zone, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that advances the fundamental principles of democracy and justice by building power within immigrant communities.

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