Redistricting

Redistricting is the once-a-decade process of redrawing the United States House of Representatives (Congressional) and Oregon State Senate and State House of Representatives (Legislative) district boundaries to account for changes in population.

Register here for the Zoom Webinar

This is a big deal. Are you ready? 

Join our panel of redistricting experts on Wednesday, August 25 to learn what’s at stake, what we should expect – and what we need to advocate for – in redistricting this year.

We have received the Census population data that will be used to determine our new state legislative and congressional districts.  

  • Are you and your organization ready to engage in the process to create fair districts this year? 
  • Have you added the next series of public hearings in September to your calendar?
  • Do you have the resources you need to testify or submit written testimony, critique the legislature’s draft redistricting maps, and even submit your own, at the upcoming hearings? 
  • Did you know you could do all those things?

We will be sharing information, answering your questions and discussing what you need to know, including the key deadlines coming up in the next few weeks. There are many ways you can be heard in this process and we’re here to help make that happen.

Be there, be involved, and be ready! 


Timeline

08/20/2021

2020 Census data available through ESRI on legislature’s redistricting website for members of the public to draft proposed maps

09/03/2021

8 am: Draft congressional and state legislative redistricting plans proposed by legislature to be posted on legislature’s redistricting website 

09/07/2021

5 pm: Deadline for submission via ESRI of redistricting plans by members of the public to legislature for legislature’s consideration 

09/08/2021

Public hearings begin on draft maps (via video or phone, and/or in writing) 

09/13/2021

Last day of public hearings on draft maps (via video or phone, and/or in writing) 

09/20/2021

Special state legislative session on redistricting expected to begin

09/27/2021

Deadline for Legislature to enact legislative and congressional redistricting plans.

02/07/2022

Last day by which legislative districts must be final


SALEM, Ore. – Today the House Speaker and Senate President announced that the public hearings on redistricting will change from in-person events to a virtual format due to the current wave of COVID-19 cases. House Redistricting Committee Co-Chair Shelly Boshart Davis responded to the announcement with the following statement and what it means for the process moving forward:

“It’s unfortunate that we can no longer meet with Oregonian’s in-person to hear their ideas and concerns regarding redistricting. Losing the opportunity for face-to-face interactions certainly has downsides.

However, I encourage everyone who was planning to attend to sign up for these virtual hearings and to share with your friends and neighbors. Your comments made on the record will have the same weight and importance for legislators as we continue this process. I look forward to working with my fellow co-chair and committee members to maximize the opportunities for individuals to testify so that we don’t lose any voices by switching to an online platform.”

Oregonians can learn more about redistricting at this link and sign up to testify when the agendas for the virtual hearings are finalized: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting


The schedule for the September Redistricting Public Hearings:

Wednesday, September 8:

•           8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (residents of Congressional District 1)

•           1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 2)

•           5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 3)

Thursday, September 9:

•           8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (residents of Congressional District 4)

•           1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 5)

•           5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 1)

Friday, September 10:

•           8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (residents of Congressional District 2)

•           1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 3)

•           5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (residents of Congressional District 4)

Monday, September 13:

•           8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (residents of Congressional District 5)

•           1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (statewide: open to residents of any district)

•           5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (statewide: open to residents of any district)


There is a lot of work that has happened in the week since we received our census data here in Oregon.  The data has been uploaded into the analysis/mapping program (we were one of the first states to complete that process), and it is now ready to be analyzed.
 
The data show that Oregon’s population has increased by 406,560 over the last decade, bringing our population to 4,237,560. That new figure needs to be divided by 60 to get the size of each of our House districts (30 for each of our Senate districts).  So, the size of each of our new House districts must be around 70,626 (vs. the current 63,850), and each of our Senate districts must be around 141,252 (vs. the current 127,700).  
 
All the districts grew in population to some extent (as did all the counties but one), but they did so unequally. In general most of the growth came in Central Oregon around Bend, to the west of Portland, and outside of Salem.  Much more of the growth came in the urban/suburban areas than in the rural areas. Most of the House and Senate districts did not grow enough in population enough to hit the new threshold of 70,626 for the House and 141,252 for the Senate) residents and will have to see their boundaries increased to encompass that many people. Those districts that saw large growth will need to be split up and become smaller.
 
Here is a spreadsheet that shows the changes that need to be made for each district.  The percentages are the amount that the districts are above or below the new threshold of 70,626 (House) and 141,252 (Senate).
 
The new congressional district mapping process has a special wrinkle this time since Oregon will now have a sixth congressional district.  Each congressional district will have 706,210 residents.
 
The redistricting committee met last night for the first time since the census numbers were delivered and heard an initial presentation from legal counsel and from the legislative research people who are administering the analysis.  You can watch it here.
 
Dan Gilbert from Legislative Counsel provided an overview of Oregon-specific statutory requirements for redistricting.
 
Kevin Rancik, the GIS specialist, provided an  overview of what the data tell us
 
Now that the data has been uploaded, it is available to the public to look at and to create their own maps to propose.  Analyst Allison Daniel provided an overview of the process of doing so.  There will soon be video tutorials of how to do that on the Redistricting Website, which is a tremendous resource for anyone really interested in this process.  Among other things on the website, you can sign up there to receive updates about the process.
 
The committees (there is one for the House and one for the Senate) will release their proposed maps at 8 a.m. on Sept 3.  The public will have until 5 p.m. on September 7 to submit additional maps for consideration.
 
As always, there will be a “roadshow,” with stops at a number of sites around Oregon to hear people’s thoughts about what should be prioritized in these maps.  Because of the Delta COVID crisis, however, it’s unclear what the format for these will be at this point. 




ESRI, the mapping tool that is accessible to the public, does protect against some common errors in drawing districts like ensuring the population count follows constitutional requirements. Unfortunately, ESRI does not protect against the state requirement that 2 house districts be nested within 1 senate district.

​To access to ESRI application, click here.

For tutorial videos and step-by-step instructions, click here and scroll to the “redistricting software information” section.
 


Everyone that submits maps is encouraged to do so along with a narrative about why they drew the lines the way they did. This is very important. Without hearing the reasoning behind the lines, we lack a crucial understanding of how communities function and how they might be impacted by changes in representation.

​Things to include in your narrative:

​Information about your community: how has your community grown? How does that change how the lines should be drawn for equal representation?

Do current district boundaries divide any communities in your district that you think should be together?
Has your community come together for common interests or services? What were those projects? Were they successful?

Use data on income, education, housing, and transportation, for example, to compare different areas of your district.

​All maps submitted that meet the criteria will be published publicly.

For more information about HOW to submit your map click here.

When you are ready to submit your plan, review the “Map Submission Checklist” document. The program will run integrity tests automatically. All this help makes it possible for anyone to submit a plan for consideration by the redistricting committees.

Sign up to testify and tell lawmakers about your community and how lines should be drawn for fair representation. You can do so virtually by video, online by written testimony, and in person. There will be an event for in-person testimony in Eugene on September 9 at 5:30 PM—watch here for more details, and to learn more about redistricting in Oregon generally.
 


Below is from Lilly Morgan

 I don’t usually send two newsletters a week (especially not two days in a row!) but important information has been released related to redistricting that I want to share.
 
In my March 10 newsletter, I shared information about redistricting and gerrymandering. If you missed that newsletter, you can read it HERE
Yesterday, the US Census Bureau released their data from the 2020 census. This was the first step required for the redistricting process to begin. While we previously knew that Oregon’s population had increased and that we would be gaining a sixth Congressional seat, we now know where population growth occurred, an important data point as Congressional and legislative districts are required to have an equal population. For instance, after the 2010 census, each House District averaged a population of 63,851. This year’s data says that each House District will now average 70,621 residents.
 
(My colleague, Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, is a member of the House Committee on Redistricting. She provides an excellent in-depth explanation of the redistricting process and requirements HERE.)
 
The House and Senate Committees on Redistricting is holding multiple public meetings around the state to hear from Oregonians about the process. You will have the opportunity to testify in person, virtually, or by phone. Your concerns and suggestions can greatly influence how the new maps are drawn! 

The House and Senate Committees on Redistricting will be working hard over the next month to draw new maps. The legislature is scheduled to be back in Salem the week of September 20th for a special session to vote on the new lines. The legislature is required to approve a new map by September 27th. If the legislature fails to agree to a map by then, or if Governor Brown vetoes the plan, then the redistricting process will be handled by the Secretary of State for legislative lines and by a panel of retired judges for the congressional lines.
 
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is forming a People’s Commission to oversee the redistricting process if the legislature is unable to adopt new districts by the deadline. You can learn more about the People’s Commission HERE. If you’re interested in applying, the application can be found HERE and must be submitted by September 2nd.

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/247042

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting/