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Everett council districts map almost ready for public input

EVERETT — City leaders invite public comment on a proposed voting district map that will underpin Everett’s transition to districtbased
City Council elections in 2021.
Over the next two months, six public meetings will be
held to discuss the topic — one in each of the five districts
plus one citywide — and written comments may
be submitted to nwebber@everettwa.gov.
Some of those meetings might be held in high school
football stadiums to satisfy legal and social-distancing
requirements, said the city’s liaison for districting, Nichole
Webber.
“It’s been a huge learning process for everyone,” Webber
said. “This has never been done in Everett before.”
Voters approved a switch from at-large to district elections
in November 2018.
A nine-member volunteer commission working with a
paid districting manager has divvied the city into fi ve proposed
voting districts built around core areas:
• District 1: Delta, NW Everett and parts of Riverside
and Bayside
• District 2: Lowell, Glacier View, Valley View and parts of
Port Gardner, Pinehurst, Beverly Park and South Forest
Park
• District 3: Boulevard Bluff, Harborview, View Ridge, Evergreen
• District 4: Casino Road (within Westmont), Holly,
and parts of Twin Creeks and Cascade View
• District 5: Silver Lake and parts of Twin Creeks, Cascade
View, and parts of Pinehurst and Beverly Park
The districts are based on the 2010 Census; boundaries
will be readjusted after the 2020 Census has been tabulated.
The districting commission must approve the final district plan and map by Nov. 1. The City Council will then adopt the plan without modification with a hands-off vote.
Once the district boundaries are set, next year voters in each district will elect a City Council representative to serve a four-year term.
There will also be two at-large, four-year council seats, as well as the mayor’s chair, that can be filled by any eligible city resident.
The 2021 elections will fill council positions one through five. Incumbents seeking re-election will have to live and run in their district. The mayor’s seat is also part of next year’s election cycle.
The seats currently held by council members Brenda Stonecipher and Judy Tuohy, in positions 6 and 7, will be designated at-large and next
contested in 2023.
“Districting is a great way for communities to have more local representation,” said district commission chair Simone Tarver. “Being
from here, I’m aware that, historically, most of our city elected officials have lived north of 41st (specifically Northwest Everett) and that we’ve faced a lack of local representation for the other
areas of Everett.”
Tarver was one of seven districting commission members appointed by the city council. The eighth and ninth members were appointed by
the mayor and commission itself.
They began meeting in August 2019. They hired a districting manager for assistance, Tony Fairfax from CensusChannel LLC of Hampton,
Virginia.
“I like to describe our process as building the plane as we are flying,” Tarver said.
“We’ve had a remarkable amount of control and freedom in charting our path forward.
“There are benefits and challenges associated with having so much freedom, but I think, overall, we’ve done a great job of developing a
process and executing on our plans.”
The Districting Commission meets next at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3. All districting meetings are available online, live on The Everett Channel cable television and by phone. After the meetings, the recorded videos are available at everettwa.gov/districting, as well as the
minutes and any meeting materials.
For more information on the districting process, visit www.everettwa.gov/Districting

 

  

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