SALEM – Virtual public hearings on redrawing the Oregon’s legislative districts and creating a new Congressional district start tomorrow (Wednesday). Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena), a member of the Senate Redistricting Committee, says when he looks at the Congressional redistricting proposal from the majority party, it seems apparent they are trying to ensure a Democrat will hold that seat.
“It would start in Multnomah and Gresham,” he said. “They would come down through the gorge and then pick up Wasco, Sherman, parts of Crook I think, Jefferson, and then all of Deschutes down to Bend.”
Hansell pointed out that districts are supposed to be defined by natural boundaries, and the Democrats’ plan apparently doesn’t consider the Cascades to be a boundary.
Redistricting will also mean new lines for state senate and house districts. Geographically speaking, Hansell’s district is already by far the largest, but one proposal adds Grant and Wheeler counties to his district.
The maps and other redistricting information is available at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting. The tools are there so that the public can submit their own proposed maps, but the deadline for doing that is tomorrow. People can also register to speak at the virtual meetings.
The Second Congressional District virtual meetings are tomorrow from 1-4 p.m. and Friday from 8-11 a.m. There are also two hearings set that are open to residents of any district on Sept. 13 from 1-4 p.m. and from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Map is of Oregon’s current Congressional districts.