Saturday, January 7, 2012

Redistricting Holdups Won't Serve NoMi

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman.  Top image from the redistricting court case, bottom image from the city of Minneapolis.

Here in NoMi, we're heading into somewhat uncertain territory.  With redistricting already facing legal hurdles, precinct caucuses for senate district 58 are scheduled for February 7.  Linda Higgins is stepping down from her seat as our state senator, and Bobby Joe Champion has announced his intention to run for that seat.  Raymond Dehn and Terra Cole have announced their candidacies for Champion's seat, but might not even live in the district depending on how lines are redrawn.  Joe Mullery is running for re-election as well.

(I'm covering known DFL candidates because they are the ones most likely to win election, but readers can inform each other about others who are running.)

So the conundrum as I see it is that we're holding our caucuses before we know for sure what the boundaries for legislative districts are.  Right now the best estimation of those boundaries is shown above.  Our senate district would include...

...the Downtown East neighborhood and parts of Downtown West, the North Loop neighborhood, Bryn Mawr north of Highway 394, and all of NoMi.

With the court case maps, I was initially confused because they don't call us district 58 anymore.  We'd be district 60 if those take effect.  Under that proposal, our district is divided largely among Broadway.  It looks like Mullery's district would extend from the northwestern edge of the city down to Broadway, with the "tangletown" section of Jordan left out.  That area, with Willard-Hay, Near North, Sumner-Glenwood, Harrison, and downtown/Bryn Mawr would be the second representative district.

Let's face reality here; we live in essentially a one-party part of town.  Most likely a person associated with or nominated by the DFL party is going to win each of these three elections.  Whether you like that or not, it's still obvious that the person with the nomination far and away has the advantage.  And it's hard enough to feel as if our system is truly representative when that nomination process happens at the hands of maybe a few hundred people.  But now at least some of our candidates may not even know which district is appropriate for seeking the nomination until after it's too late.

I wish I had a solution to this dilemma.  The only advice I can give right now is that people get involved and stay informed.  It's going to get confusing.

7 comments:

  1. "Tangletown" section of Jordan? What area is that?

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  2. If you click on the city map, you'll see roughly a triangle shape bordered by Irving Ave N, 26th Ave N, and Broadway from Irving to around Penn/26th. In that part of the neighborhood, streets that normally run a straight north/south get all tangled up for a bit. Hence the nickname.

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  3. Since posting this, I've heard through the rumor mill that other people are running in Champion's district as well: Willie Dominguez and Phyllis Kahn are the two more notable names.

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  4. Dyna writes: I agree that the caucuses are being held too early- why should I have to come home from Florida the first week in February when we won't even know what district we're in until at least the end of the month?

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  5. Why would Phyllis Kahn be running in this race? Was she redistricted out of her own, did she lose to someone sometime recently? I haven't been paying attention over there.

    There is one more candidate running in the B race that will be announcing soon. A very viable and exciting candidate, I can't wait to help him/her.

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  6. Under at least one of the redistricting scenarios, Kahn would be in the southern part of the senate district. I'm not sure why she's considering running at all after already retiring, and this may be just speculation.

    @Anon 7:13, I'm pretty sure I know who you're referring to. I looked for announcements of other candidates who's names are being brought up. I only mentioned those who had announced their campaigns or who are already public figures. I'll let others announce their campaigns in whatever way they see fit and then include them in lists of candidates.

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  7. Phyllis Kahn has not retired, has no plans to retire, and is in the district to the east of ours. Well, technically, she lives in the middle of the Mississippi River on Nicollet Island.

    Announced candidates for 58B are Ray Dehn, Willie Dominguez, and Terra Cole.

    Our district has to pick up 9000 people in redistricting, the largest of any district in Minneapolis. The timing of the caucuses and the courts releasing the new maps (absent new maps by the legislature that the Gov would actually sign) is dumb, but it has happened before. I think I was the credentials chair for the senate district DFL convention when we had to change people to the new district lines. The DFL's VAN computer system will make that easier this year than the last time we did this -- I hope! Linda Higgins

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