Anchorage Assembly moves to refine options for redistribution cards


One of four Anchorage redistribution plans proposed for consideration by the Assembly. Redistribution Committee Chairman Chris Constant said the map, submitted by South Anchorage Assemblyman John Weddleton, garnered the most support in recent debates.

Anchorage officials continue to debate the appearance of the municipality’s electoral map.

The Assembly is currently considering four different maps as part of the redevelopment of the city. The process occurs every 10 years after the US census. Depending on the card chosen, some Anchorage residents could be represented by a new Assemblyman. The new map would come into effect after the April 6 municipal elections.

Downtown Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Constant chairs the redistribution committee and says the goal is for each assembly district to have about the same number of people.

“Mathematically make them as close as possible,” Constant said. “Contiguous and connected, but also honoring communities of interest or this idea of ​​keeping communities together.”

While some proposed changes are as small as adding a few blocks to a district, other adjustments would be more noticeable. The four proposed maps would increase the size of District 1 – the downtown district of Constant. However, there is disagreement over which parts of the other neighborhoods would be within the larger city center.

Another issue is which districts would get joint base Elmendorf-Richardson. Three of the maps have the base as part of District 2, which includes Eagle River and Chugiak. The fourth divides the base, putting half of Elmendorf downtown and half of Fort Richardson with Eagle River and Chugiak.

South Anchorage Assemblyman John Weddleton submitted one of the maps. Another came from Mayor Dave Bronson and Eagle River/Chugiak Assemblyman Jamie Allard. Local political advocacy group Anchorage Action also submitted a map, as did resident Robert Hockema.

The state recently went through a controversial redistricting process, which ended up being challenged in law and faced charges of partisanship. Constant said that while there were disagreements in the development of the local map of Anchorage, the process was smoother.

“For the most part, people have been very open and eager to participate, and we’ve been working on it for months,” Constant said. “And we don’t have the power under state law to do our business in the dark.” The state redistricting process, they’ve done all their work in executive sessions, and we’re not doing it because we can’t.

People can submit comments on the proposed maps online at muni.org. Additionally, people can testify publicly in person at the next two Assembly meetings, one on Tuesday and the second on March 15.

At the first meeting, Constant said, the hope is that the Assembly will narrow down its selection to a map that other members can make changes to. The public could then testify on the amendments at the second meeting.

The Assembly has scheduled a special meeting on March 23 to vote on the redistribution card.

Another change coming to the Anchorage Assembly is the addition of a 12th seat.

This person will represent the downtown district, which currently has only one member of the Assembly. Constant said the Assembly plans to declare a vacancy at the same meeting where they vote on redistribution. After that, the Assembly must hold a special election within 90 days to fill the 12th seat.

Below are the other three deal cards up for debate:

(Submitted by Anchorage Action)
(Submitted by Robert Hockema)
(Submitted by MP Jamie Allard)

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