Will Redistricting Shun West Provo Again?

The process of post-census redistricting for our legislative, senate, congressional and state school board seats is nearing completion.  Some of the preliminary maps have been voted on by the redistricting committee and are in the final stages of tweaking, and while the maps are not yet set in stone there are a few issues that we here in west Provo need to be aware of and keep an eye on.

The current proposed maps hold both good news and bad news for west Provo:

The GOOD NEWS — After 10 years of being part of a state senate district that crosses county lines (Utah / Tooele County), west Provo looks like it may have the good fortune of being placed in a state senate seat with boundaries completely inside Utah County.  That would boost our representation in state senate caucus/convention elections, because County Delegates are responsible for voting on state senators whose districts reside fully within a single county, while State Delegates vote if the district is split between more than one county — since our County Delegates are more numerous than our State Delegates, we would have a greater rate of representation per capita.

That’s great news for west Provo, but it’s important to keep in mind that several other Utah County senate seats — including some in Provo/Orem– will extend outside the county lines, diluting our city and county’s delegate representation and dividing our senators’ attention with cross-county concerns.  While west Provo will be brought back into the county, some seats that were previously wholly within Utah County will now be split between counties. To maximize representation, we need more state senate seats that are fully within Utah County boundaries.

The BAD NEWS — West Provo has spent the last 10 years in a state senate district that was divided from the rest of Provo, and if the current map prevails we will once again be carved out and separated from the rest of our Provo community.  West Provo is slated to be placed into a southern Utah County state senate district that includes rural interests such as Benjamin, Elk Ridge, and West Mountain.  We do not share many similarities with other cities in the new district, which will leave us struggling to have our voices heard among the many other interests within the new district.  To amplify our voices, we need to be reunited with our sister Orem/Provo communities. 

What to do about it? — There are only 2 redistricting committee meetings left before the October 3 special redistricting special legislative session begins. Tomorrow,  Thursday, 9/22, the redistricting committee will discuss proposed maps at 9:00 AM, 30 House Building at the capitol.  The meeting is open to the public at comments may be taken, if you wish to attend.  See the agenda/info here.

Another meeting is scheduled for Monday 9/26, at 9 a.m. 30 House Building at the capitol, but the agenda has not yet been posted.

If you wish to weigh-in on the proposals and/or give input on how west Provo should be treated during redistricting, please plan to attend or to email/call your legislators and the redistricting committee:

rokerlund@utahsenate.org
ksumsion@utah.gov
rogerbarrus@utah.gov
melbrown@utah.gov
gdavis@utahsenate.org
gfroerer@utah.gov
fgibson@utah.gov
nhendrickson@utah.gov
dipson@utah.gov
briansking@utah.gov
toddkiser@utah.gov
blockhart@utah.gov
bmcadams@utahsenate.org
merlynnnewbold@utah.gov
screid@utahsenate.org
kvantassell@utahsenate.org
waddoups@utahsenate.org
cwatkins@utah.gov
curtwebb@utah.gov

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