Seattle Districting Commission

Seattle Districting Commission

Information about the Seattle Districting Commission

Overview

The City of Seattle is seeking qualified applicants to serve on the 2021 City Districting Commission. The Districting Commission is responsible for overseeing the development of new City Council district lines in response to the completed 2020 Census. The Commission shall appoint a Districting Master to draw a districting plan for the City, develop a draft districts proposal based on that plan, facilitate a process of public comment on that proposal, and ultimately vote upon approval of that proposal for transmission to the State of Washington. The Districting Commission may employ experts, consultants, and attorneys as necessary to accomplish its goals and will submit financial statements and an official record of all relevant information considered to the City Clerk. Districting Commissioners will receive a per diem for their service and the Commission’s term shall last until the districting proposal they approve is submitted to the State of Washington.

Commission Structure

The Districting Commission will be comprised of five members:

  • Two appointed by the City Council, confirmed via a two-thirds vote of the Council
  • Two appointed by the Mayor
  • One appointed by the initial four members of the Commission, approved via a majority vote of the Commissioners

Commission Responsibilities*

Appoint a Districting Master: After the five members of the District Commission have been appointed, they will select a Districting Master. The District Master will draft the districting plan and have the qualified education, training and experience to do so.

Conduct Open Public Meetings: All meetings of the Commission will be open to the public.

Organize Public Forums: The Commission will organize and facilitate public forums to solicit community input from across the City, holding at least one public meeting in each existing Council district (these meetings may be conducted virtually as provided for by applicable law and COVID-19 safety protocols).

Develop and Release a Draft District Plan Proposal: By November 15, 2021 (or a later date as provided for by applicable law), the Commission will develop and make public a district plan proposal. The proposal will be approved by majority vote of the Commission.

After the draft proposal is released, the Commission will take public comment.

Approve a Final Districts Plan: After public comment, the Commission will approve a final districts plan by majority vote.

*The City of Seattle will provide resources and staffing necessary to support the Commission in carrying out these duties

Rules for Redrawing Districts

District boundaries will be drawn in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to the following rules:

  • Produce compact and contiguous districts that are not gerrymandered
  • The population of the largest district shall not exceed the population of the smallest district by more than one percent.
  • When practical, new boundaries should follow:
    • Existing District boundaries
    • Waterways and geographic boundaries
    • Seattle communities and neighborhoods
  • The new boundaries will not consider the residence of any person.

Duration of Term

Districting Commissioners shall serve, subject to other limitations under the Charter of the City of Seattle and applicable state law, until the districts proposal they have approved is submitted to the State of Washington.

Restrictions

The following people are prohibited from sitting on the Districting Committee:

  • Elected officials (except Precinct Committee Officers)
  • Registered lobbyists
  • Candidates for elected office
  • City employees

How To Apply

The Council is no longer accepting applications for the Seattle Districting Commission.