Assembly Amends Redistricting Plan

Patrick Flynn

The Anchorage Assembly amended the boundaries of the municipality’s redistricting plan at their regular meeting Tuesday night. The change moves voters into the downtown precinct and decrease the variation between districts.

Assembly member Patrick Flynn represents downtown Anchorage. He pushed for the amendment to the redistricting plan because he says he was concerned about the lack of public process during its development and variances between districts that could impact the voting rights of minorities.

“The issue is variances between district populations, and by cutting the North Airport Heights precinct in half you get the variances down to about 2.5 percent,” Flynn said. “When Penland Park was in the midtown district the variance was closer to 8.3 percent.”

Penland Park is a large mobile home park in the Airport Heights neighborhood. The plan moves it from the midtown precinct back to the downtown one. Two weeks ago an “ad hoc” committee of three assembly members presented several plans to the body which they had drawn up in private meetings that were not publicly noticed. Assembly members selected a plan, but some community leaders questioned it and said it could have been developed in illegal meetings. The Assembly must submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval before an April election. Officials say they anticipate a vote on the revised plan at their Dec. 18 meeting. There will be an opportunity for public comment.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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