Majority Minority District

There’s a proposal before the Redistricting Commission to draw a map that would make one of the Congressional districts 50.1% non white. Basically South Seattle and the suburbs would form a district. A few quick thoughts:

  • I’m not thrilled about splitting Seattle into multiple districts. Presumably this would weaken McDermott but I don’t know how much. I don’t know where in the district he lives, but presumably he could win a West Seattle – Vashon to North King County district. It would (obviously) make the 7th district whiter.
  • 50.1% and the fact that minorities don’t vote as frequently as white people probably means that the district’s voters will still be majority white. Still things like service academy opportunities and constituent services might be different in a majority nonwhite district.
  • Majority minority and majority any one race are two very different things. The district would still be whiter than any other race.
  • Race is obviously not the only factor in how people vote.
  • Other than splitting Seattle, the proposed map doesn’t set off any alarms by being oddly shaped or on both sides of a geographic boundary. In fact, it’s not as screwy as some of the districts we have now. (Special note to The Seattle Times: When I click on your button that says “enlarge” a smaller map probably shouldn’t pop up)


  1. 1

    TJ spews:

    Seattle is already split. A portion in the northwest corner is part of the 1st District, and has been for as long as I can remember.

  2. 2

    proud leftist spews:

    I’d stretch the 7th all the way to Yakima, just to preserve democracy. But, that’s just me.

  3. 4

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    Republicans will not want the liberal contagion from the 7th spread to other districts. It also does not address the fact that the 7th would have to expand in some other direction to maintain population balance. Would that be part of the 8th?

  4. 5



    It’s been a pretty small chunk since the redistricting following the 2000 census, so it isn’t splitting the city the way this proposal does, but yes, I should have been more clear.


    Since we’re adding a district, the 7th was going to get smaller geographically anyway. So it doesn’t look like it’s that far North or East, but I couldn’t tell from the map at the Seattle Times’ website exactly how far it goes.

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Race shouldn’t be a factor in drawing district boundaries, period. That’s a throwback to the kind of society in which the races were forced to live apart from each other, instead of with or among each other. I thought we were trying to move forward from that.

  6. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Yeah, I like the idea of slicing Washington in 10 horizontal stripes, so people in Newport would be represented by the same congressman as people in Lynden, and so on. This would give us a congressional delegation reflecting the true nature of Washington’s demographic makeup — all 10 of our congress people would be chosen by western Washington voters. That’s as it should be, because all the money, economic activity, and population is in western Washington.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s time we stopped letting eastern Washington rubes pick two of our congress people, anyway. Their choices are an embarrassment to our state. See, e.g., Doc Hastings. To paraphrase New Hampshire’s Republican legislative leaders, those farmers don’t have enough maturity and wisdom to be trusted with something as important as the power to pick a congressman.

  8. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Tea Party Hypocrisy

    In a stomach-turning display of hypocrisy, Rep. Allen West (TP-FL) told cheering constituents he wants to phase out Social Security and Medicare, abolish the IRS, preserve tax cuts for billionaires “so they won’t shut down their charities,” and cut off unemployment benefits to the unemployed because unemployment benefits “reward bad behavior” by “discouraging people from seeking jobs” (never mind that lack of jobs is the main reason people are unemployed right now) — then drew more cheers by announcing he had secured a federal grant for a new runway at the local airport.

    “‘Grant money is not pork,’ West said. He issued a press release saying the runway project ‘will generate at least 11,000 jobs’ by 2014 and cost $791 million.”

    Makes you want to puke.

  9. 10


    Ghettofication of congressional districts is an old trick to shoehorn all the Democratic voters into one district surrounded by safe Rethuglican districts. The sad thing is that the elected minority politicians then become vested in preserving their seat, and thereby the skewed election results.

  10. 12

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    @5 Carl My understanding is that the 7th as it is has grown enough to not need much if any adjustment, thus if you peel off SE Seattle, the 7th will be short and need to expand in some other direction. I may be wrong about that, but it was my clear understanding from other stories about re-districting.

  11. 13

    really? spews:

    why doesn’t our brillian redistriting commission give us an online app to draw our own district maps?

    popular engagement. post ‘em on line. click “like” or “is this map hot, or not?”

    There are so many variables it’s like arranging furniture in a room — you have to see the result before judging it.

    As to the 7th of course teh right wingers favor cabining all the seattle liberals in one district. what we liberals should want is ripping apart the reichert district I mean stretching it so a third of it becomes renton and tukwila….THEN we can win it. Just cut out Pierce County what does pierce county have to do with bellevue anyway? Cut out pierce, insert Renton, and boom! we win.

  12. 14

    Perfect Voter spews:

    Only one factor really matters in redistricting and that’s Party voting patterns. Only Republicans and Democrats are at the table; no other party has a voice in the process.

    If a majority-minority district could be done without altering the partisan balance even a fraction, then it could happen. But it likely would alter that balance, so it won’t happen.

  13. 15

    really? spews:

    which parties do you think should be at the table?

    tea? communist? scottish nationalist?

  14. 16

    J. Whorfin spews:

    Looking at the map, couldn’t you make the argument that this proposal would tilt the 8th and 9th further into (R) territory? I think taking the 47th Legislative District out of the 8th is problematic for Democratic hopes in the 8th…

  15. 17

    Perfect Voter spews:

    @15, oh, maybe independent voters? When I said no other parties are at the table, that’s a lower-case p. For you, I’ll rephrase that to: “No other interests have a seat at the table.”

  16. 18

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:

    the republicans and their lemmings, and the democrats and their lemmings both have the system rigged.

    Its not designed for people who actually think and use their brains…its designed for lemmings who vote based on R or D.

    this is a major reason why we get the stupid pieces of trash that we get for politicians.