Working to ensure that the revised districts are fair, equitable and representative of all Oregonians
The Census and Redistricting Process
Every ten years a national census is done to determine the number of people residing in each state which then determines the number of seats each state is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the first time in forty years, Oregon has gained a Congressional seat, going from five to six seats. Currently, Oregon is going through the redistricting process. The Legislative Assembly, through the Senate and House Redistricting Committees, is redrawing district boundaries so that roughly equal populations are allocated to the 60 state House districts, the 30 state Senate districts, and the six U.S. Congressional districts. The Legislative Assembly must submit a plan by September 27, 2021. Common Sense for Oregon is tracking Oregon’s redistricting process and is working to ensure that the revised districts are fair, equitable and representative of all Oregonians.
Common Sense is supporting the Equitable Map Oregon, submitted to the Legislature on September 9, 2021, by Rebecca Tweed. This proposed redistricting map began with a clean map and then was constructed without consideration of existing legislative districts, sitting representatives and senators, and without regard to political party affiliations. It unites communities of interest in compact districts. No district deviates from the target population by more than 615 people, which is less than 1%. Borders follow county and city lines, major highways, rivers and mountains. It strictly adheres to the requirements of the United States and Oregon Constitutions, as well as federal laws and Oregon statutes.
Equitable Map Oregon
Cities and communities were selected to be represented in their entirety by a single legislative district whenever possible. The Equitable Map Oregon is designed to unite areas that are historically considered together in clusters because of common transportation infrastructure, culture, and geographic barriers. Communities of interest are preserved.
Cities and communities clustered together in each district are listed below for both the House districts and the Senate districts. District numbers would need to be assigned in a more contiguous manner, but each district’s description is provided below.
Equitable Map Oregon - House Districts
2. Central Coast including Waldport, Newport, Lincoln City, Tillamook and Rockaway Beach.
3. Includes Reedsport, Coos Bay, Bandon and Myrtle Point.
4. Southern Coast of Gold Beach and Port Orford inland to Myrtle Creek.
5. Grants Pass and I-5 corridor.
6. Central Point and Western Medford, separated by I-5.
7. Klamath Falls following Highway 97 North, bordering Lake County
8. East Medford, separated by I-5.
9. Roseburg and I-5 corridor.
10. Greater Jackson County including Ashland and Eagle Point.
11. Large area of mostly National Forest, Cottage Grove and East/West highways and I-5 corridor.
13. East Springfield to rural Lane County.
14. Downtown Eugene.
15. West Eugene.
16. Coastal area of Florence and Highway 101 inland to Veneta and Junction City.
17. Lake, Harney, Grant, Baker, Malheur Counties.
18. NE Oregon, La Grande.
19. Hermiston and Highway 97 corridor.
20. Redmond, Prineville, Eastern freeway connectors toward Bend.
21. Downtown Bend East of 97 and Deschutes River.
22. Western Bend following Deschutes River South connecting resort community developments.
23. The Dalles, Hood River, Cascade Locks and Mt. Hood.
24. Lebanon, Harrisburg, Sweet Home.
25. Aumsville, Sublimity, Stayton East to Warm Spring. Highway 22 corridor going East, 26 South.
27. Albany and 99W corridor.
28. Monmouth, Dallas, Grand Ronde, Willamina, Sheridan and Highways 22 and 18.
29. Downtown and West Salem.
30. Downtown Salem South of Mission Street.
31. Downtown Salem East of I-5.
32. Keizer, Silverton, Mt. Angel.
33. McMinnville, Dayton, Dundee, Yamhill.
34. Columbia River communities St. Helens, Scappoose, Sauvie Island to North Plains and Forest Park
35. Nautical communities of Hayden Island and Marine Drive with University of Portland and Port of Portland
36. I-5 Corridor through Woodburn, Mulino and Molalla.
37. Newberg and Sherwood
38. Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Cornelius along Highway 10
39. Hillsboro and Beaverton.
41. Hillsboro and Aloha.
42. Aloha, Farmington.
43. Sandy, Boring, Damascus, Estacada, Beavercreek.
44. Oregon City and Canby.
45. Oak Grove, Milwaukie and Gladstone.
46. West Linn and Wilsonville.
47. King City, Tualatin, Durham Along Pacific Highway bordered by I-5.
48. Tigard, 217 corridor.
49. Beaverton, Raleigh Hills, West Slope
50. Lake Oswego to Terwilliger.
51. Happy Valley, Sunnyside, North Clackamas.
52. Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert.
53. Milwaukie, Woodstock, Brooklyn.
55. Fairview, Wood Village, Troutdale, Centennial
56. Downtown Portland, Inner SE, South Waterfront.
57. SE Portland.
58. NE Portland.
59. Outer NE Portland, Maywood Park, Marine Drive East.
60. Outer SE and NE.
Equitable Map Oregon - Senate Districts comprised of numbered House Districts
3, 16 Coos Bay, Florence
4, 5 Grants Pass / SW Corner
6, 8 Central Point
7, 10 Klamath Falls
9, 11 Roseburg
12,13 East Eugene
14, 15 West Eugene
17, 18 East State
19, 20 Hermiston, Prineville, Redmond
21, 22 Bend
24, 25 Lebanon
26, 27 Albany, Corvallis
29, 31 Downtown Salem
28, 30 Dallas, South Salem
32, 33 McMinnville, Silverton
36, 44 Oregon City, Canby, Woodburn
43, 23 Sandy, Hood River
37, 47 Tualatin, Newberg, King City
38, 39 Forest Grove, Cornelius, Hillsboro
41, 42 Beaverton
34, 40 St. Helens, NW Beaverton
46, 50 West Linn, Lake Oswego
45, 51 Happy Valley, Milwaukie
48, 49 Raleigh Hills, Tigard
54, 55 Gresham, Fairview
58, 59 North PDX
35, 56 Downtown, University of Portland
53, 57 Inner SE Portland
60, 52 Outer SE Portland
Challenge filed to Legislative Redistricting Plan
The redistricting plan adopted by the Legislature is now under challenge, as to the entire plan, before the Oregon Supreme Court. Common Sense for Oregon is supporting the filing of a Petition for Review in the Oregon Supreme Court by plaintiffs Patrick Sheehan and Samantha Hazel.
The petition points out that the Legislature refused to allow any oral testimony in regard to any redistricting plan except the plans proposed by the legislative Democrats and legislative Republicans. This made the redistricting process a partisan battle because alternative plans submitted by nonpartisan groups were not given full consideration.
The petitioners also challenge the Legislature’s method of reapportionment, which started with existing district lines and then modified them. This favors incumbent legislators and is directly in opposition to a redistricting law which provides that any plan should not be established to protect incumbents.
The problem with the Legislative Plan is that it is a partisan plan designed to favor one party and designed to favor incumbents. The Legislature had a balanced plan in front of it, which was fair to all concerned, labeled Equitable Map Oregon, presented by Rebecca Tweed. The petition asserts that her plan met all the legal requirements and should be the approach adopted by the Oregon Supreme Court instead of the Legislature’s plan.
A closer look at the petition for review and its supporting brief
Supreme Court Upholds the Gerrymandered Legislative Redistricting Plan
On November 22, 2021, the Oregon Supreme Court, giving great deference to the Legislature in the redistricting process, dismissed the petition challenging the legislative redistricting plan. Unfortunately, Oregon now has a gerrymandered plan which is to be expected when politicians get to draw their own district lines. This decision reaffirms the need for a citizen commission to reapportion the legislative districts after each new census.