Vancouver resident Rob Anderson addresses the issue of redistricting as it pertains to the reelection of the current county councilors
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
Even though the Fall elections are many months away, the County Council is on the verge of tipping the scales towards the current county council holders. The voters passed an amendment that required redistricting, but instead of choosing any maps from the committee or from the voters pamphlet they have decided to redraw the maps to protect the existing councilors and keep themselves in their own districts which ultimately helps them retain their positions.
Can you believe this? When thousands of people came to them for relief from losing their jobs because of discriminatory mandate outcomes, they not only didn’t listen but they worked against it by rejecting the will of a large portion of voters. But now, when their jobs are on the line, they’ve sprung into action and are using the voters as human shields saying the voters intentions are the reason they’re doing this, which is typical political spin … so we need to let them know that we don’t want this.
What the council is doing is completely out of the scope of Washington State laws. According to the RCW’s, there are five specific criteria that are to be followed for remaking the district maps. Protecting the councilors so they can remain in their districts and have an easier path to reelection is not one of the criteria. RCW 29A.76.010 specifically lays out these criteria, and the councilors have decided to make their own rules that help them stay in office. The truth is, they don’t even hold the power to redraw the districts but to only make modifications of maps produced by the redistricting committee.
Yet, the council is considering maps that they had redrawn not by the state RCW’s, but with the mandate to keep existing councilors in their districts. They are even willing to sacrifice one or more of the RCW criterion to create this new & unlawful redraw. If this added self-serving criteria stands, what’s next?
The Clark County Council’s corruption is on full display, and we must take action to be heard. Councilor Gary Medvigy is trying to peddle that this is what the voters would want so we must let them know loudly, but respectfully, this is not what we want. In one of the last council meetings he stated, “There was nothing in the ballot (measure) that suggested to move any particular councilor anywhere. That wasn’t something the public knowingly voted for or intended.” Not only is this a false statement but it’s loaded with conjecture. The voters did approve maps that clearly showed districts and if voters were interested could easily figure this out. By the way, I voted NO on all the amendments and strongly opposed them but the voters did approve them and, like it or not, that must be honored and stand for now.
Councilor Medvigy is trying to shield their potential corrupt decision and hide behind the voters while doing so. This is coming from the council who hasn’t looked their constituents in the eye for over two years.
If the councilors get away with this they’ll have a much easier path to hold onto their power and be re-elected. Councilors Julie Olson and Karen Dill Bowerman would personally benefit from this move and what they are on the verge of is the simplest form of corruption … using their position and the taxpayers resources for personal gain.
We must take action. They have to hear our voices come Wednesday. Plan on participating at the council meeting Wed., April 13 at 8:30 a.m.
Finally, the meetings are now hybrid, so you can join virtually or in-person.
Participate in the following ways:
- In person, 6th floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98666
- Watch live on CVTV (Comcast channel 23)
- Livestream from your personal computer: www.cvtv.org
- Join by computer:
- Join by phone:
- Dial: 1-408-418-9388
- Access Code: 2493 216 7421
- Password: PuHTgNnx443
- Submit comments: Written via email: https:// www.clark.wa.gov/councilors/public-comment