House and Senate Committees on Redistricting
Schedule Public Hearings Across the State of Oregon

SALEM – The House and Senate Committees on Redistricting announced a schedule of 12 joint public hearings across the state to hear from local residents about how to redraw the legislative and Congressional district boundaries. Every 10 years, the Legislature is charged with redrawing legislative and Congressional districts to reflect the growth of Oregon’s population and the movement of people within the state.

The 2010 Census data released in late February shows that Oregon has grown by 409,675 people since the last census in 2000. The public hearings will provide Oregonians across the state with an opportunity to discuss the redistricting process and how legislative and Congressional districts may change as a result of population changes since 2000.

“The Legislature has a unique opportunity to pass a fair and bipartisan redistricting plan this year,” said House Redistricting Committee Co-Chair Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro). “To accomplish a fair and bipartisan plan, Oregonians need to be involved throughout the process. We need Oregonians to share their ideas and concerns about their future representation in Salem and Washington, D.C. With valuable citizen input, I'm confident we can produce a fair plan for Oregon over the next ten years.

“Input from Oregon’s citizens is always a critical part of the Legislative process. In redistricting, which takes just every 10 years, it’s even more important,” said Senate Redistricting Committee Chair Suzanne Bonamici. “Oregonians know best how they want and need to be represented. These hearings are an opportunity for the people of our state to share their thoughts and concerns with the committees that will redraw the district lines.”

The first hearing will be in Tillamook on the Oregon Coast Friday, March 11, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Tillamook Bay Community College, Room 214/215, 4301 3rd Street, and will provide an opportunity for citizens’ from Astoria, Lincoln City, and Newport to participate via video conference links in their communities. Members of both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees will be on hand to listen to testimony.

“Our goal is to ensure that the redistricting process is fair, open and transparent. I’m looking forward to traveling across Oregon to hear from all of our communities on what we can do to ensure better representation for them in their State Legislature,” said House Redistricting Committee Co-Chair Chris Garrett (D-Lake Oswego)

“Redistricting is not just about lines on a map. The type of representation that local communities send to Salem and Washington, D.C., will be in large part determined by the shape these districts take. These hearings are an opportunity for communities to identify the type of voice they want to represent them, and what other communities they have commonalities with,” said Senate Redistricting Committee Vice-Chair Chair Chris Telfer.

The Oregon Legislature has the responsibility of redrawing the state’s 60 House districts and 30 Senate districts, as well as the five U.S. Congressional districts, following the release of the federal census. The criteria that the Legislature will consider when drawing legislative and congressional boundaries includes maintaining contiguity, equal population, existing geographic or political boundaries, communities of interest and connection by transportation links.

Other Upcoming Public Hearings are scheduled for:

· Tillamook: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, March 11, and with videoconference links to locations in Astoria, Lincoln City and Newport;
· La Grande: 8 to 11a.m., Friday, March 18, and with videoconference links to locations in Pendleton and Baker City
· Burns: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 18, with videoconference links to locations in Ontario and John Day (additional locations pending);
· Bend: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 19, with videoconference links to locations in Madras and The Dalles

Source: News Press Release

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